Economic Growth and Trade
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is a central point of access to international markets and business resources that benefits all countries in the region, including Botswana. In addition to promoting food security, the trade hub contributes to the development of clean energy infrastructure and encourages private sector investments in regional businesses.
In Botswana specifically, we focus on reducing the costs of doing business, improving the investment climate and reforming customs practices to make cross-border trade easier. The trade hub recently helped the Government of Botswana simplify its requirements for trade licenses, allowing more businesses to succeed in regional trade.
One of the key environmental concerns in Botswana is managing transboundary resources – those that cross national borders and are under the control of more than one country. For example, river basins that run through Angola, Botswana and Namibia require people from three countries to work together to make sure those resources are wisely used. We train community members and government representatives to plan and monitor water usage and employ proper sanitation technologies.
Another concern is preparing for the effects of global climate change. We support the development of early flood warning systems in communities in Botswana that are expected to be heavily affected by climate change. USAID also helps to conserve and restore forests through a Debt-for-Nature swap, in which the U.S. Government forgives some of Botswana’s debt in exchange for commitments to conservation.
The extremely high rate of HIV infection dominates health concerns in Botswana. USAID programs help to fight this epidemic from several angles. We provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and civil society organizations in order to improve health services throughout the country. We also work to ensure that key supplies such as anti-retroviral medications, infant formula and HIV test kits are available where they are needed.
Although the HIV epidemic is a national problem, it does not affect everyone equally. Recognizing this, many of our programs provide specialized assistance to particular groups within Botswana. We work to improve HIV prevention services for those with the highest risk of infection. We provide counseling to those infected with HIV and AIDS and help them stick to their complicated medication schedules. USAID also supports those who are not infected with HIV but suffer from its effects, including orphans and vulnerable women and children.
Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, we are building partnerships to create programs that bring together prevention, care, and treatment. USAID also funds treatment of tuberculosis, which is particularly dangerous for those infected with HIV.
Last updated: May 10, 2013