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Thursday 23rd May
Botswana Information - Page 2
The World Heritage site at Tsodilo provides evidence of human habitation dating back to the times of early man.

Missonaries and traders arrived in the country in the early nineteenth century and gold mining by European prospectors started at the end of the 1860s.

Conflict between the Batswana people and Boer settlers led to the British establishing the Protectorate of Bechuanaland (1885).

Bechuanaland did not become independent until 1966 when the country became the Republic of Botswana.

Botswana's economy has maintained a consistent rate of growth since independence.

The discovery of diamonds in 1967 has been one of the most important factors in the country's economic success. Other mineral resources include coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt and silver.

Subsistence farming and the production of beef play their part in the economy.

Botswana has a financial services sector and the tourist industry is a source of foreign currency. (2008)

Music and dance is an integral part of life in Botswana. An annual festival of dance and music, attended by schools, colleges and music groups, provides an opportunity to celebrate the traditional arts.

The National Museum and Art Gallery in Gaborone exhibits the country's paintings and crafts. Basket weaving is perhaps the most well known craft in Botswana. Other crafts include pottery, woodcarving (animals and household utensils) and San jewellery.

Football is a popular sport in Botswana; the national team is known as the Zebras. Other games played include softball, volleyball and tennis.

Botswana is represented at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and the All-Africa Games.

Christmas, Easter and New Year's Day are holidays.

Other days celebrated include Sir Seretse Khama Day - the first president of Botswana (1 July), President Day (16 July) and Botswana Day (Independence Day, 30 September 1966).

Daily news from the Republic of Botswana is available from Newslink.

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