In June 1966, Britain accepted proposals for democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved from Mafikeng in South Africa, to newly established Gaborone in 1965. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence on 30 September 1966.
Botswana is located in Southern Africa and is primarily made up of the ethnic group Twsana. These people broke free during the Zulu wars during the 1800s. During this time, they were largely herders and farmers who managed themselves with traditional tribal rule. By 1867, the first European gold prospectors had started to explore the area.
Once gold was found, these prospectors mined the area. This would boost interest in the area and by 1885, the British began to settle in the area. As part of their move, the British a protectorate in the area and in 1890, they had extended their reach as far as the Chobe River.1950 found the people of the area breaking free from the British. This was the year that the British were exiled from the land and it was reclaimed. The people of the area worked on establishing themselves as self-sustaining people, no longer under British rule.
In 1959, they discovered copper in the area and the copper mines opened. By 1960, they were strong enough to set up the Bechuanaland People’s Party. In December of this year, a new constitution was set and Britain approved it. By September 1966, Britain would no longer have rule over the area.
Fortune turned for the people of the land again in 1967 when diamonds were discovered in the area. This added to the economy and the strength they had. With things improving, the UN Security Council comes to their aid in 1977 and helps them end the hostilities on the Botswana border. Later that year, the Botswana Defence Force is established.
Looking to further strengthen their independence, Botswana creates the Southern African Development Coordination Conference in 1980. This helps to reduce the collective economic reliance on the people of South Africa. This is also the year that long time President Sereste Khama passes away and his successor is Quett Masire. Masire would remain as president until 1997 when the constitution is amended to limit the term of the president to no more than two five-year terms. Voting ages are then lowered to 18 at the same time.
In the 2000s. AIDS becomes a major problem for the people in the area.Treatment options become available for the people in the area and many drugs are free or subsidized for their residents. By March 2004, infection rates have dramatically dropped and Botswana is no longer the world’s leader for HIV infection. Since that time, the country has become continuously focused on improving the lives of their residents.