Spotlight Botswana 

Part 1 Unveiling Botswana’s Strategic Landscape through SWOT Analysis

As this is Botswana’s election year, the famous SWOT analysis emerges as a beacon of strategic insight for political parties to contemplate. The interconnectedness of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats unveils a roadmap for informed decision-making. In the realm of strategic planning, the SWOT analysis provides a powerful tool to dissect and understand the dynamics of nations. While its origins lie in the corporate realm, where it was initially employed to assess businesses, the adaptability and versatility of SWOT have led to its application at a broader scale, including the comprehensive analysis of countries. As Botswana approaches a pivotal election year, a thorough examination of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) becomes essential. This strategic analysis provides political parties with an in-depth understanding of the nation’s internal and external factors, guiding the formulation of informed manifestos. Undaunted by the task, your favourite digital newspaper will attempt a SWOT analysis of Botswana in six parts. The first part explains how SWOT works.


MAUN 9 January 2021, Tourist enjoying the mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta on 9 January 2021. Due to travel restrictions there are less travellers going to the tourist destinations around the country and world. Tourism is one of the hard hit sectors around the globe for the Covid 19 corona virus. The mokoro is a traditional canoe-like vessel commonly used in the Okavango Delta as a popular mode of transport, and for game viewing safaris. The makoro has become the iconic symbol of the Delta and is a popular way for visitors to explore the Okavango while on safari. (Pic:Monirul Bhuiyan/Press Photo)

The Genesis of SWOT: Origins and Evolution

The SWOT analysis traces its roots back to the 1960s, evolving as a management tool within the realms of business and organizational strategy. Albert S. Humphrey, a management consultant at the Stanford Research Institute, is credited with the development of SWOT analysis as a systematic framework for understanding the internal and external factors affecting an organization’s performance.

SWOT, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, reflects a structured approach to strategic planning. Its primary goal is to identify and leverage internal strengths and external opportunities while mitigating or overcoming internal weaknesses and external threats.

SWOT at a National Scale: A Holistic Approach to Governance

While SWOT’s origins lie in business, its principles have found application in analyzing the strategic landscape of nations. Just as a corporation must navigate market dynamics, a country must contend with various internal and external forces that shape its trajectory. Botswana, in the throes of an election year, presents a unique canvas for the application of SWOT analysis.

  1. Strengths: Leveraging Foundations for Prosperity

Botswana’s strengths lie in its peaceful and stable political environment, emphasizing family values, and a proficiency in the English language that facilitates international engagement. Additionally, the provision of free education and healthcare contributes to an improved quality of life. A strong police force, religious diversity, and a commitment to technology create a robust foundation for governance.

  1. Weaknesses: Confronting Challenges for Sustainable Growth

Despite its strengths, Botswana grapples with challenges such as high rates of social issues, income inequality, and disparities in technology access. These weaknesses must be addressed to ensure inclusive development. Recognizing the potential pitfalls allows political parties to tailor policies that directly target these issues, fostering a more equitable society.

  1. Opportunities: Navigating Towards Growth and Innovation

Botswana’s political stability provides a conducive environment to address societal challenges, emphasizing family values and expanding English proficiency. Opportunities for economic growth and entrepreneurship lie in embracing e-commerce and online platforms, as well as modernizing farming practices. Forward-thinking policies can transform these opportunities into tangible benefits for the nation.

  1. Threats: Safeguarding Against Potential Setbacks

Rapid urbanization, global economic fluctuations, and cybersecurity vulnerabilities pose threats to societal structures and economic stability. Unaddressed social challenges, insufficient focus on research and development, and the potential impact of climate change on environmental conservation present challenges that need proactive strategies for mitigation.

The Interplay between SWOT Elements: A Strategic Nexus

The brilliance of SWOT lies not only in the identification of each element individually but in recognizing the interconnectedness between them. Strengths speak to weaknesses, offering avenues for improvement and growth. Opportunities align with strengths, providing a strategic direction for leveraging existing advantages. Weaknesses must be addressed to convert threats into opportunities, creating a resilient and adaptive governance framework.

Strategic Planning: Transforming Analysis into Action

A SWOT analysis is not merely an exercise in identifying factors; it is a precursor to strategic planning. The insights derived from this analysis serve as the building blocks for political manifestos and policy formulation. For Botswana, this means crafting strategies that build on existing strengths, shore up weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and fortify against potential threats.

