The Republic of Botswana (Tswana: Lefatshe la Botswana) is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Citizens of Botswana are called "Batswana" (singular: Motswana), regardless of ethnicity. Formerly a British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It meets Zambia at a single point.
Geographically the country is flat and up to 70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert. Botswana was one of the most impoverished countries in Africa when it became independent in 1966. Today, it is home to a relatively stable political system and a rapidly developing market economy. Being closely tied with the economy of South Africa, the country's economy is one of the most successful in Africa and is dominated by the fast-growing service sector, world-renowned diamond industry, tourism, and manufacturing. Only about 30% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day. Botswana's development has outpaced Asian Tigers and the World Bank cites Botswana as one of the world's great development success stories.
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