"…our new nation, economically poor, but developing, with our four objectives of rapid economic growth, social justice, economic independence and sustained production .We are dedicated to improving the lot of our people in rural areas and we are dedicated to creating more employment for our people. But we intend to conserve our resources wisely and not destroy them. Those of us who happen to live in the 20th century are no more important than our descendants in centuries to come."
(Hon Sir QKJ Masire, former President of Botswana)
Botswana is an independent, stable and harmonious republic with universal franchise for all citizens over 18 in a multi-party democracy.
The government is styled on a Westminster system with an executive president as head of state and government. The President is elected by a 34 member Parliament known as the National assembly for a term of five years. The President selects his 15 cabinet ministers from the national assembly and appoints a vice-president.
Legislative power within Botswana lies with the National Assembly. The House of Chiefs, which is not part of the legislature, is composed of eight tribal chiefs of the main tribes plus seven other members, and is the equivalent of the British House of Lords. It has the constitutional function to advise the National Assembly on proposed bills affecting land use, social customs and so forth, however their recommendations have no force in law.
For administrative purposes Botswana is divided into nine districts - Kweneng, North-west, Ghanzi, Central, North-east, Kgatleng, Southern, South-east and Kgalagadi. Each of these is represented by a district commissioner, under whom the dikgosi (chiefs) falls, who is responsible for the planning and implementation of the various development programmes.