So, you’re curious about the official currency of Botswana, huh? Well, look no further because I’ve got all the answers for you! When it comes to the currency in this beautiful country, it’s none other than the Botswana pula. Yes, you heard that right, pula! But what exactly is a pula and how does it hold up against other currencies? Stick around, my friend, and I’ll give you a crash course on the official currency of Botswana and everything you need to know about it. The official currency of Botswana is the Botswana pula, denoted by the currency code BWP and the symbol P. The pula has been the national currency since the country gained independence in 1966. Prior to the adoption of the pula, Botswana used different currencies depending on its political status.

Pre-Independence Currencies

Before the independence of Botswana, the country used a variety of currencies. During the colonial period, the British pound was the main currency in circulation. However, the South African rand and the Bechuanaland pound were also commonly used. The Bechuanaland pound was introduced in 1890 and was pegged to the British pound at a 1:1 exchange rate. These pre-independence currencies played a crucial role in the early economic development of Botswana.

Adoption of the Pula

In 1976, the government of Botswana decided to introduce its own national currency to reflect the country’s sovereignty and economic growth. The name “pula” was chosen, which means “rain” in Setswana, the national language of Botswana. The adoption of the pula was seen as a symbol of the country’s independence and was a significant step towards economic self-determination.

Name and Symbol

The word “pula” not only represents rain but also symbolizes good fortune and blessings in Botswana culture. The symbol for the pula is a capital letter P with two horizontal lines crossing it. This symbol is often used in conjunction with the currency code BWP to denote Botswana pula in financial transactions.

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Exchange Rate

The exchange rate of the pula can fluctuate against major international currencies, such as the US dollar, British pound, and euro, due to various factors such as economic conditions and market forces. The exchange rate between the pula and other currencies is determined by the foreign exchange market and can vary on a daily basis.

What Is The Official Currency Of Botswana?

Subunits of the Pula

The pula is divided into 100 thebe, the subunit of the currency. The word “thebe” means “shield” in Setswana, representing protection and stability. Coins in circulation include denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50 thebe, as well as 1 pula. Banknotes are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 pula.


The banknotes of Botswana depict important national symbols and figures. The front side of each note features notable figures in Botswana’s history, such as past presidents and national heroes. The reverse side often showcases iconic landmarks and wildlife native to Botswana. The banknotes are designed with various security features, including watermarks, holographic strips, and intricate patterns, to deter counterfeiters and ensure their authenticity.


The coins in circulation in Botswana are made from various metals and alloys such as copper-plated steel, bronze, and nickel-plated steel. The coins feature the national emblem of Botswana, which comprises two zebras facing each other with an elephant tusk and a cogwheel. These coins are widely used for daily transactions in smaller denominations.

Central Bank

The Central Bank of Botswana, known as Bank of Botswana, is responsible for the management and regulation of the country’s currency. It oversees the issuance and distribution of banknotes and coins, implements monetary policies, and ensures the stability of the currency. The Bank of Botswana plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and value of the pula.

What Is The Official Currency Of Botswana?

Currency Issuance and Regulation

The issuance of new banknotes and coins is regulated by the Bank of Botswana. The bank determines the quantity and denominations of currency in circulation based on the country’s economic needs and demands. It also monitors the circulation of currency to ensure an adequate supply and conducts periodic reviews to assess the need for currency adjustments or updates.

Currency Reserves

The Bank of Botswana maintains foreign currency reserves to ensure the stability and convertibility of the pula. These reserves consist of various international currencies, such as US dollars, euros, and British pounds. The reserves are used to support the country’s balance of payments, facilitate international trade, and maintain confidence in the pula as a reliable currency.

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Market Participants

The foreign exchange market in Botswana involves various participants, including commercial banks, authorized foreign exchange dealers, and individuals or businesses engaged in international trade. These participants engage in buying and selling different currencies, including the pula, to facilitate international transactions and investment activities.

