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Gaborone

From Academic Kids

Gaborone, estimated population 186,000 (2001), is the capital of Botswana. Gaborone is located at 24°40' South, 25°55' East (-24.66667, 25.91667). [1] (http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/cntry_files.html)

Gaborone replaced Mafeking as the capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1965. Mafeking (now Mafikeng) was outside the Bechuanaland Protectorate, in the North West Province of South Africa, an odd arrangement that dated from the early colonial period. When the Protectorate became independent, Botswana needed a capital city within its territory; earlier it had been thought Lobatse might serve as capital but it was decided that it would be too limited, and instead a new capital city would be created adjacent to Gaberones, a small colonial administrative settlement. The name was originally Gaberone's i.e. Gaberone's Village, following the early practice of referring to African tribal capitals by the name of the chief, in this case Gaborone of the BaTlokwa, whose village, now called Tlokweng, was just across a river from the "Government Camp" (colonial government headquarters). The new city, Gaborone, has a relatively good water supply, which has facilitated growth. Originally it was planned to be quite a small town, but it has grown rapidly.

The old Gaberones became a suburb of the new Gaborone, and is now known as "the Village". The abbreviation "Gabs" has survived as the abbreviation for Gaborone and is sometimes used in speech.

Nearby manganese and asbestos mines have led to industrial expansion.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) makes its headquarters in Gaborone; the organization was formed in 1980 to increase economic cooperation among its members and reduce dependence on South Africa. Gaborone is the seat of the University of Botswana.

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