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Biography of Festus MOGAE

Botswana > Politics : Festus MOGAE

Festus MOGAE Festus MOGAE
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Born on 21/08/1939 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Festus Mogae (b. August 21, 1939) is the Botswana's former president from April 1 , 1998 to April 1,2008
He was chosen on October 20,  as the winner of the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Mogae will receive $5 million over 10 years and $200 000 (R2 million) annually for life thereafter. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation will consider granting $200 000 more annually for 10 years to causes Mogae supports. He has been praised for his leadership on health and economic issues. The foundation was founded by Sudaneses  billionaire Mo Ibrahim.

 Established to recognise and celebrate excellence in African leadership, the Ibrahim Prize is the largest annually awarded prize in the world,
Mr. Festus G. Mogae was president of Botswana from April 1 ,1998 to April 1, 2008 . He was born on 21st August, 1939 at Serowe in the Central District of Botswana. He studied economics at the universities of Oxford and Sussex in the United Kingdom. He started his career as a public officer in 1968 as planning officer. He was Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning from 1975 to 1976.
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. Botswana is also considered a leader in Southern African politics, and earns praise for the stable example its sets for its neighbors

“Botswana demonstrates how a country with natural resources can promote sustainable development with good governance, in a continent where too often mineral wealth has become a curse. (said Kofi Annan)

Survival International criticised the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for awarding its 'Achievement in African Leadership' prize to Festus Mogae, the former president of Botswana who oversaw the eviction of the Kalahari Bushmen from their land.

Festus Mogae's government evicted the Bushmen from their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2002, and banned them from hunting and gathering.

The Bushmen filed a legal case against the government, and in 2006 the Botswana High Court declared the evictions 'unlawful and unconstitutional'. One of the judges said the government's refusal to allow the Bushmen to hunt 'was tantamount to condemning the [Bushmen] to death by starvation.'
Survival's director Stephen Corry said , 'It's not that difficult to please the majority, but good governance demands respect for minorities, especially those discriminated against like the Kalahari Bushmen. President Mogae's tenure overturned decades of tacit respect for Bushman land rights. What he initiated still threatens the survival of the Bushman tribes in the central Kalahari. This prize makes a mockery of 'good governance'.'

He served in Washington, DC as Alternate and the Executive Director, International Monetary Fund for Anglophone Africa from 1976 to 1980. He was Governor of the Bank of Botswana from 1980 to 1981. From 1982 to 1989 he was Permanent Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Cabinet and Supervisor of Elections. Mr. Mogae joined politics in 1989 and was appointed Minister of Finance and Development Planning and became Vice President in 1992.

He has received a number of honours such as Naledi Ya Botswana - Gaborone (2003); Grand Croix -Madagascar (2006); Officier de I'Order Nationale du Mali (1977); Global Marketplace Award by the Corporate Council on Africa - Houston, USA (May 1999); Distinguished Achievement Award for AIDS Leadership in Southern Africa by the Medunsa Trust - Washington DC, USA (June 2000); the 2002 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference Weekend Chairman's Award - Washington D.C., USA (September 2002); The Knight Commander of the Most Courteous Order of the Kingdom of Lesotho (2004); the Honorary Fellow - University College Oxford (2003); to mentioned but a few.
Mogae was also awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 20 March 2008 for his "exemplary leadership" in making Botswana a "model" of democracy and good governance.

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Last update : 10/31/2008

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