IntroductionBotswana has experienced an unprecedented growth of urbanization, the widespread of modernization throughout regions for development. Since the 1960s, the total urban places rose from 3 to 34, while the urban population in the percentage of the total has risen from 3.8% to 54.1% (see table 1) (“Gwebu”). Prior to independence, the colonial government of Britain desired to annex Botswana to South Africa, instead of investing and developing Botswana as a separate entity, which obstructed Botswana’s potential urban developments.
However, after independence in 1966, the government of Botswana promoted urbanization through sustainable policies including the Self-Help-Housing Program and the Social Mix policy (“Mosha”), along with prudent city planning, which allowed developments of social infrastructures and services. These features have allured the rural migrants, desiring to escape the poor quality of life and poverty of rural villages, which allowed further urbanization growth, as the demands for urban regions continue to rapidly riserise at a rapid rate. As the urbanization continued the growth, the Mean Average School Years of Men and Women of 15-24 and the GDP per capita rose in accordance with urbanization, which is a direct impact from the urbanization between 1970s-2000s, accounting the direct correlations of the indicators towards each other along with other influential factors.Table 1EducationThe trend of urbanization within Botswana has made significant contributions to themean average school years of men and women of age 15-24, specifically during the time periods between 1970s-2000s.
However, as the graphs represent (see graph 1 and 2), the education grew significantly with the urbanization, despite lack of developments from the colonial government, as they forced Botswana students to attend schools in South Africa instead.Graph 1Graph 2The accessibility of schools rose once the urbanization took off; the cities of Botswana are planned in a way that schools are distributed evenly in each superblock (“Mosha”), allowing easier access for the students. Moreso, the development of roads and public transportations have made further contributions to promote that accessibility of schools for the students since students can travel far distances with affordable and convenient methods. Urbanization has also promoted the development of better quality of resources in urban schools, as evident in 67% of urban students having access to math textbooks, which is significantly higher than 56% of rural (“Quality”). The evidence of the textbook provision implied that the urban students have better resources to prepare for higher academic achievements. Academic resources are highly valued in Botswana because a survey revealed that 100% of the participants (students and teachers) agreed that inadequate resources hinder learning(“MolokoMphale et al”). As the UNESCO reported that “urban areas had a literacy rate of 85.4% against 65.
7% in the rural areas”(“Hanemann”), the academic achievements would motivate more students to pursue further education at widespread level, as the literacy rate suggest the prevalence of education in urban compared to rural.Convenient accessibility and abundant resources provided from urban settings allowed the education in Botswana to take a considerable leap within few decades. EconomyBotswana’s rapid economic development is often studied in other countries, as the process was efficient and rapid, yet sustainable (see Graph 3); a key portion of the success could be contributed to urbanization. According to the 1995/96 Labour Force Survey, 55% of unemployed are from rural (“Siphambe”), with 64% living under the poverty line as well(“Hope et al”), which could be attributed to the unstable facets of mining and agriculture, the predominant sectors in rural regions. Frequent droughts and barren land of the Kalahari desert prevent effective agricultural economy, explaining its low-efficiency value compared to other sectors since natural limitations require long hours of work to reap small amount of crops (see Graph 3).
Such low-efficiency value would be responsible for widespread poverty that seemed to loom over rural Botswana. In the 1980s and 1990s, the contribution of mining to GDP rapidly decreased by 11% within a decade, which could be ascribed to constant fluctuation of mineral prices (“Botswana’s Mineral”). Additionally, the mining sector, as shown below (see Graph 3), has low employment, since mining in Botswana is focused on its capitalistic aspects rather than the physical labor. Therefore, mining would provide limited opportunities for rural residents because most rural workers would be looking for physical jobs that require little education.Cities, developed through urbanization, has promoted service sectors, which accounts for 50% of GDP and 61% of total employment, through its infrastructures, which have led to significant growth(“Willem”). Within Botswana cities, there exist lands that are specifically designated for the commercial economy, clearly in an intention of developing service sector within urban regions. As the service sector ranks high in its efficiency and employment (see Graph 4), its productivity would relieve poverty through reduction of unemployment and promotion of economic growth within urban settings. Furthermore, the urban regions provide basic resources and services for their residents: the United Nations Environment Programme reported “rural and urban access at 23.
9 percent and 71 percent, respectively”(“Botswana, United Nations Environment”), referring to the access to electricity. These features, such as high electricity provision, would allure more businesses into urban regions that require basic resources to compete globally, which mean more development for both the service sector and economy in general.Graph 3Graph 4 Though it faced huge disadvantage due to its location and geography, Botswana’s economy was able to surpass such limitations in accordance with the increasing urbanization. Correlations However, urbanization was not the sole explanation for the rise of Mean Average School and GDP per capita, since the direct correlation between education and economy, along with other influencing factors, have made significant contributions as well. In 1973, 3.
26% of GDP was invested in education; in 2005, such number rose to 10.6%, showing economy’s impact on education (“Botswana – Government Expenditure”). The expenditure would imply that advancements toward provision of high-quality education would be provided; the funds would be used to acquire better resources and teachers, in addition to the creation of more schools to increase the accessibility. On the other hand, an extremely small rise in education has caused the rise of chance of employment by 2.
7%, revealing education’s impact on economy (“Siphambe”). Such is evident in the fact that the economy of Botswana is shifting towards intellectual jobs from physical labor. Higher education would increase their chances of employment since education would imply that its recipients would be prepared for such work. However, 11% and 16% of primary and secondary-aged students are out of school, respectively, showing the trend that Mean Average School Years are still low in comparison with developed countries(see Graph 5 and 6).
A potential factor could be the ongoing child trafficking, as the United Nations Children’s Fund report “Botswana is said to be a source, transit, and destination area.”(“Thari”). It further supports its claim with a data, as it alerted that 9% of children between 5-14 were under child trafficking. Child trafficking would indeed decrease mean average school years, which averages the demographic’s years spent in school because trafficked children would become adults without any access to education.Graph 5Graph 6 However, the government of Botswana played a key role in Botswana’s economic success through sound policies and governance, as the 2nd president of Botswana Sir Quett Masire declared “Bad governance doesn’t just undermine service delivery, it retards development, and it also drives violence”(“Botswana Golden”). Policies such as Botswana Development Corporation (1970) and Financial Assistance Policy (1982) are aimed to promote industrial development, while policies such as Corruption and Economic Crime Act (1994) have allowed Botswana to have the lowest CPI in Africa, alluring more investments with its transparency(“Johnson”).
The aspects of a country are not separate entities, but they are rather pieces that holistically constitutes the country, as each facet influences and is influenced by other factors.ConclusionThe findings mentioned in this paper supplemented the claim that urbanization has influenced the economy and education of Botswana, allowing massive rising trend. The carefully laid-out planning in urban regions has dispersed the education infrastructures, in a way to promote accessibility for the civilians, raising the mean average school years. Furthermore, service sectors, of which the urban economy is based upon, offer a stable yet efficient method that increased the GDP per capita. Other influential factors, mainly the governmental policies, stipulated growths while undermining the other aspects of development as well. The conspicuous rise in urbanization in accordance with the HDI would indeed suggest that economy and education, the two main aspects of HDI, in fact, increased as a direct result of urbanization within Botswana (see Graph 7).