Foreign Currency Exchange Regulations

The government of Botswana has regulations in place to regulate foreign currency exchange transactions. Individuals and businesses must comply with these regulations when exchanging pula for foreign currencies or vice versa. The regulations aim to ensure the stability of the foreign exchange market, prevent money laundering, and safeguard the country’s economic interests.

What Is The Official Currency Of Botswana?

Pula to US Dollar

The exchange rate between the pula and the US dollar has fluctuated over time. Historically, the pula has been stronger than the US dollar, meaning it takes fewer pula to purchase one US dollar. However, exchange rates can be influenced by economic factors, such as inflation, interest rates, and international trade dynamics.

Pula to British Pound

Like the US dollar, the exchange rate between the pula and the British pound can vary. The pula has generally been weaker against the British pound, meaning it takes more pula to purchase one British pound. Economic factors and market forces play a role in determining the exchange rate between these two currencies.

Pula to Euro

The exchange rate between the pula and the euro can also fluctuate. The pula has experienced fluctuations against the euro due to various economic factors and market conditions. Changes in exchange rates can impact the purchasing power of individuals and businesses engaged in international trade with countries that use the euro as their currency.

Currency Stability

The stability of the pula is crucial for maintaining confidence in Botswana’s economy and attracting foreign investment. The government and the Central Bank of Botswana implement monetary policies to promote currency stability, control inflation, and ensure the smooth functioning of the financial system. A stable currency provides a solid foundation for economic growth and helps protect the purchasing power of individuals and businesses.

Currency’s Role in Trade

The pula plays a vital role in facilitating domestic and international trade in Botswana. It is widely accepted as the legal tender for goods and services within the country. The stability and convertibility of the pula are essential for conducting trade transactions with foreign countries. The currency’s value affects the prices of imported goods and influences the competitiveness of Botswana’s exports in international markets.

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Legal Tender

The pula is the legal tender in Botswana, meaning it is the officially recognized currency for settling debts and monetary transactions. All residents and businesses in Botswana are required to accept the pula as a form of payment for goods and services, unless there is a specific agreement stating otherwise. Payment in other currencies may be accepted in certain circumstances, but the pula is the primary means of exchange.

Currency Acceptance and Usage

The pula is widely accepted and used throughout Botswana. It is the currency of choice for daily transactions, including retail purchases, utility payments, and salary payments. The majority of businesses and service providers accept payment in pula, and ATMs are widely available across the country for convenient access to cash. The currency’s acceptance and usage reflect its stability and importance in the everyday lives of Batswana.

Exchange Rate Mechanisms

The exchange rate between the pula and other currencies is determined through market mechanisms, such as supply and demand for currencies in the foreign exchange market. The Bank of Botswana may intervene in the market to stabilize the exchange rate if necessary, using its foreign currency reserves. However, the exchange rate for most transactions is primarily determined by market forces.

Currency Conversion Facilities

In Botswana, currency conversion can be done at commercial banks, authorized foreign exchange dealers, or currency exchange kiosks. These facilities provide services for converting pula into foreign currencies or vice versa. Travelers visiting Botswana can easily exchange their home currencies for pula at airports, hotels, or exchange bureaus located in major cities and tourist areas.

Summary of Pula

The pula is the official currency of Botswana, adopted in 1976 to reflect the country’s independence and economic growth. It is divided into subunits called thebe, and both banknotes and coins are used in everyday transactions. The Central Bank of Botswana oversees the management and regulation of the currency, and foreign exchange transactions are regulated to maintain stability in the foreign exchange market.

Importance and Relevance of the Currency

The pula is of significant importance to Botswana’s economy as it facilitates domestic and international trade, contributes to economic stability, and attracts foreign investment. The currency’s stability and acceptance promote business confidence and provide a solid foundation for economic growth. The pula’s role as legal tender and its wide usage in everyday transactions underscore its relevance and significance in the lives of Batswana.