Gaborone is situated between Kgale and Oodi Hills, on the Notwane River in the southeastern corner of Botswana, and from the South African border. The city is served by the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. It is an administrative district in its own right, but is the capital of the surrounding South-East District. Locals often refer to the city as Gabs.
Because the city had no tribal affiliation and was close to fresh water, the city was planned to be the capital in the mid-1960s when the Bechuanaland Protectorate became an independent nation. The center of the city is a long strip of commercial businesses, called the Mall, with a semicircle-shaped area of government offices to the west of the Mall. The city is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and this has created problems with housing and illegal settlements. The city has also dealt with conflicts spilling into the country from Zimbabwe and South Africa during the 1980s.
The city is the government capital as well as the economic capital; the city is headquarters to numerous companies and the Botswana Stock Exchange. Gaborone is also home to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) a supranational organization, hoping to increase economic unity.