Despite its unfavorable structural position according, minor peripheral States have the chance to move up structurally. Among them, the case shown as paradigmatic is Botswana.
Even when it was considered during the decade of the 60’s one of the poorest countries in the world, since independence -recognized by the United Kingdom in mid-1964- Botswana was able to quickly establish itself as a democratic nation, it stands out today as the only African country to have suffered a coup. The role of the Botswana Democratic Party is essential to understand the modest but quick development of this country, because the 4 presidents who have led this nation (since 1966 to date) emerged from their ranks and they all took the mining rent to abate poverty through important social programs, but without neglecting macroeconomic stability. All this has contributed to Botswana’s economy grew at a rate of 7.61% per annum between 1976 and 2012, why some have considered the “African miracle”.
In this regard, Jürgen Schuldt finds success Botswana lies
“in the capacity that had the country’s leaders in managing its mineral wealth and their gifts to negotiate with transnational corporations, of which many countries of the ‘Third World’ they can only dream of. Indeed, unlike the vast majority of mine-exporting economies, the property is almost entirely in state hands, without major conflicts have been given with the private sector. The fantastic profits from the diamond industry have been investing in social and economic infrastructure and to accumulate foreign exchange”(Schuldt, Jürgen. «¿Podemos aprender algo de Botsuana, el milagro africano?» La Insignia. April 2006).
The gradual improvement of social welfare in Botswana can be seen more clearly through the sub-indices that conform the World Power Index: as seen in the chart below, the main strength of Botswana lies in its semi-material capacities (SMCI). However, it is worrying stagnation of its material capacities (since 1991) and the reduction of its immaterial capacities in the last years.
What are the options for Botswana remains as the African miracle in the next decade? By sharing a border of 1,840 kilometers with a regional power and a BRICS partner such as South Africa, Botswana must seek to maintain a close and collaborative relationship with its southern neighbor, which would reduce stress by increasing their material capacities. Achieved this, the party leadership Botswana Democratic Party should strive to maintain strong social investment that has been promoting (SMCI) but at the same time bet on the development of Botswana’s soft power through its immaterial capacities.