Charting Botswana’s Future Through Strategic Insight

This SWOT analysis, tailored for Botswana, serves as a foundational guide for political parties. The issues analysed using the SWOT approach also follows a well acknowledged pattern called STEEP – this acronym stands for Social, Technical, Economic, Environmental and Political. The rationale for applying the STEEP factors it to ensure the inclusion of all pertinent issues. From the peaceful political environment to technological advancements, the nation’s strengths must be harnessed, and weaknesses addressed for sustained growth. Opportunities, from economic diversification to environmental protection, beckon strategic action, while threats necessitate vigilant preparation.

In the subsequent sections of this six-part series, your Gazette delves deeper into each facet of Botswana’s SWOT analysis, unravelling nuanced insights, and presenting actionable recommendations. Together, we embark on a journey of strategic exploration, ensuring that the manifestos crafted align with the nation’s strengths, fortify against weaknesses, leverage opportunities, and navigate potential threats.


To come…

Spotlight Botswana

Part 2 Pride in our strengths.

Part 3 Recognising our weaknesses.

Part 4 Appreciating the opportunities.

Part 5 Mitigating the threats.

Part 6 Towards a better tomorrow.


1 Peaceful and stable political environment fosters social cohesion and development. 1 Despite a peaceful and stable political environment, there might be challenges with addressing high rates of rape, abuse, and suicide, impacting societal well-being. 1 The peaceful and stable political environment provides an opportunity to address societal challenges and promote well-being. 1 Rapid urbanization might strain traditional family structures and support networks despite stable politics.
2 Strong emphasis on family values and extended family support system. 2 While there’s a strong emphasis on family values, the high prevalence of single-parent households might impact family dynamics and support systems. 2 Emphasizing family-cantered values further can enhance social cohesion and stability. 2 Globalization could potentially lead to cultural shifts away from family-cantered values.
3 English language proficiency promotes communication and international engagement. 3 English language proficiency might promote international engagement, but limited linguistic diversity could pose challenges to preserving local languages and cultures. 3 Expanding English proficiency can improve global communication and engagement. 3 The need for economic growth might overshadow the preservation of local languages and cultures.
4 Free education and healthcare contribute to improved quality of life. 4 Despite providing free education and healthcare, income inequality could lead to disparities in accessing these services. 4 Strengthening measures to reduce income inequality can ensure equal access to education and healthcare. 4 Unaddressed social challenges and discontent might lead to dystopian elements despite relative political stability.
5 Good police force helps maintain law and order. 5 Despite a good police force maintaining law and order, ensuring inclusivity and ethical practices are necessary for a cohesive society. 5 Promoting ethical practices can foster a more cohesive and inclusive society. 5 Cybersecurity vulnerabilities might arise due to increased reliance on technology despite investment.
6 Religious diversity encourages a sense of community and shared values. 6 While religious diversity encourages a sense of community, addressing issues like greenwashing is necessary to ensure genuine ethical values. 6 Addressing greenwashing can promote genuine ethical values and transparency. 6 Slow and expensive internet, unreliable power supply, and minimal research and development could hinder technological progress and innovation despite advancements.
7 Increasing investment in technology infrastructure supports digital connectivity and access to information. 7 Disparities in technology access and digital literacy could hinder equal opportunities despite investment in technology infrastructure. 7 Expanding technology education can enhance digital literacy and skills for all citizens. 7 Insufficient focus on research and development might limit technological breakthroughs and competitiveness despite innovation potential.
8 Growing adoption of mobile technology enhances communication and connectivity. 8 Limited technological diversification despite growing mobile technology adoption could lead to dependency on specific industries. 8 Embracing e-commerce and online platforms can promote economic growth and entrepreneurship. 8 Global economic fluctuations can impact diamond revenue and overall economic performance despite a stable currency.
9 Advancements in technology can enhance productivity in various sectors. 9 Despite advancements in technology, low adoption of modern farming practices might limit agricultural productivity. 9 Modernizing farming practices through technology can increase agricultural output and productivity. 9 Low foreign direct investment per capita could hinder economic development and innovation despite reasonable regulations.
10 Stable currency and good fiscal management contribute to economic stability. 10 Dependence on diamond revenue despite stable currency and fiscal management exposes the economy to commodity price fluctuations. 10 Developing tourism and ecotourism sectors can diversify the economy and create jobs. 10 A low labour force participation rate might lead to an underutilization of human resources despite opportunities.
11 Large informal sector provides employment opportunities and economic resilience. 11 While a large informal sector provides opportunities, informal labour practices in this sector might lack formal regulations. 11 Easing excessive regulations can attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote entrepreneurship. 11 Low engagement in Pan-African trade might limit economic growth and diversification despite expanding trade opportunities.
