|8th Vice President of Botswana|
12 November 2014
|Preceded by||Ponatshego Kedikilwe|
|Member of Parliament for
|Preceded by||Maitlhoko Mooka|
|Born||21 July 1962|
|Alma mater||Florida State University|
Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi is the Vice President of Botswana since 2014. He has also served as Minister of Education since 2014, and previously he was Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration from 2011 to 2014. He was first elected to Parliament in 2009.
Life and career
Mokgweetsi Masisi was the son of Botswana Democratic Party stalwart, Edison Setlhomo Masisi (1923-2003), the long-time MP for Moshupa and many-time cabinet member. The younger Masisi grew up in Gaborone, attending Thornhill Primary School and Maru A Pula School. In school he competed in soccer and tennis, but ultimately found acting to be his calling. In 1984 he won acclaim for his portrayal of the lead role in a Gaborone production of Cry the Beloved Country, and was praised by the visiting Alan Paton for his performance. During the 1980s he starred in numerous theatrical productions, and also had roles in South African B-Movies.
During the 1980s Masisi became a high school social studies teacher for several years after graduating from the University of Botswana in 1984 in English and History. He then taught at Mmanaana Secondary School in 1984 in Moshupa village before moving on to the University of Botswana in 1987 as a curriculum development specialist. In 1989 he went to Florida State University to obtain a Master’s degree in Education, following which he was employed by UNICEF in Botswana.
Masisi unsuccessfully sought the nomination of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to stand in Moshupa constituency in the 2004 general election. However, he obtained the BDP nomination for the same seat prior to the 2009 general election and won the seat. He was promptly appointed as Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration in October 2009. After a little more than a year as an assistant minister, he was appointed as Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration in January 2011. Masisi became Minister of Education and Skills Development in an acting capacity in April 2014; he was re-elected to his seat in Parliament in October 2014, and he was appointed as Minister of Education and Skills Development on 28 October 2014.
Masisi was appointed by President Ian Khama as Vice President of Botswana on 12 November 2014, while remaining in his post as Minister of Education. As Vice President, it is considered likely that he will succeed Khama as President in 2018.
President Khama appointed Masisi as the Chancellor of the University of Botswana on 5 July 2017. The appointment, which was in consonance with Section 7 of the University of Botswana Act of 2008, was for a period of five years. It followed the death of former President Quett Masire, who served as the Chancellor until he died on 22 June 2017.
A Speech of Mokgweetsi Masisi
“Botswana…remains committed to the principle of elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. To this end, Botswana adopted, recently, the National Policy on Gender and Development on 7 August 2015. The policy serves as a springboard for implementation of Goal 5 of the [Sustainable Development Goals] of achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, and all other goals that intend to improve the dignity and the status of women…Botswana embraces the Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and has developed the National Gender-Based Violence Strategy 2015-2020. The strategy provides a multi-pronged and multisectoral approach for the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence. We recognize men as critical partners in the promotion of gender equality and, as such, have established a men’s sector under the Ministry responsible for gender…In conclusion, I wish to reaffirm Botswana’s unwavering commitment to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
World leaders convene at the United Nations on 27 September 2015 for the “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action” to personally commit to ending discrimination against women by 2030 and announce concrete and measurable actions to kick-start rapid change in their countries.
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