Why Botswana?

With just over two million people, and a declining population rate, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Africa. The country boasts a stable economy and a strong track record of good governance, yet unemployment and poverty plague 19% of the population, mostly in rural areas, and the country is one of the most unequal in the world in terms of human development.

Botswana is renowned for having one of the largest conservation land ratios in Africa, with 25% of the country set aside for its spectacular wilderness and wildlife areas. Among these is the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a major tourism drawcard.

The delta is home to Gogomoga and Tsutsubega, two isolated villages in which Africa Foundation is active. These settlements, comprising 300 to 500 people each, are extremely small and, as such, are not officially recognised to receive government services and infrastructure.

Prospects for employment in these areas is non-existent and villagers are banned from fishing, hunting or harvesting resources from the national park. Most young adults leave the villages in search of work, leaving vulnerable children and the elderly to fend for themselves.

Africa Foundation is also active in Sexaxa, a small rural village in the Ngamiland District, 19kms north-east of Maun Airport. Sexaxa has a population of between 600 to 900 people, and no real infrastructure. The nearest larger village is Matlapana, about 5km away.