April 17, 2008

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly “Strategic Interests” column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, highlights the political and economic success of the Southern African country of Botswana which starkly contrasts with the dire situation in neighboring Zimbabwe which was the subject of his column last week.

Reviewing the country’s extraordinary political history—it is the only African country to have maintained constitutional order without interruption since independence (the case of South Africa since its transition to majority rule being an exceptional and more recent case)—as well as its rosy economic indicators, Dr. Pham observes, “ Botswana’s sustained success, especially when contrasted with the unmitigated failures experienced by many of its neighbors, clearly demonstrates that the right institutions, leaders, and choices can make all the difference.” Consequently, he notes, “ Not surprisingly, U.S.-Botswana ties are excellent” and the country “ is a partner in a number of U.S. strategic initiatives to promote capacity and enhance security throughout the region,” some of which he details in the column.

To read the full text of the article, “ Botswana’s Success Sparkles amid African Gloom,” click here.