The land of the Botswana – Botswana means the Tswana people – which today is called Botswana, has been known over the years as the crossroads of destiny or the eye of the hurricane. According to Countryaah, this is because the country located in the heart of southern Africa served as a transport route for British and Dutch and Portuguese colonizers alike. The first to try to connect the country from north to south, from Egypt to South Africa , used the so-called “missionary route”, while the Portuguese intended to connect the two colonies, Angola and Mozambique.
Therefore, from the 17th century, the area served as a crossroads, not only between the strategies of the various colonizers, but also between the imperialists and the Tswana people who had lived in the area since the 17th century. Around 1930, Botswana began to feel the consequences of the arrival of the Dutch peasants, who had gone north on the run from the English repression in Cape Town. The farmers were farmers who were going to fight for the modest areas that could be cultivated. The Tswana was also in conflict with the Zulu people who had been displaced by the Boers from southern Africa (See South Africa : “The Zulu Expansion”). The three most powerful tribal chiefs in Botswana traveled to London to request support for the fight against the Boers, and they succeeded: Botswana became a British protectorate.
British protection prevented Botswana from being totally engulfed by South Africa but at the same time enabled the economic dominance of Africans. When the first nationalist movements emerged, their demands were therefore a showdown with these conditions.
Despite the vast desert area, Botswana nevertheless became one of southern Africa’s largest meat exporters. At the beginning of the century, 97% of the population fed on farming and each family owned at least a few cows; moreover, the richest had the support of plows to plow the earth. Up to the last third of the century, when independence was achieved, the urban population was about 15%, and approx. 40% of the rural population no longer had their own cattle. Capital concentration enabled Africans to dominate the agricultural sector and control 60% of meat exports.