International Journal of Art & Design Education

Art Education and the Visual Arts in Botswana

Volume 25.3   2006



The history of art and design education in Botswana has evolved in a unique way and reflects its British colonial history and post independence development. It has involved constant exchange and dialogue with other countries through the employment of teachers, teacher trainers and University lecturers from a variety of European, Asian and other African countries. This dialogue has continued as locally trained art teachers pursue their degrees overseas and return with new ideas and influences. At the same time, the development of local crafts for a global market and the inter-cultural exchange in the visual arts outside the formal education system, are thriving with the help of various organisations and the museum and gallery sector.

This article will look more closely at the country context, the history and development of art education and the inter-relationships that have evolved over the last two decades. It will show how students engage with the challenge of integrating their African heritage and changing traditions with their development as teachers and artists. It will also consider how closer links between the formal and informal art sectors might be mutually beneficial and demonstrate the potential for art and design to play a role in the social, economic and cultural development of the country.