Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Equipment and Pharmaceuticals
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Botswana was one of the countries in Southern Africa that managed to fully vaccinate more than 80 percent of its population at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing its National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) aimed to vaccinate at least 80 percent of eligible population by March 2022. Fiscal measures in response to the pandemic reached $470 million since 2020.  Today the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer causing a financial burden on Botswana’s health system, and it has become a manageable health issue such as other health threats such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.  The GoB continues and maintains response measures to new COVID-19 infections and has set aside a budget of P10.31 billion ($760 million), the second-largest share of the re-current budget) in the 2023/24 financial year to address this.  The budget also includes provision of sustainable preventative, curative and rehabilitative health services to the nation, and provision of drugs, medical specialists’ fees, utilities, and health care supplies.  Several new hospital constructions across the country have been earmarked for this financial year period. The number of physicians per capita in Botswana is lower than the regional average according to the 2022 Statista report.  The report also noted a lower than regional average of hospital beds per capita. Higher than regional average was noted for access to basic sanitation and safe drinking water and the share of public health expenditures was higher than the regional average for 2021.

The U.S. government has invested about $1 billion in Botswana’s HIV response over the past 20+ years.  In the last several years, in part due to generous financial assistance from the United States under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Botswana made giant strides in the response to HIV/AIDS.  In July 2022 the GoB together with U.S. government partners celebrated Botswana’s achievement in surpassing the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets.  This means 95 percent of people living with HIV are aware of their status, 95 percent of those aware are on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs while 95 percent of those on ARVs have achieved viral load suppression.  Botswana attained 95-98-98 showing a tremendous progress and effort in eventually eliminating HIV/AIDS from being a public health threat.  The GoB has also established the Botswana Public Health Institute (BPHI), as part of the long-term strategy to deal with future public health pandemics.  To improve service delivery in the healthcare sector, the government has prioritized human resources development, technology, and supply chain capacity.  The government also seeks to improve healthcare infrastructure and provide and upgrade medical and surgical equipment.  As part of these improvements, in 2019 the government developed a Health Financing Strategy.  The yet to be approved strategy will, among other things, enhance efficiency by involving the private sector in healthcare service delivery at full cost recovery rates to ensure financial sustainability.  Botswana has no pharmaceutical production capacity, but domestic companies do import and package bulk drugs. 

Health sector improvements include construction of new and rehabilitated health facilities, the introduction of data collection and storage technologies, and other innovations such as telemedicine.  Botswana’s Ministry of Health is undertaking a series of hospital infrastructure improvements, including improvements to several district medical facilities.  Due to shortages of trained healthcare professionals, the government may seek to outsource several health services.  To meet this shortage, the GoB along with the University of Botswana, built a 450-bed academic teaching hospital, which became the country’s main treatment center for COVID-19 patients. 

Sub-Sector Best Prospects 

The best prospects are in construction, medical technology and surgical equipment, drugs and commodities including COVID-19-related supplies, and supportive healthcare services for treatment of HIV/AIDS and related infections. 


Infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades at several hospitals and medical facilities are planned as part of the government’s infrastructure development plans.  The government intends to develop local pharmaceutical production capacity.  Some international companies have shown interest in expanding regional production capacity by opening facilities in Botswana.  Currently there are two pharmaceutical companies that import bulk drugs for packaging and distribution in the country, with plans to manufacture locally in the future.  Construction of private hospitals in the northern part of the country could be another opportunity as private hospitals are concentrated in the south.  Local manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other hospital consumables is another area of potential interest., but it is always advisable to coordinate with the Ministry of Health.

Other opportunities may include investment in training health personnel, particularly in topics like commodity planning and forecasting, as well as logistics and supply chains. Finally, the technology sector may find opportunity through Botswana’s recently developed e-Health strategy that aims to strengthen its health information systems to improve the collection, dissemination, and storage of data.  All public referral, district, and primary hospitals have been connected to the network in an effort to improve quality, safety, timeliness, and efficiency, creating endless opportunities in e-health services and products. 


  • Botswana Ministry of Health 
  • Botswana Ministry of Trade and Industry 
  • Botswana Department of Customs and Excise 
  • President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR):