Gaborone - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There is a lot of antagonism to people of Zimbabwean or South Asian origin. White South Africans are often casually racist to non-white people. - Dec 2023

My African American colleagues and friends told me that they were frequently victims of black on black prejudices. As a white male, I noticed that my bags were rarely checked by the person whose job it was to check every bag or cart as customers left the store. I didn't see any discrimination based on religion, but that certainly doesn't mean it didn't exist. Generally, it seems to me that Batswana are relatively tolerant people.

I understand there is a great deal of domestic violence at home. I imagine there is gender inequality in the workplace as well. - Apr 2017

I actually think this would be a great place to live as an African-American (full disclosure: I'm white). The country is 97% black, and a middle income country, so I love that my children's teaches, doctors, neighbors, are all black. I sometimes feel like my black colleagues get a little more welcome at representational events than me, though they tell me they have their own issues of people wondering where they're from, etc. Again, Botswana is wonderfully tolerant. You see Muslim dress, people of all racial groups, people seem to live and let live here. While it is a patriarchal culture that suffers from high levels of gender based violence, this doesn't seem to touch the expatriate community. I've had nothing but respect here as a woman. I've never once been harassed on the street - unusual compared to other locations. - Jul 2016

There are internal issues with increasing anti-immigration sentiment - many doctors and others professionals have been forced out of the country to reserve the jobs for Botswana citizens. Household help from Zimbabwe having trouble getting visas. It is an outwardly "Christian" majority here, but that doesn't mean what it means elsewhere - it simply means you believe in God, and not to the exclusion of other local traditional beliefs. Lots of extramarital promiscuity, which probably contributes to the rampant HIV/AIDS problem. - Mar 2015

None. Botswana is very tolerant with respect to religion. I know there is a Hindu Temple, a couple Catholic Churches, and a few mosques within the city. I don't know of any synagogues, but I am sure there is likely one. - Nov 2013

There is no problem for people of any color or combination thereof. The current president is the son of the first president of the country, who was a black man married to a white Englishwoman. Many religions are represented here. There are, however, issues with gender-based violence in the culture here, but expats generally would not be personally exposed to this. There also seems to be general anti-American sentiment. The Batswana (people of Botswana) identify much more favorably with the British. - Jul 2013

I didn't find any of these issues. - Apr 2013

Botswana is predominantly Christian, but there are mosques in the major cities and towns for the small, mostly south Asian, Muslim community. There are also some Hindus and a temple in Gaborone. I have not seen any problems with religious intolerance here. Botswana also have a very open and tolerant attitude toward race. You see many interracial couples and families here and this is perfectly accepted. Botswana's first President Sir Seretse Khama married a white woman from England, and their son, Ian Khama is President today. More than any other country I have experienced, whites and blacks live together here in peace and harmony. - Jun 2010

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