The index, which is a joint project of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, covers the following dimensions: free movement of persons, trade integration, productive integration, regional interconnections and infrastructure, and macroeconomic policy convergence.

Headline Findings

The country’s performance in respect of the free movement of persons and trade integration could be enhanced by taking steps to ratify the regional protocols on the free movement of people and improve participation in regional value chains.

View more detailed analysis

  • Second in SADC (score: 0.56).
  • Best-performing country in SADC is South Africa (score: 0.74). 


How Botswana Ranks Within SADC

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Botswana's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

Analysis of Botswana's Performance Across Dimensions

Free movement of persons: Botswana scores moderately in this dimension relative to other SADC member countries. Nationals from 17 other African countries are allowed to enter Botswana without a visa or to obtain a visa on arrival. This places the country joint twenty-eighth across the continent and joint eighth out of the 15 SADC member States for this indicator. The fact that Botswana is yet to ratify the SADC Protocol on Facilitation of Movement of Persons has an adverse impact on the movement of nationals from other SADC member States.

Trade integration: Botswana has made significant progress towards removing tariff barriers on imports from States members of regional economic communities of which it too is a member. The country’s average applied tariff on imports from other SADC member States is only 0.00003 per cent, the fourth lowest among the 13 SADC members for which data was available. However, the country ranks thirty-second in Africa and ninth among SADC member States on the indicator on the ease of trading across borders (World Bank ease-of-doing business index). Despite this, Botswana scores higher than almost all other landlocked countries in Africa. The investment made by Botswana in trade infrastructure and in trade facilitation measures may account for this.

The country’s trade with other SADC member States as a proportion of GDP is reasonably high. At 8 percent of GDP, Botswana has the sixth-highest share of intra-SADC exports to GDP (excluding re-exports) among the 13members of the bloc for which data was available. It also has the third-highest share of intra-SADC imports to GDP among the 15 members, amounting to 37 percent of GDP. Indeed, given that SADC appears to be the most trade-integrated regional economic community on the continent, Botswana scores strongly in this dimension overall relative to other African countries. However, trade between Botswana and other SADC member States may not be as high as it could be because of limited complementarity of goods. Botswana’s performance in the trade complementarity index of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development vis-à-vis member countries of SADC could also be improved.

Infrastructure: The Internet bandwidth per capita in Botswana, which is of one megabit per second per person, is the seventeenth-highest on the continent and the fourth-highest among SADC members. Internet bandwidth is important for communication as well as for supporting trade in services. Botswana has the twentieth-highest net electricity production capacity per capita, and the seventh-highest among SADC members. Access to electricity is essential for the industrial sector, the development of which promises to encourage intra-African trade.

  • Free movement of persons: Eighth in SADC (score: 0.60). Best-performing country in SADC is Swaziland (score: 0.70).  
  • Trade integration: Fourth in SADC (score: 0.61). Best-performing country in SADC is South Africa (score: 1). 
  • Productive integration: Fourteenth in SADC (score: 0.175). Best-performing country in SADC is Zimbabwe (score: 0.74). 
  • Infrastructure: First in SADC (score: 0.82).
  • Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence: Third in SADC (score: 0.59). Best-performing country in SADC is South Africa (score: 0.915).