Key data for Botswana

NCI25th HRCI17th HANCI21st
HANCI Africa compares 45 countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 31.40% Wasting: 7.20% Proportion of population underweight: 11.20% Source: Gov. of Botswana (Botswana family health survey IV, 2007)

Strong Performance

  • Government of Botswana has ensured tenure security for rural populations. Land titling is common and land markets function well. Policy promotes equitable access to common property resources.
  • Botswana has devised a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • Botswana has introduced a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism to support delivery of the National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • The Government has fully enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Botswana promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • 96.2% of the population of Botswana in 2015 has access to an improved drinking water source.
  • In Botswana 94.1% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2007.
  • Botswana ’s social safety nets are well developed, but do not cover all risks for all of the population.

Areas for improvement

  • Spending on agriculture (2.07% of public spending in 2014), does not meet government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration (10% of public spending).
  • Botswana’s spending in its health sector (8.8% of public spending in 2014) does not fully meet (15%) commitments set out in the Abuja Declaration.
  • Extension services are the preserve of government and poor farmers have no say in setting policy priorities. The agricultural research and extension system is not properly reaching out to poor farmers. There is no policy promoting gender equity in access to extension services.
  • In Botswana, the law gives women and men equal economic rights and equal legal access to agricultural land. However, these laws are not effectively enforced and discriminatory practices against women continue, increasing their vulnerability to hunger and undernutrition.
  • Relative to other HANCI countries, Botswana's medium/long term national development policy (Tenth National Development Plan vol. I and II) places weak importance to nutrition.
  • Botswana does not have a separate budget line for nutrition; this prevents transparency and accountability for spending.
  • Even though Botswana has developed a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy and a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism, clear time-bound nutrition targets are still lacking.
  • Policymakers in Botswana do not benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2007-2008.
  • The Government of Botswana has only achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for 70% of children in 2014.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (63.4% in 2015) obstructs better hunger and nutrition outcomes.
  • In Botswana, constitutional protection of the right to social security is weak.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
Functioning of social protection systems
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice20141st
Equality of women’s economic rights
In Law, not in Practice20111st
Constitutional right to social security

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
Sectoral only201429th
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
Government promotes complementary feeding
Population with access to an improved water source
Population with access to improved sanitation
Health care visits for pregnant women
Nutrition features in national development policy
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
Time bound nutrition targets
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Fully enshrined20161st