Sun | Sep 25, 2016

Lessons from Botswana

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

In support of your 'Letter of the Day' of Tuesday, January 5, highlighting Botswana's reasons for having such a rapid growth rate, I would like to point out that Botswana has:

  • A 'free education' policy up to university level.
  • Free health-care policy
  • Most foreign workers are employed on a contractual basis and it is recommended that they are understudied by a native employee so as to improve the quality of the work force among natives.
  • Low murder rate, although there has been some increase in crimes of passion or murders rising from love triangles, and other crimes such as stealing allegedly perpetrated mainly by Zimbabwean refugees.
  • Botswana's chiefs are far more responsible than Jamaica's dons and as such the village crime are kept at a minimum. I see the chiefs playing somewhat of a similar role as the Jamaican dons only that these chiefs don't indulge in criminal activities.
  • Respect to your fellow constituents is very high; you dare not call someone stupid or refer to what they are saying as stupidness (you can be flogged or imprisoned for such an offence).
  • You dare not threaten your fellow constituents as the law is very much enforced there; you don't have to carry out the threat to be imprisoned or flogged.
  • They don't have their own water; they buy it from neighbouring South Africa, but they have valuable diamonds, something the English never knew was there before they left.

    Botswana is more than 50 times the size of Jamaica but has a population just over half of Jamaica's (Botswana - 225,000 sq miles to Jamaica 4,411 sq miles; Botswana 1.4 million people to Jamaica's 2.6 million people).

    Now you can peruse and draw your own conclusion.

    How do I know all of this? I lived and worked there between 2004-2005

    I am, etc.,

    ROHAN PERRY

    rohan_perry@hotmail.com