His Excellency Ketumile Masire
Former President of the Republic of Botswana
"Perspectives into the Conflict in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and Contemporary Peacebuilding Efforts" -
Sir Ketumile Masire, born July 23, 1925 at Kanye in the Southern District of Botswana, was trained as a teacher in 1949 at Tiger Kloof, in the former British Bechuanaland. He founded the Seepapitso Secondary School in 1950, took up farming in 1956 and later became a journalist in 1958. In 1966, Masire became a Member of Parliament, later becoming vice-president and minister of finance and development planning.
On July 18, 1980, Masire succeeded the late Seretse Khama as the second president of the Republic Botswana and in 1984 won the presidential elections as a member of the Botswana Democratic Party, with a landslide 77 percent of the votes. During his tenure in office, Masire contributed not only to the socioeconomic development of Botswana through the promotion of good governance, but also to regional development. Masire was chairman of the Southern African Development Community and holds the distinction of co-chairperson emeritus of the Global Coalition for Africa.
Masire retired from public office in March 1998. Since retirement, he has been actively involved in conflict resolution and prevention, promotion of good governance and representative democracy, as well as capacity building for young African leaders. Retirement has also provided an opportunity for Masire to return to his hobby of farming.
Masire has been appointed the fourth Balfour African President-in-Residence at Boston University's African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC). During his residency at APARC, Masire will focus on the process of building a nation. He will also share his experiences as a former head of state securing the sovereignty of Botswana within a political climate where colonial governments controlled other countries in southern Africa. Other points of interest will include conflict resolution, specifically his own role with the Organization of African Unity's investigation of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and his efforts with regard to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Finally, Masire will address the process of developing sustainable leadership across the continent.
Updated on 10/27/2005