At independence in 1966, Botswana was one of the poorest countries on earth with per capita income
of about $70. Less than five decades after independence, Botswana has rapidly transformed itself
from a traditionally subsistent economy into one of the finest development success models in the
world, with per capita income of $13,900 as of 2008. Behind this impressive track record lies a
possible web of causes. This research seeks to examine the contribution of political development
within the country, in the context of governance capacities. It is submitted that worldwide governance
indicators encapsulate the level of institutional progress that arguably sheds light on Botswana’s
economic growth over time.
A comparative examination of countries like Namibia and Gambia reveals that like most African
countries, a focus on the development of governance capacities through institutional building matters
in national development. But in spite of Botswana’s impressive governance system and economic
growth rate over time, the country profusely suffers from human development issues such as the HIV
pandemic, low life expectancy, high infant mortality and even staggering literacy rates. It follows
therefore that although the Botswana has achieved unsurpassed economic growth rates, economic
development for the country still remains wishful thinking.