Indians in Botswana

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Indians in Botswana
Total population
7,000-8,000[1] (2015)
Regions with significant populations
Gaborone, Selebi-Phikwe
Languages
English, Gujarati, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil[1]
Religion
Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism[1]

Indians in Botswana do not form a very large population. As of 2016, an estimated 7,000-8,000 residents of Botswana are of Indian origin, of which 3,000-4,000 are citizens of Botswana. Most Indians are employed in the retail, manufacturing, teaching and accounting professions. Indian emigrants to Botswana primarily come from the states of Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.[1]

History

A few Indian families from South Africa migrated to Botswana in the beginning of the 20th century. Initially engaged in general trading, they gradually built up big businesses by purchasing dealerships for international products, and also successfully investing in property. Most of them acquired local citizenship. This was possible as Botswana permits expatriates with over ten years’ residence in the country to apply for permanent residence status and citizenship. A number of Indians who went to the country more recently have also become citizens of Botswana. Some of them have taken an active part in politics.[2]

Diamond business

The discovery of diamonds and their mining from the late 1960s saw the beginning of a sustained economic boom in Botswana. This attracted many more PIOs to this country. Both professionals and businessmen arrived there from several African countries, especially South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and even from Kenya and Uganda. Botswana's government does not encourage immigration of foreign labour, but with its shortage of skilled manpower, it started recruiting Indian experts directly from India from the late 1980s – teachers, doctors, engineers and civil servants.. The political leadership and the higher bureaucracy are appreciative of its contribution towards the development of the country.[2]

Politics

While no PIO has so far won any election to the parliament of Botswana, one has become a nominated member.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "India - Botswana Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. January 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Singhvi, L. M. (2000), "Other Countries of Africa", Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora (PDF), New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs, pp. 89–109, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-06 

External links

  • Hinduism in Botswana as reported in The Hindu
  • Maitisong showcases Tamil culture 16 May, 2006
  • Indians contribute to Botswana's economic Boom 25 August, 2000
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