Jan. 1, 2012: Est. population, 1,991,000; Members, 1,693; Wards, 2; Branches, 4; Percent IDS, .065,oronein1,526; AfricaSoutheastArea;SouthAfricaJohannesburgMission.
Botswana,previouslyknownasBechuanaland,becameindependentfromBritainon30September1966. Locatedin south-centralAfrica,itisborderedbyNamibia,Zimbabwe,andSouthAfrica. TheofficiallanguageisEnglish,withSetswana alsospoken. FiftypercentofthepeopleareChristian,while50percentfollowtribalbeliefs.
InJune 1975, Lawrence C. andHazel Parker arrived inBotswana where heworked asanagricultural adviser andteacher. By1977Latter-daySaintsBlaineandGraceMcClellanwerealsolivingthere. AbranchinGaboronewascreatedin1983.
Missionaries Karl and Marjorie Jenkins weresent to Botswana in 1990withthe assignment to locate Latter-day Saints who hadjoined abroad thatwerenowresiding inBotswana. Thefirst missionaries assigned toworkfull-time inBotswana, BruceandPatriciaMidge,arrivedinJune1990. MemberslivinginBotswanaatthetimeincludedPeaceCorpsworkers, Patricia Lutz and Javotte Pickering, and the Maurice Mzwinila and Anthony Mogare families, who had joined the Church while studying in the United States.
InMarch1992,thebranchwasdividedtoformtheGaboroneWestandGaboroneBroadhurstbranches. Anadditional branch was created at Lobatseon 28 October1992. The Gaborone BotswanaDistrictwas created at that same time with Kwasi Agyare Dwomoh aspresident. Itcontinued until 12July 1995 when itwas dissolved. Atthattime theGaborone West and Gaborone Broadhurst branches became wards and along with the Lobatse Branch they were incorporated into the Roodepoort South AfricaStake.
TheGaborone Botswana District wasorganized on1 March 1992. Elder Richard G. Scott oftheQuorum ofTwelve visited Botswana onthefollowing 21August. On 19January 1997 theGaborone Branch meetinghouse was dedicated. The first full-time missionary from Botswana, Yakale Million Moroka, served intheSouth Africa Cape Town Mission from March 1999 to March 2001.