One of Africa’s success stories – and a model for the use of natural resources to boost development – Botswana has evolved since independence in 1966 from a least-developed nation to a middle-income country. It has seen sustained economic growth – anchored in good governance, peace, political stability and sound macro-economic management.

The main challenges to continued growth are economic diversification and improving the country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Income disparities and HIV/AIDS rates which rank amongst the highest in the world, also hinder development.

An acceleration of the pace of economic reform is needed to ensure effective implementation of policies promoting foreign direct investment and private sector development and to improve productivity and competitiveness of human resources.

The EU’s cooperation strategy with Botswana under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-20) – outlined in the National Indicative Programme (NIP) – highlights the Education sector and Public Sector reforms as top two priorities for the EU – with an indicative allocation of €11 million for each. Civil society will also receive support with an initial amount of €6 million.

The EU’s cooperation strategy with Botswana under the 10thEuropean Development Fund (2008-13) outlined in the Country Strategy Paper - singled out human resources development as a priority. This sector has received €72.5 million out of a total amount of €98.1 million under the 10th EDF in the form of sector budget support and technical assistance.

Other areas of cooperation were: the promotion of gender equality, environmental sustainability and the fight against HIV/AIDs. Entrenching democracy, good governance and human rights especially with regard to the rights of children and indigenous people – are other aims. Further EU funding is empowering civil society to become a more meaningful partner in the development process.




Key country statistics

  • Total population (2015): 2 262 000
  • Life expectancy (at birth) (2015): 62 years (male), 67 years (female)
  • Human Development Index - Medium human development (2014): 0.698
  • Population living below $1.90 a day (2009): 18.24%
  • Income share held by lowest 40% of income distribution (2009): 8.5%
  • Upper middle income country - Gross National Income per capita (2014): 7 058 US$ (constant 2005 US$)
  • Average Gross Domestic Product growth over 5 years (2008-2012): 3.6%

Selected results achieved with EU support through projects and programmes completed between mid-2014 and mid-2015

Public Finance Management

  • A medium-term macro-fiscal and budget framework (MTFF) was established and has been fully integrated into the annual budget cycle. The MTFF is further used to analyse fiscal implications of new policy measures
  • A strategy and action plan linked to the medium-term macro-fiscal and budget framework has been formulated and approved by the Government of Botswana
  • Annual audits of the National Aids Coordinating Agency have been institutionalised, demonstrating transparent and accountable financial management


  • 5 sector ministries (health, labour, social, education, local government and rural development) have put   HIV/AIDS sector policies and programmes in place
  • 7 ministries and public sector departments prioritised HIV/AIDS prevention activities as outlined in their HIV/AIDS mainstreaming mandates aligned to the Second National Strategic Framework
  • 54 organisations (mostly health related NGOs) have been funded to work on HIV/AIDs prevention at community level targeting vulnerable populations. The interventions addressed root causes of HIV transmission and enabled messages to reach the target audience and stimulate discussions