Coinage of Botswana

Started by <k>, December 14, 2016, 08:46:33 PM

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<k>

From Wikipedia:

The Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana (singular: Motswana). Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, it has maintained a strong tradition of stable representative democracy, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections.

Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred metres long.

A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world. Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The economy is dominated by mining, cattle, and tourism. Botswana boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,825 per year as of 2015, which is one of the highest in Africa. Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a modest standard of living and the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa.
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

In the late nineteenth century, hostilities broke out between Tswana inhabitants of what is now Botswana and the Ndebele tribes who were making incursions into the territory from the north-east. Tensions also escalated with the Dutch Boer settlers from the Transvaal to the east. After appeals by the Batswana leaders Khama III, Bathoen and Sebele for assistance, the British Government put Bechuanaland under its protection on 31 March 1885. The northern territory remained under direct administration as the Bechuanaland Protectorate and is modern-day Botswana, while the southern territory, British Bechuanaland, became part of the Cape Colony and is now part of the northwest province of South Africa. The majority of Setswana-speaking people today live in South Africa.

An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils to represent both Africans and Europeans. The African Council consisted of the eight heads of the Tswana tribes and some elected members. Proclamations in 1934 regulated tribal rule and powers. A European-African advisory council was formed in 1951, and the 1961 constitution established a consultative legislative council.

In June 1964, the United Kingdom accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in Botswana. The seat of government was moved in 1965 from Mafikeng in South Africa, to the newly established Gaborone, which sits near Botswana's border with South Africa. The 1965 constitution led to the first general elections and to independence on 30 September 1966. Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement and the legitimate claimant to the Ngwato chiefship, was elected as the first President, subsequently re-elected twice.
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

Before it gained independence, Botswana did not have its own distinctive colonial flag, with the flag of the United Kingdom serving as the de facto flag of the protectorate. When Botswana's national flag was created in 1966, it was symbolically designed to contrast with the flag of South Africa, since the latter country was ruled under an apartheid regime. Hence, the black stripe with the white frame came to epitomize the peace and harmony between the people of African and European descent who reside in Botswana. It is one of the few African flags that utilizes neither the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement nor the colours of the country's leading political party. The new flag was first hoisted at midnight on September 30, 1966, the day Botswana became an independent country.

The colours of the flag carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. The light blue represents water—specifically, in its form of rain, as it is a precious resource in Botswana, which relies on agriculture and suffers from frequent droughts due to the dry and arid climate of the Kalahari Desert. The blue also alludes to the motto featured on the coat of arms of Botswana—Pula, which means "Let there be rain" in Setswana—as well as life, which is sustained by water.

The black band with the white frame has two meanings. Firstly, they symbolize the harmony and cooperation between the people of different races who live in Botswana, as well as the racial diversity of the country. Furthermore, they represent the stripes of the zebra, the national animal of Botswana.
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<k>

From Wikipedia:

The coat of arms of Botswana was adopted on January 25, 1966. The centre shield is supported by two zebras. The shape of the shield is that of traditional shields found in East Africa. On the top portion of the shield are three cogwheels that represent industry.

The three waves symbolize water, and reminds the viewer of the motto of the nation: pula, which means simply "rain", but also good luck, and is the name of the nation's currency. This motto also highlights the importance of water to Botswana. The motto is found at the bottom of the coat of arms on a blue ribbon.

At the bottom of the shield is the head of a bull, which symbolises the importance of cattle herding in Botswana. The two zebras also symbolise the importance of wildlife, through tourism, in the national economy . Also, zebra have black and white stripes which represent equality of people of all colors in Botswana. The zebra on the right holds an ear of sorghum, an important crop in the nation. The zebra on the left holds a tusk of ivory, symbolic of the former ivory trade in Botswana. There is also view that ivory tusk represents wild life preservation. Botswana has one of the highest elephant populations in Africa.
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<k>

Upon independence in 1966, Botswana, which at that time still used the South African rand, issued two collector coins that portrayed Sir Seretse Khama (1921 – 1980): a silver 50 cents and a gold 10 thebe.

From Wikipedia:

Born into one of the more powerful of the royal families of what was then the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland, and educated abroad in neighbouring South Africa and in the United Kingdom, Seretse Khama returned home to lead his country's independence movement. He founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. In 1966, Botswana gained independence and Khama became its first president. Khama remained president until his death from pancreatic cancer in 1980, when he was succeeded by Vice President Quett Masire.
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<k>

#5
From Wikipedia:

The pula is the currency of Botswana. It is subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula literally means "rain" in Setswana, because rain is very scarce in Botswana — home to much of the Kalahari Desert — and therefore valuable and a blessing. The sub-unit, thebe, means "shield", representing defence. The names were picked with the help of the public.

The pula was introduced in 1976, replacing the South African rand at par. The pula remains one of the strongest currencies in Africa. In 1976, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 thebe and 1 pula. The 1 thebe was struck in aluminium, with the 5 thebe in bronze and the others in cupro-nickel. These coins were round except for the scalloped 1 pula.


The new coins were designed and modelled by Royal Mint artist and engraver Michael Hibbit.

 
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<k>

#6





The 1 thebe coin of 1976 featured a turaco bird.
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<k>






The 5 thebe portrayed a red-billed hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus).
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<k>






The 10 thebe featured the South African oryx.  The reverse carried the same design as the 1 and 5 thebe coins.
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<k>











The 25 thebe coin featured the zebu, a hump-backed ox.  The reverse showed the zebra supporters of the arms.
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<k>






The 50 thebe coin featured the African fish eagle, clutching a fish in its talons.  The reverse showed the arms with zebra supporters.
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<k>

#11
The scalloped 1 pula coin featured a zebra.
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<k>

#12





A bronze 2 thebe coin was introduced in 1981 only. No standard coin version of that denomination was ever issued.

The reverse design was also by Michael Hibbit. It featured sorghum, as part of a FAO theme. The legend means "Let's increase food production".

 
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<k>

#13










In 1991 the 1 pula changed to a smaller, nickel-brass, equilateral-curve seven-sided coin.

Image © Daniel's Coin Zoo.

In that same year, bronze-plated steel replaced bronze in the 5 thebe coin, and nickel-plated steel replaced copper-nickel in the 10, 25 and 50 thebe coins.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#14






A heptagonal nickel-brass 2 pula was introduced in 1994.  It featured a rhinoceros.

Image © Daniel's Coin Zoo.



From the Royal Mint:

The original tender documents for the 2 Pula provided to the Royal Mint by the Bank of Botswana in July 1992 stated that a rhinoceros should appear on the reverse.

From the surviving records, it is not clear who prepared the artwork which was ultimately approved. As far as modelling is concerned, it appears that the initial plaster was sculpted by Robert Elderton who by now had left the Royal Mint and established himself as a freelance artist. A revised model was later produced by the Royal Mint engraver, Robert Lowe, incorporating a number of design amendments required by the Bank.


 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.