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Once dubbed "The Switzerland of Africa" by the New York Times, Botswana had moulded itself into a success story since gaining independence from Bri
tain in 1966. The economy has grown steadily and Botswana is now a middle income democratic country with strong infrastructure, education and healthcare.
With a population of just over two million, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world and it shares borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The capital city, Gabarone, is where most expatriates live, especially those with children because the city has the main concentration of international schools. Some local schools are also suitable for expat children.
The country has a well-respected financial industry which attracts expat talent - the Botswana Stock Exchange is said to be one of Africa’s best performing stock exchanges. Escaping the political turmoil that has scared its African neighbours, Botswana has become a thriving expat destination thanks to comparatively low crime rates and having English as its official language.
Several international mining corporations have regional headquarters in Botswana, providing employment opportunities for expats with skills in sectors including diamonds, gold, uranium, copper and oil.
Fun fact: Botswana is the world’s largest diamond producer!
Before you go:
Expats moving to Botswana should be fully vaccinated for the following diseases before they arrive: Hepatitis A, typhoid, hepatitis B, malaria (high risk in Northern Botswana), rabies and yellow fever.
The health system in Botswana consists of public, private for-profit, private non-profit and traditional medicine practice. The public sector accounts for 98% of Botswana's health facilities, though most expats use private medical services.
Unlike other parts of Africa such as Nigeria, where ‘brain drain’ is an issue, citizens of Botswana who leave the country to be educated often return, meaning expats can benefit from skilled local medical staff.
Botswana has seen improvements in its healthcare system in recent years and both public and private medical facilities are available in the main cities and towns. Outside of Gabarone, health facilities are of a lower standard. Serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to South Africa, and expats should ensure that they have adequate medical insurance coverage for such a possibility.
Private healthcare in Botswana is expensive so an adequate health insurance is recommended to pay for the cost of treatments.
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