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News release

China leads as most influential global power for Batswana, although many citizens uncertain of foreign influence

17 Aug 2023 Botswana
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News release
Key findings
  • ▪ Three in 10 Batswana (30%) say the economic and political influence of China on their country is “somewhat positive” or “very positive,” exceeding positive perceptions of the United States (25%), the European Union (22%), and Japan (18%). Only small minorities see their influence as negative, while majorities say they “don’t know.”
  • ▪ Nearly half (46%) of Batswana say China’s economic activities have “some” (16%) or “a lot” (30%) of influence on Botswana’s economy, although an equal share (46%) say they “don’t know” (Figure 2). o Men (52%) and urban residents (57%) are more likely than women (41%) and rural residents (43%) to see China’s economic activities as influential. This view increases with respondents’ education level, ranging from 25% among citizens with no formal schooling to 66% among those with post-secondary qualifications (Figure 3). o “Don’t know” responses regarding China’s economic activities are particularly common among women (51%), rural and semi-urban residents (48%-49%), the elderly (65%), and citizens with no formal education (72%) (Figure 4).

China is more widely seen as influential in Botswana than are the United States, the European  Union (EU), and Japan, although a majority of Batswana say they don’t know enough to  assess the economic and political influence of these foreign powers, a recent Afrobarometer  survey indicates.  

Nearly half of citizens say that China’s economic activities in the country have “some” or “a  lot” of influence on the economy. 

Men, urbanites, and educated citizens are more likely to see China’s economic and political  influence as positive than are women, rural residents, and less educated respondents. 

Botswana has bilateral relations with these global powers, and in recent times the  government has intensified efforts to attract foreign direct investment.