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Poverty and Mass Unemployment in Mineral-Rich Botswana

Robert L. Curry, Jr.
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Jan., 1987), pp. 71-87
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3486707
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Poverty and Mass Unemployment in Mineral-Rich Botswana
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Abstract

The economic plight of Botswana's poor has worsened as a direct consequence of the mining sector's success. Their condition results from the process by which economic expansion and modernization has taken place. It has created an economic elite composed of a government bureaucracy and an emerging military "salariat," and a small group of corporation officials and managers. The elite have joined white farming families as the country's larger-scale land and cattle owners, purchasing land and cattle from savings out of relatively high salaries in the mining and public sectors. They have drilled bore-holes for water and mechanized their farms and ranches. In effect, the elite have enjoyed access to the revenue from mining; their wealth is a product of that sector's growth, and the consequence is the emergence of a dual Botswana. One is rich, the other is poor, and the emerging clash between rich and poor could destabilize and threaten an African success story.

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