UN-Habitat projects in Botswana

Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme

The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme is being implemented with a focus on the development and adoption of inclusive policies and strategies for slum upgrading . The Programme also aims to strengthen community, city and national key stakeholders’ capacities in participatory slum upgrading in Botswana, particularly in the cities/towns of Lobatse, Francistown and Gaborone, thus adding value to the development of policy, institutional, legislative, and financial frameworks.

  • Implementation Phase: Phase I
  • Duration: November 2013 – December 2015
  • Value: US$120,000
  • Donor: European Commission and, the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat
  • Implementing Partners: UN-Habitat and the the Ministry of Lands and Housing
  • Profile cities/ location: Gaborone, Francistown and Lobatse


UN-Habitat interventions

  • Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP): UN-Habitat has been supporting the Government of Botswana in the development of Housing policies, improving livelihoods through normative work and projects as well as strategies to address slums. The government supported in developing urban profiles for various towns including Gaborone. The funding is by the European Commission and community management funds.
  • SDG Monitoring: UN-Habitat availed funds to monitor SDG 11 in Botswana which was selected as one of the pilot countries in Africa. Trainings were held for the national and local governments. The interventions will be used to achieve SDG 11 in Botswana.
  • UN-Habitat Country Programme document: The Government of Botswana has already highlighted priority areas for the country programme. The process will be finalized once the signing of the MOU is completed for the Government to allocate financial resources for the development and the implementation of the UN-Habitat Country Programme.
Population (2018)
Total value of projects
US$ 450,000
No. of projects (2018 - 2019)
Total: 2

In Botswana, the increase of urbanization rates is mainly determined by two phenomena: the rural to urban migration typical of dry lands where livelihood opportunity in the countryside are more and more scarce because of water scarcity, and the peri-urban migration. In general, the country has seen its population concentrating in urban areas according to their vocation.

Towns like Serowe and Palapye have been attracting population because of their concentrated employment opportunities mainly associated with services and industries. Maun and Kasane, being the tourism hub of the country, have seen growing urbanization rates associated with employment within the tourism sector. The construction of the trans-kalahari highway and the trade exchange at the gate with Namibia contributed to the accelerated growth of Ghanzi’s town.

Gaborone’s urban growth has been mainly characterized, on the other side, by the peri-urban migration phenomena. Peri urban areas in Botswana play a vital role in urbanization because they absorb much of the population that, coming from the rural areas, is not accommodated in cities, primarily because of the shortage in affordable land and housing. Drivers of peri-urbanisations are financial capital (industries) and public policy, which aim to divert new housing development to the peri urban areas, like Mogodisthane or Tlokweng, to decongest and improve the living conditions of the city centers. Both in the case of the “vocational” migration and the peri-urban migration, vulnerability of the urban context is highly determined by the great pressure that high concentration of people put on unplanned urban settlements whose services networks, such as health, education, water, electricity and transport are mostly underdeveloped.

Urban numbers
Urban Population (2018):  69.4%
Urban Growth Rate (2015-2020): 2.87%
The urban population annual growth rate is 69.40%

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

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Men and women, boys and girls experience cities in very different ways, and face various challenges and needs that cities have to address. UN-Habitat promotes the stronger commitment of national and local governments as well as other relevant stakeholders to work towards the realization of a world in which men and women are recognized as equal partners in development and enjoy equal human rights so that economically productive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable cities and other human settlements can be achieved more rapidly, completely and sustainably.

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Youth, children and older persons, especially those in situations of particular risk of marginalization, such as girl child and female-headed households, are often excluded from access to housing, urban basic services, public spaces and infrastructure, and the overall benefits of urbanization. Young women and men have been a key focus of UN-Habitat’s work. The agency has successfully advocated for the role of youth as leaders in sustainable urban development, recognizing the guiding principle of the SDGs of “leaving no one behind,” and the New Urban Agenda vision of cities for all. 

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Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

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