Botswana energy crisis and its impact on national security
Mamadi, Solomon Tebogo
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
MetadataShow full item record
The broadened security agenda of the Post-Cold War considers several non-military threats to states’ national security. Energy crisis is among the chain of non-traditional concerns that have the potential to threaten national security of Botswana and other states. Shortage of electricity hampers human survival and economic development. Botswana has a basic need to explore its energy concept, this being its energy sources, generation and percentage of the population that have access to electricity. At the present moment, Botswana generates electricity from coal, which supplies about 29% (on average) of the country's demand. In addition to this the country has a 90 MW back-up generators operating in Orapa and Matshelagabedi and they consist of two 45 MW GE LM 6000 turbine/generator units each. The remaining electricity supply of about 71% is imported mainly from Eskom in South Africa. Botswana consumes 850 million litres of fuel with 54% for petrol and 44 for diesel. The reliance of Botswana on the imports of electricity from foreign countries such as South Africa poses threats to its national security. There is no guarantee that South Africa will always be able to meet its own demands of electricity and those for Botswana. In the event that South Africa fails to support Botswana’s demands, then the people of Botswana’s lives with be thrown into jeopardy. This potential concern therefore calls for Botswana to strive in order to produce enough electricity for its consumption. So far Botswana has experienced power cuts due to load shedding, the condition tantamount to political instability. In light of this need, the study investigated the existing energy sources, energy consumption and production levels in Botswana. Furthermore, the study discussed security in general and energy impact on national security. Two case studies were examined and reviewed to demonstrate the importance of energy to those countries. This study was a desk top research which entailed reviewing of literature and analyzing various documents such as reports, books, journals and policies on energy.