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Satellite image of Gaborone
Satellite image of Gaborone
Location of Gaborone in Botswana
Location of Gaborone in Botswana
Gaborone ( pron. IPA [xɑ.bə'ro.neɪ]), estimated population 186,000 ( 2001), is the capital of Botswana. Gaborone is located at 24°40′S 25°55′E [1]. Before 1969, the city was known as Gaberones [2]. Popularly known as Gabs.
Map of Gaborone
Map of Gaborone
Gaberones replaced Mafeking as the capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1965. Mafeking (now Mafikeng) was outside the Bechuanaland Protectorate, in what is now 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 Gaberones, from Gaborone's Village, following the early practice of referring to African tribal capitals by the name of the chief, in this case Chief Kgosi Gaborone of the BaTlokwa, whose village, now called Tlokweng, was just across a river from the "Government Camp" (colonial government headquarters). 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.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.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.Today Gaborone is a vibrant cosmopolitan capital, and although small in size, is a melting pot of diverse cultures and practices. The University of Botswana, the nation's largest tertiary education facility, is a rapidly growing institution. The main campus is located in central Gaborone, and hosts students primarily from different parts of Botswana, as well as a large expatriate student body. The university's new library (added in 2001) is the largest public library in Southern Africa.The international airport Sir Seretse Khama International Airport provides access to the country.
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