At independence in 1966, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world, dependent on foreign assistance and poor grade cattle for economic growth. However, following the discovery of diamonds in 1967 the country has radically changed. The purpose of this paper is to explain some of the reasons why beyond simply the discovery of diamonds, Botswana was economically successful following 1966. The first reason Botswana’s economy was successful is because of their specific history and location. The second factor to be explored is leadership, specifically the role that Seretse Khama played in encouraging the economic success of Botswana. Luck and institutions were also very important in Botswana’s economic success. As a resource rich economy, Botswana is at risk to contract the ‘Dutch disease’, but for the most part through prudent policy they have been able to achieve macro-economic stability.
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