Host City - Gaborone

Gaborone is one of the youngest and fastest growing capitals on the African continent. The village was founded in 1890 under the name Gaborone and only had about 1000 inhabitants when the colonial government of then Bechuanaland Protectorate was moved there in 1965 to oversee the construction of the new capital town as part of the activities to lead the protectorate into independence. The location was chosen as the capital because it had no tribal affiliation and was in close proximity to fresh water and the railway line. The original city was planned for 20,000 inhabitants and built from scratch. It outgrew itself several times until, according to the 2011 census, it has now about 232,000 inhabitants, and 422,000 in the larger agglomeration, which is one fifth of the population of Botswana (2.15 Million).

Gaborone has since developed into a vibrant economic hub, hosting, amongst others, the Botswana stock exchange and the SADC (Southern African Development Community). The economic growth fuelled by mineral resources (mainly diamonds, coal, copper, nickel, gold and potash), cattle farming and tourism has become quite visible in the modern buildings of Gaborone’s Government District and Central Business District (CBD), giving the city the beginnings of a skyline.

View of Gaborone