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Botswana's youth unemployment problem

Why being tenacious, talented and a team player in Botswana won’t always get you the job.
It’s been described as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Diamond-rich Botswana has been praised for its good governance and rule of law. An average annual growth rate of just under 5% over the past twenty years has helped to slash poverty by a third. So why are so many of its graduates unemployed? Economists blame skills shortages, high public sector wages and a barrage of red tape. But as the BBC’s Szu Ping Chan reports from Gaborone, being tenacious, talented and a team player won’t always get you the job:

Vulture population dwindles due to poisoning

A survey of birds of prey across Botswana has confirmed what conservationists feared - that vultures are fast disappearing from one of Africa's greatest wilderness areas.

The project to count the birds involved driving more than 20,000 kilometres across Botswana, following a route originally taken by scientists more than 20 years ago.

Arjun Amar of the the University of Cape Town tells BBC Newsday that other birds of prey - like the African hawk eagle and African fish eagle - are also showing a sharp decline in their numbers:

Another huge diamond is found in Botswana

A 327-carat diamond has been found in Botswana, reports Bloomberg financial news.

Botswana's diamond miners seem to be on a roll in terms of finding massive gems.

Bloomberg points out that Lucara, the same mining company that found this one, found a 472-carat stone just two weeks ago.

But this is nothing.

In 2015 the world's second biggest diamond was discovered in Botswana. The 1,111-carat stone was the size of a tennis ball.


The largest ever diamond was 3,106-carats. It was found in 1905 only nine metres from the surface in South Africa and was extracted using a pocket knife.

Some suggest that the 110 year gap between the two big gems was down to the mining equipment changing.

It is speculated that the old sorting machines were actually breaking the diamonds.

Botswana's Ian Khama: Leaving office not a train smash
Botswana's Ian Khama has just stepped down after 10 years in power - he says other African leaders should also "move aside and give others the opportunity".
Map of Botswana

Provides an overview, key facts and history of Botswana, a major diamond producer in Southern Africa

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A gun, a tractor and cash: Botswana leader's farewell gifts

A composite image of President Ian Khama and a tractor
AFP/Getty Images

Botswana's outgoing President Ian Khama has received some unusual gifts on his extensive farewell tour, reports South Africa's Mail and Guardian news site.

So far, it says, Mr Khama has been given "three cars worth more than $300,000 (£213,450), a bicycle worth $6,000, more than 1,000 cattle, 500-plus chickens and 200 or so sheep".

The news site that that President Khama cabinet gifted him "a pistol, a ranch, a tractor and cash, and some especially generous members of the opposition handed him shares in Botswana’s main telecoms company".

President Khama is to step down on Saturday after 10 years in power.