General issues: Republic 1966-Present
Country name on general issues: Botswana
Currency: 1 Rand = 100 Cent 1966-1976, 1 Pula = 100 Thebe
Population: 535 000 in 1966, 2 155 000 in 2014
Political history Botswana
Botswana is located in southern Africa. Botswana means ‘land of the Tswana’. The Tswana – a Bantu people – are, with 80%, the largest population group in the country, living also across the border in South Africa.
In the 19th century the land of the Tswana is known as Bechuanaland – also meaning ‘land of the Tswana’. The Tswana, in the 1880’s, request protection from the British, as they are under pressure from on one hand neighboring Bantu peoples and on the other hand the Boer from the South African Republic. The British take possession of Bechuanaland in 1885. In the southern part they establish the colony of British Bechuanaland that, in 1895, becomes part of Cape of Good Hope and, with Cape of Good Hope, in 1910 becomes part of the Union of South Africa. In the northern part the protectorate of Bechuanaland is established. The borders of the protectorate are defined in 1890 as we know them until today. Bechuanaland in 1965 gains self government and in 1966 full independence as the republic of Botswana.
Botswana is a stable democracy that since independence has shown significant economic growth. The main economic driver are mineral resources, especially diamonds.
Postal history Botswana
The first stamps issued in what is now Botswana are the issues for the Bechuanaland protectorate from 1888. Bechuanaland from 1890 until 1895 forms a postal union with British Bechuanaland and, as such, the stamps of British Bechuanaland are used until 1897. From 1897 until 1966, the Bechuanaland protectorate again issues stamps. Botswana has issued stamps from 1966.