Francistown City

Francistown City is the second largest city in Botswana with a population of about 120,000 people.

The City is also variously called the Ghetto, Toropo or the Capital of the North. It is about 90km from the Botswana-Zimbabwe border and 500km from Gaborone.


Due to its location, Francistown connects Botswana to Zimbabwe, Zambia and other countries in central Africa such as the DRC, Congo and Malawi through the Francistown-Kazungula road.

The location of the City has led to it becoming the centre for the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association known as WENELA, an agency charged with recruiting migrant labourers between the 50s and 70s for the gold mines in South Africa.


Today, there are traces of the cultural mix in Francistown that arose from settlers who sought temporary accommodation in the WENELA barracks as recruits from Angola, Namibia, Zambia (Northern Rhodesia), Malawi (Nyasaland) and Tanzania (Tanganyika) on their way to South Africa.

Some chose to stay and never reached South Africa.


Named after a gold digger Daniel Francis, Francistown started off as a gold mining area.However, Francistown was founded as a settlement near the Monarch mine.


Doing business in Francistown

As the second largest city in the country Francistown is conveniently placed for business. The city is both an administrative and mining town which also serves as a base for doing business in the northern parts of Botswana.

There are primary areas to visit for business and these are located in the central business district. Barclays Plaza is both a historical landmark and business area for Francistown. This is a seven storey building for office and retail services placed at the centre of the city.

Blue jacket Square is another business centre that houses offices for established and renowned businesses in the country. It is well placed next to the Civic Centre a place that plays host to various business events.


Francistown has good air and road transport service. The city has a larger airport to cater for big air-crafts.

Galo Shopping Centre, the leading mall in Francistown was opened in 2004. In addition there are other malls that provide for excellent shopping in Francistown. Gold Valley Shopping Mall, located on the Marang Road to the east of Francistown, opened in 2002 serves the communities from Selepa, satellite, Somerset and the other wards.

Nswazi Mall, opened in 2005 was named after the Bakalanga Chief late John Nswazi, is conveniently located within the main railway and bus rank for shopping travellers.


Return to Botswana Cities and Districts page

Return to KnowBotswana homepage

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.