Unemployment, poverty, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse rank among the biggest challenges faced by the citizens of Botswana, according to our recent survey.
The high rate of adults who are unemployed has cut across gender and all age groups at 71% even as the survey showed that the youth and women face other hardships that are unique to them. Despite Botswana being one of the world’s fastest growing economies, unemployment has remained stubbornly high at nearly 17.8%.
With a population of slightly more than 2 million people, a majority of Botswana’s citizens are living in poverty. This was cited as the second biggest challenge faced by the general population as noted by the survey respondents at 23% closely followed by HIV/AIDS and drug abuse at 16% and 12% respectively.
According to African Health Observatory by World Health Organisation, about a third of the Botswana population lives below the national poverty line. Evidence from the 2002/03 HIES suggests poverty is also deep, inequality is high, and poverty responds sluggishly to growth. Unemployment, estimated at 26.2% of the labour force in 2008, up from 17.6% in 2005, is quite high, especially amongst the youth.
Ranking as the third biggest challenge after unemployment and poverty, HIV and AIDS has continued to plague Botswana. According to our survey, 16% of the population are still grappling with the spread of the disease and its effect on the population. Prevalence is also extremely high among women of childbearing age. This has a direct impact on population growth which is already low.
According to UNICEF, HIV/AIDS affects nearly a quarter of Botswana’s adult population. 25% of adults aged 15-49 are estimated to be living with HIV making Botswana a country with one of the world’s highest HIV prevalence rates.
Drug, Alcohol and Sexual Abuse
Among the youth, drug and alcohol abuse rank second and third at 42% and 28% respectively after unemployment which ranked the highest at 84%. Among the challenges facing women, sexual abuse and single parenting were identified as the two other challenges mostly affecting women after lack of jobs at 43% and 22% respectively.
This ground breaking survey on the country’s development was part of a larger study by GeoPoll to gain a deeper understanding of Botswana both from a social and commercial perspective. The first part of the survey report was on the most admired brands in the country.
About the Survey & Methodology
From commissioning of the research to completion of data analysis, GeoPoll took only three days, delivering a blueprint case study of the power and reach of mobile in Botswana as well as the pace of mobile data collection. This SMS-based mobile methodology was also significantly faster than the face to face approach that is typically adopted for surveys of this nature. Responses were gathered from a total of 503 people across all provinces.
GeoPoll is now live in Botswana providing you with accurate, cost-effective, real-time data insights. Download the full infographic! And sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on all the latest insights and more!