Key data for Botswana

NCI27th HRCI18th HANCI22nd
HANCI-Africa compares 45 African 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: 31.4% Wasting: 7.2% Proportion of population underweight: 7.2% Source: Government of Botswana (BFHS IV, 2007-08)

Strong Performance

  • The 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.
  • Policymakers in Botswana benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2015-2016.
  • The Government has fully enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Botswana promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • 96.8% 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 (3% of public spending in 2016), 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 2015) 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.
  • Botswana does not have a separate budget line for nutrition; this prevents transparency and accountability for spending.
  • Botswana does not yet have a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • Botswana has not introduced a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism to support delivery of the National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • The Government of Botswana has achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for only 57% of children in 2015.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (60% 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
3%2016Joint 34th
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Strong2016Joint 4th
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Weak2007Joint 42nd
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
Functioning of social protection systems
Strong2016Joint 1st
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Moderate2017Joint 8th
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 1st
Equality of women’s economic rights
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 1st
Constitutional right to social security
No2017Joint 29th

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
No2017Joint 33rd
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
Government promotes complementary feeding
Yes2010Joint 1st
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
No2017Joint 40th
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
No2017Joint 35th
Time bound nutrition targets
Yes2017Joint 1st
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Yes2015-2016Joint 1st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Fully Enshrined2016Joint 1st