Biography: Festus Gontebanye MOGAE

Former President of Botswana

H.E. Mr. Festus Mogae served as the third President of the Republic of Botswana from 31st March 1998 until his tenure of office ended on 31st March 2008.

Born on 21st August, 1939 at Serowe in the Central District of Botswana, he trained as an Economist at the Universities of Oxford and Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Mogae started his career in the public service in Botswana as Planning Officer in 1968 and progressed to become Director of Economic Affairs, and then Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. He became Alternate Governor for Botswana at the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1971 to 1976. During this period, he served on the boards of various Parastatals as: Member of the Board for Water Utilities, Botswana Housing Corporation, Botswana Meat Commission, Botswana Meat Commission (United Kingdom) Holdings, ECCO Cold Stores Limited and Allied Meat Importers Limited. He was also Director, then later Chairman, Botswana Development Corporation, Representative of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Director of the De Beers Botswana Mining Company (Pty) Limited (Diamond Mining Company), Botswana RST Limited, Bangwato Concessions Limited (BCL) and Bank of Botswana.

Mr. Mogae also served in Washington, DC as Alternate and Executive Director, International Monetary Fund for Anglophone Africa from 1976 to 1980 before he came home to take up the position of Governor of the Bank of Botswana, after which he served as Permanent Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Cabinet and Supervisor of Elections. He was appointed Minister of Finance and Development Planning in 1989 and became Vice President in 1992, until 31st March, 1998 when he became the third President of the Republic of Botswana.

He was Chairman of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers from 1992 until 1996. By virtue of his position as Vice President, he was also Leader of the House for Botswana National Assembly. In 1994, he contested in the general elections and won a seat for the Palapye Constituency. He was also Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Member of the Parliamentarians for Global Action based in New York and the Global Coalition for Africa based in Washington D.C.

His Excellency was Governor for Botswana for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Member of the Joint Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the transfer of real resources to developing countries, Washington DC from 1989 to 1990.

He was also involved in community oriented organisations which include Kalahari Conservation Society, Botswana Society (Research Organisation) of which he is President, Lions Club of Palapye, President of the Botswana Society for the Deaf as well as being Patron of the Junior Achievement Botswana. He is also Chairman of the National AIDS Council (launched 30 March 2000).

In 1989, Mr. Mogae was awarded the Presidential Order of Honour of Botswana followed in 2003 with the award of the highest honour of the Republic of Botswana, Naledi Ya Botswana — Gaborone. He holds numerous other honours and awards at the local, regional and international levels.

His Excellency Mr. Mogae is married with three daughters and a grand-daughter.

Festus Mogae