Sir Ketumile Masire
Sir Ketumile Masire was Botswana’s second president, serving for 18 years from 1980-1998. Prior to this, he was a leading figure in the independence movement and then the new government, and played a crucial role in facilitating and protecting Botswana’s steady financial growth and development.
As president, Sir Ketumile Masire was responsible for the introduction of comprehensive social service programmes which significantly improved Botswana’s education, communications and health indicators. Sir Ketumile Masire was able to increase nutrition levels in the country during the 1980s, despite Botswana experiencing a severe drought.
More recently, he has been involved with diplomatic initiatives in a number of African countries, including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Lesotho.
Sir Ketumile Masire has received a number of awards and honours, including the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991.