Gaborone (gäbərōˈnē) [key], city (1992 est. pop. 140,000), capital of Botswana. It is located on the country's major railroad line and has a small international airport. The city is the country's administrative center. Nearby manganese and asbestos mines have led to increased industrial expansion, and diamonds are processed and sorted. The city was founded c.1890 by Gaborone Matlapin, an African chief, and was known as Gaberones. In 1965 it replaced what is now Mahikeng, South Africa, as capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate; it remained the capital when Bechuanaland became independent as Botswana in 1966, and received its present name in 1969. The South African Development Community (SADC) makes its headquarters in Gaborone; the organization was formed in 1980 in order to increase economic cooperation among its members and reduce dependence on South Africa. Gaborone is the seat of the Univ. of Botswana (1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.