How Britain underdeveloped Bechuanaland protectorate: a brief critique of the political economy of colonial Botswana

  • Monageng Mogalakwe University of Botswana, Botswana


Britain declared Bechuanaland a ‘protectorate' in 1885 in a move largely driven by military strategic considerations rather than by the availability of economic resources. This can give the impression that in Botswana the process of economic underdevelopment that is often associated with colonialism never took place in this British ‘protectorate'. This article reveals that even in the so-called ‘protectorate', the British colonial state policies subverted indigenous economic interests and stifled opportunities for indigenous private capital accumulation, while actively promoting the economic interests of a small white settler capitalist class.

Africa Development Vol. 31(1) 2006: 66-88

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eISSN: 0850-3907