Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best-perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.
Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long.
A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,825 per year as of 2015, which is one of the highest in Africa. Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa.
Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. The country has been among the hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Despite the success in programmes to make treatments available to those infected, and to educate the populace in general about how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of people with AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013.:A20 As of 2014, Botswana has the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS, with roughly 20% of the adult population being infected
While Botswana’s impressive economic record has been driven primarily by diamond mining, a very significant number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in the small, landlocked southern African country, built their multi-million dollar empires in industries as diverse as retail, car dealerships, retail and distribution.
Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are extremely successful. Meet 5 ultra-wealthy Botswana businessmen who have built eight and nine-figure fortunes in Botswana.
5. Farouk Essop Ismail
Ismail is a co-founder and Deputy Chairman of Choppies, Botswana’s largest retailer. He owns a 14.6% stake in the listed retailer which is valued at more than $45 million. Ismail also owns a 39.5% stake in Far Property Company Limited, a public traded real estate development and Asset Management company located in Botswana. His shareholding in Far Property alone is worth more than $35 million.