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The Other Side

April 1, 2010

The potential for us to be misinformed about, or ignorant of, “the other side of the story” was brought home to me during my visit to Botswana. The story, in the case of Africa, is the typically negative view that we get from films or infrequent news reports. While I had heard of the relative affluence of the small country of Botswana, a nation the size of Texas with a population of 1.6 million people, I had not expected to see the signs of rapid growth and government investment.

Cranes rise behind a monument to Botswana's former presidents.

Of course, there are still many small traditional villages with limited resources, but the capital city of Gaborone is growing in every direction. New housing developments abound and large modern government buildings rise high in the center of town. Furthermore, former president Festus Mogae speaks passionately about the need to educate women, address the scourge of AIDS, and hold fast to the country’s democratic ideals.

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