According to thesciencetutor, Botswana became the world’s third largest diamond producer in the period 1978-1988 – after Australia and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and the country’s economy grew at a record 12% a year.
In 1985, South Africa opposed ratifying a non-attack pact with Botswana. It resulted in repeated clashes at the border, p.gr.a. the support provided by the Botswana authorities to the African National Congress , ANC, in the fight against apartheid. South Africa increased the pressure by blocking the road that led to Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, in 1987. In March 1989, 9 South Africans were expelled for “security reasons” while 5 ANC members were arrested by the Botswana Army for illegal possession of weapons.
In 1989 elections for the National Assembly were held. Botswana’s Democratic Party became victorious, winning 31 of the 34 seats in the elections, while the People’s Front sat on the remaining three. Quett Masire was named president.
According to Countryaah data, economic growth in the period from 1988 to 1989 decreased to 8.9%, and the following year it was further reduced to 4.8%. This was mainly due to a decline in international demand for diamonds. At the same time, unemployment rose to 35%, while a larger number of jobs were occupied by foreign workers; this was especially the case with the executive positions.
Despite the economic crisis, Botswana did not have access to loan opportunities in the African Development Bank, as the national currency, the Pula, was considered one of the region’s strongest.
A greater controversy between the political and economic interests of the country led to rising government-level corruption that ended with the resignation of several ministers. In 1991, 3 of the 7 opposition parties formed the Progressive People’s Front to fight the Botswana Democratic Party.
Despite the almost constant economic growth of previous decades, Botswana experienced the largest strikes since the country’s independence in 1991. Public servants demanded salary increases of 154% and the government responded again by dismissing 18,000 salaried employees.
In 1992, an unemployment rate of approx. 25%. In an effort to improve employment while improving the image of the ruling party, the authorities launched a campaign to create industries akin to the mining industry. As a result of the drought, authorities in April declared the country to be in emergency condition. Public spending was drastically reduced, resulting in redundancies of more than 1/3 of the workforce employed directly or indirectly by the state.
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In the October 1994 elections, Botswana’s Democratic Party retained the majority, despite losing 9 seats in parliament. The acquittal of the three responsible for the ritual killing of a little girl in Mochudi, led in February 1995 to violent demonstrations. For the National Front, the social inequalities – according to. Some studies show the biggest internal differences worldwide – and unemployment – the real causes of the unrest. On the other hand, in 1996, the country continued to rely heavily on revenue from mineral exports, representing 47% of Botswana’s foreign exchange earnings.