|President of Botswana|
1 April 2018
|Vice President||Slumber Tsogwane|
|Preceded by||Ian Khama|
|Chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party|
1 April 2017 –4 April 2018
|Preceded by||Ian Khama|
|Succeeded by||Slumber Tsogwane|
|8th Vice President of Botswana|
12 November 2014 –1 April 2018
|Preceded by||Ponatshego Kedikilwe|
|Succeeded by||Slumber Tsogwane|
| Member of Parliament for|
Moshupa / Manyana
2009 –1 April 2018
|Preceded by||Maitlhoko Mooka|
|Succeeded by||Karabo Gare|
Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi
21 July 1962
|Political party||Botswana Democratic Party|
|Alma mater|| University of Botswana (BA)|
Florida State University (MA)
Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi (born July 21, 1962) is the fifth and current President of Botswana.He served as the 8th Vice President of Botswana from November 12, 2014 to April 1, 2018. He was a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly for the Moshupa-Manyana constituency from 2009 to 2018.
Mokgweetsi Masisi is the son of Edison 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. One of his three brothers, Tshelang, was the MP for Francistown West for many years, while another is a retired army general. He also has a sister, Phadi.
In school, Masisi 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. He has taken part in several South African films.
In the 1980s, Masisi became a high school social studies teacher after graduating from the University of Botswana in 1984 in English and History. He 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 social sciences education, after Masisi met some FSU faculty members working in Botswana for the Junior Secondary Education Improvement Project.Following graduation, 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 as Vice President of Botswana by President Ian Khama on 12 November 2014 while remaining in his post as Minister of Education.
President Khama appointed Masisi as the Chancellor of the University of Botswana on July 5, 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 June 22, 2017.
On April 1, 2018, he was sworn in as the 5th President of Botswana.After he ascended to the presidency, Khama left the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to found the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). Khama criticized Masisi for lifting the ban on elephant hunting and called his decision to appoint Masisi as his successor a "mistake".
On October 13, 2018, Masisi received an honorary doctorate from the University of Botswana. Some commentators have criticized this decision, and claimed that the correct process was not followed.
In October 2019, Masisi was re-elected as Botswana's president after the BDP faced the biggest threat to its unity in more than five decades, following Khama's move to the opposition and accusing Masisi of authoritarianism.In the 2019 Botswana general election, Masisi received a 52.65% majority of the vote and received a majority of seats in the National Assembly. The Botswana 2019 Elections were highly contested for, and the main opposition, the Umbrella for Democratic Change lodged a litany of court challenges alleging irregularities and electoral fraud.
Amongst his election pledges, he proposed lifting the ban on elephant hunting and decriminalising homosexuality.
The COVID-19 pandemic occurred during Masisi's time in office. The President responded to the pandemic by declaring a state of emergency on March 11, 2020.After the declaration, emergency powers allowed Masisi to rule by decree for a period of 18 months to September 2021, despite protests from some opposition parties. In December, Botswana found evidence of a new strain, leading to a curfew being enforced from December 24, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
Masisi has been accused by some of having authoritarian views, and contributing to undermining democracy in Botswana. Khama said that Masisi "stifled dissent". In an interview with the Financial Times , and that Botswana's reputation was being undermined locally and internationally, and that democracy was in decline.
Masisi is in support of elephant hunting in Botswana, and believes that allowing some ivory trading would allow more funding for conservation. In 2019, he presented stools made from elephant feet to the national leaders of Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, a move that received some criticism from international media outlets.Masisi reversed the ban on elephant hunting put in place by his predecessor, and removed Botswana's "Shoot to Kill" anti-poaching policy.
In 2021, the Chinese Embassy to the United Kingdom indicated that Masisi supported the One China policy.
In 2002 Masisi married Neo Maswabi, an accountant who later worked for the United Nations in New York and in Addis Ababa. They have a daughter.
Masisi is colloquially referred to as "Sisiboy" among the population, a play of words on his family name.
The Batswana, a term also used to denote all citizens of Botswana, refers to the country's major ethnic group. Prior to European contact, the Batswana lived as herders and farmers under tribal rule.
The Botswana Democratic Party is the governing party in Botswana. Its chairman is the Vice-President of Botswana, Slumber Tsogwane, and its symbol is a lift jack. The party has ruled Botswana continuously since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. Despite being classified as a paternalistic conservative party, the BDP is a consultative member of the Socialist International since 2014, which is a group including many worldwide social-democratic parties.
Moshupa is a large village in the Southern District of Botswana with a population of 20016 per the 2011 census. The people of Moshupa are called the Bakgatla-ba-ga Mmanaana, a group also found in Thamaga. Along with the related Bakgatla-ba-ga Kgafela of Mochudi, they arrived to the region from the Transvaal region in South Africa throughout the eighteenth century.
Mompati Sebogodi Merafhe was a Botswana politician who was Vice-President of Botswana from 2008 to 2012. He was a retired Lieutenant-General and served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 2008.
Phandu Tombola Chaka Skelemani is a Motswana who is the current speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana. He served in the government of Botswana as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2014. A member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Skelemani is a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Botswana and a member of the Pan-African Parliament from Botswana, and he served as Attorney-General of Botswana from 1992 to 2003.
Edison Setlhomo K. Masisi was a politician and diplomat in Botswana and he is the father of the current President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi. He served as member of parliament of Mosopa between 1965 and 1999. Masisi attended Tiger Kloof along with future president Quett Masire. After qualifying as a teacher, he taught at Moshupa (1950-1964), which he served as head teacher (1957-1964). In 1964, he resigned to contest the Moshupa seat on the BDP ticket. The following year, he won in the election and was appointed as assistant Minister of Education, Labour and Social Services. He served as the second minister of state for Foreign Affairs in the Office of the President from 1969–1971. He was moved to the Ministry of Education in 1972 and later or Ministry of Health (1978-1979). In 1989, he was elected as the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, where remained in the position until 1999. In 1993, he was appointed as assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning. He retired from active politics in 1999.
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The first lady of the Republic of Botswana is the wife of the president of Botswana. The current first lady is Neo Masisi, the wife of President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
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