12 Public sector dominance ensures government control and stability in key sectors. 12 Excessive regulation, despite public sector dominance, could stifle private sector growth and innovation. 12 Promoting labour force participation can enhance workforce productivity and economic growth. 12 Challenges in the enforcement of regulations could undermine environmental conservation initiatives despite regulatory framework.
13 Autonomous state enterprises can contribute to economic development and diversification. 13 Despite autonomous state enterprises contributing to economic development, over-reliance on them might result in inefficiencies. 13 Strengthening research, innovation, and development can drive technological advancements across sectors. 13 Loss of habitat and resources might exacerbate human-animal conflicts and threaten species despite conservation efforts.
14 Signatory to international environmental conventions, showcasing commitment to global sustainability. 14 Despite being a signatory to international environmental conventions, challenges with enforcement might hinder effective environmental protection. 14 Investing in renewable energy can reduce carbon emissions and dependence on non-renewable sources. 14 Continued greenwashing could undermine public trust in environmental initiatives despite addressing the issue.
15 Government’s commitment to conservation and protected areas contributes to biodiversity preservation. 15 Despite the government’s commitment to conservation, loss of biodiversity due to habitat destruction remains a concern. 15 Strengthening enforcement of environmental regulations can enhance protection efforts. 15 Climate change and its impacts can exacerbate existing environmental challenges despite signatory status.
16 Low population density and urbanization help mitigate environmental pressures. 16 Despite low population density, human-wildlife conflict due to habitat encroachment poses challenges. 16 Expanding sustainable practices can reduce human-animal conflicts and promote coexistence. 16 Unsustainable mining practices might lead to habitat destruction and pollution despite regulations.
17 Reasonable environmental regulations are in place. 17 Despite reasonable environmental regulations, the practice of greenwashing might obscure genuine sustainability efforts. 17 Addressing greenwashing can promote genuine environmental efforts and transparency. 17 Limited adoption of renewable energy might hinder progress towards sustainable energy goals despite opportunities.
18 A stable political environment and strong democratic tradition promote political stability. 18 Despite a stable political environment, there might be challenges in the full implementation and protection of fundamental rights. 18 Strengthening legal frameworks can further protect and enhance civil liberties and human rights. 18 Changes in political leadership could impact the commitment to democratic values and press freedom despite stable political environment.
19 The country has a well-established constitution that outlines fundamental rights and freedoms. 19 Despite a well-established constitution, limited political party diversity could reduce representation of different perspectives. 19 Promoting media literacy can empower citizens to critically assess information and enhance press freedom. 19 Concentration of media ownership could impact press diversity and freedom of information despite press freedom.
20 Press freedom and freedom of speech are generally respected, allowing for a diverse range of voices and opinions. 20 While press freedom is generally respected, challenges in practice might affect the quality of information available to the public. 20 Encouraging a more diverse and inclusive political landscape can foster representation of various viewpoints. 20 Political polarization could hinder effective policy-making and compromise democratic processes despite democratic tradition.
21 Consistent adherence to democratic principles supports a peaceful transition of power and political processes. 21 Despite adherence to democratic principles, changes in political leadership could impact commitment to democratic values and press freedom. 21 Supporting civic education can enhance public engagement in political processes and democracy. 21 Challenges in the enforcement of legal frameworks might undermine protection of civil liberties despite strong democratic values.
22 A relatively corruption-free environment contributes to effective governance and policy implementation. 22 Despite a corruption-free environment, challenges in the enforcement of legal frameworks might undermine protection of civil liberties. 22 Strengthening enforcement of legal frameworks can enhance protection of civil liberties. 22 Human-wildlife conflict might pose challenges to both humans and animals despite conservation efforts.
23 Strong sense of community and social support networks enhance well-being. 23 Gender inequality and limited women’s empowerment impact social dynamics. 23 Promoting mental health awareness and support can enhance overall societal well-being. 23 Social media misinformation and disinformation might impact public discourse and societal unity despite engagement in international organizations.
24 Cultural diversity and traditions contribute to a rich and vibrant society. 24 Traditional beliefs and practices might hinder progress in addressing certain social issues. 24 Strengthening cultural preservation initiatives can safeguard traditional knowledge and values. 24 Changing family dynamics due to urbanization could lead to weaker support systems despite cultural diversity.
25 Active engagement in international organizations fosters diplomatic relationships and global influence. 25 Limited access to quality healthcare services in remote areas challenges healthcare equity. 25 Expanding social entrepreneurship can create innovative solutions to community challenges. 25 Socioeconomic disparities could result in unequal access to educational opportunities despite promoting mental health awareness.