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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Botswana 1970 Charles Dickens Centenary (Scott #62-65, 65a)

In 1970, Botswana issued a set and souvenir sheet commemorating the Centenary of the Death of Charles Dickens (Scott #62-65, 65a). 31,947 sets and 12,908 souvenir sheets were issued, and Scott '11 prices them unused at $2.25 and $5.25 , respectively.

Both the set and souvenir sheet are interesting speculations based on their obvious topical appeal to aficionados of the world famous author, as well as more general interest among collectors of British Commonwealth. While it is true that Botswana is a model for economic development in Africa, it is possible that it is not populous enough to support a significant stamp collecting community.

A nation of about 2 million, Botswana is one of the world’s great development success stories. A small, landlocked country of 1.9 million people, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa with a GDP per capita of about $70 at independence from Britain in 1966. In the four decades following independence, Botswana has transformed itself, moving into the ranks of middle-income status to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Agriculture, mining and banking are the major sectors, and annual GDP growth has averaged about 1.5% over the last 5 years, but this reflects a recent contraction of about 12%, due to the global financial crisis.


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