BOTSWANA PEOPLE & LANGUAGE
A 2012 estimate puts Botswana’s population at 2.10 million. Botswana nationals are called Batswana (plural) or Motswana (singular). The countries main ethnic groups are the Tswana (79%) and Kalanga (11%) while the Kgalagadi, Herero, Bayeyi, Hambukush, Basarwa (San or Bushmen), Khoi and whites are collectively smaller in number (10%). Botswana’s official languages are English and Setswana, which is extensively spoken throughout the country. Approximately 80% of the population has roots from Setswana speakers, and most of the rest came from Kalanga speakers, approximately 10%. Bushmen, whites who speak Afrikaans or English, Herero, Mbukushu, Yei, Mazezuru and others each constitute a much smaller percentage. Other languages spoken in Botswana are Sarwa and Ndebele. However, those who worry whether they will be understood by Batswana should put their thoughts to rest because English, which is widely used in the country’s schools, business and news publications, is quite enough for foreigners to successfully communicate with the local populace.