Socioeconomic wellbeing of the Basarwa people of Botswana

A forgotten generation

Authored by: Keitseope Nthomang , Pelotshweu Moepeng

Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Wellbeing

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138909175
eBook ISBN: 9781351051262
Adobe ISBN:


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The wellbeing of people defined as Indigenous has attracted much debate and attention throughout the world. In Botswana, Indigenous people, commonly known as Basarwa, are the most conspicuously marginalized of all socio-linguistic ethnic groups. They are characterized by lack of land rights, lack of economic opportunities and access to social services, extreme poverty and dependence on government welfare programs. This chapter explores the socioeconomic wellbeing of Basarwa in Botswana. Findings from a Remote Area Development Programme (RADP) evaluation and a documentary analysis report Basarwa’s deteriorating socioeconomic wellbeing. To address this deterioration, we argue that the RADP is not the only answer to Basarwa development challenges and that more innovative approaches deserve attention.

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