His Excellency Festus Gontebanye Mogae visits ECSU

Kesha Williams
March 30, 2009

The Global Leadership Academy at Elizabeth City State University welcomes His Excellency Festus Gontebanye Mogae, the former president of Botswana (1998-2008). The Global Leadership Student Forum, a public event, occurs 2 pm. to 3 p.m. on March 31 in room #138 of Lane Hall. His Excellency Festus Gontebanye Mogae is the guest speaker for the Chancellor's Distinguished International Lecture Series at noon on April 1. The event is not open to the public. An art exhibit will also be on display March 30 - April 4 in the ECSU Art Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. Festus Gontebanye Mogae (born August 21, 1939) is a former President of Botswana, having served from 1998 to 2008. He succeeded Quett Masire as President in 1998 and was reelected in October 2004; after ten years in office, he stepped down in 2008 and was succeeded by Lieutenant General Ian Khama. Mogae is of Bamangwato descent and his native language is Setswana. Mogae studied economics in the United Kingdom, first at the University College, Oxford and then at the University of Sussex. He returned to Botswana to work as a civil servant before taking up posts with the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Botswana. He was Vice-President of Botswana from 1992 to 1998. Mogae's party, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), retained power in the October 1999 general election, and Mogae was sworn in for a five-year term on October 20, 1999 by Chief Justice Julian Nganunu at the National Stadium in Gaborone. On this occasion, he vowed to focus on the fight against poverty and unemployment. Following the BDP's victory in the October 2004 general election, Mogae was sworn in for another term on November 2, 2004. Mogae promised to tackle poverty and unemployment, as well as the spread of HIV-Aids, which he pledged to stop in Botswana by 2016. On July 14, 2007, Mogae affirmed his intention to resign nine months later. Mogae was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on March 20, 2008 for his "exemplary leadership" in making Botswana a "model" of democracy and good governance. He stepped down as President on April 1, 2008 and was succeeded by Vice-President Ian Khama. Mogae won the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and will receive $5 million over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life thereafter. At London's City Hall on October 20, 2008, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated: "President Mogae's outstanding leadership has ensured Botswana's continued stability and prosperity in the face of an HIV/AIDS pandemic which threatened the future of his country and people."