Republic of Botswana

Political Status: Independent republic within the Commonwealth since September 30, 1966.

Area: 231,804 sq. mi. (600,372 sq. km.).

Population: 1,680,863 (2001C); 1,713,000 (2007E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): GABORONE (213,000), Francistown (91,000), Molepolole (64,000), Selebi-Pikwe (54,000).

Official Language: English (SeTswana is widely spoken).

Monetary Unit: Pula (official rate November 1, 2008: 7.97 pula = $1US).

President: Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Seretse Ian KHAMA (Botswana Democratic Party); appointed to a five-year term on April 1, 2008, by President Festus MOGAE (Botswana Democratic Party), who retired the same day after having served as president since April 1, 1998; sworn in on April 1 with a new government.

Vice President: Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mompati MERAFHE (Botswana Democratic Party); appointed to a five-year term by the president on April 1, 2008, to succeed Lt. Gen. (Ret.) ...

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