Thomas Tlou

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Thomas Tlou
President Ian Khama
Personal details
Born Gwanda, Southern Rhodesia
Nationality Motswana

Thomas Tlou (1 June 1932 – 28 June 2010 [1] ) was a Botswana academic and historian, and former representative of Botswana at the United Nations.

Botswana republic in southern Africa

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966. Since then, they maintain a tradition of stable representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa's oldest continuous democracy.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.


Tlou studied at Luther College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States. [2] In 1971 he joined the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland,(UBLS), the fore-runner of the University of Botswana, to teach history. He left academia to perform government service and from 1976 to 1980 was Botswana's permanent representative at the United Nations.

Luther College (Iowa) Lutheran liberal arts college in Iowa

Luther College is a private liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa. Established as a Lutheran seminary in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants, the school today is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Johns Hopkins University university in Baltimore, Maryland, United States

The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest —of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's ancient Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Public university in Wisconsin, USA

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre (486 ha) arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus.

Tlou was the first Motswana (Botswana citizen) to be vice-chancellor of the University of Botswana, serving from 1985 to 1998. Thereafter he continued at the university as professor of history, finally retiring in 2005.

Tlou was also chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and served on the executive board of the Association of African Universities. In Botswana he served on the Tertiary Education Council and as of 2005 he was chair of the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis. [3]

Association of Commonwealth Universities organization

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) was established in 1913, and has over 500 member institutions in over 50 countries across the Commonwealth. It is the world’s oldest international network of universities and its mission is to promote and support excellence in higher education for the benefit of individuals and societies throughout the commonwealth and beyond. While it is the oldest university network, it represents the future – it has a combined population of 3 billion, mainly under the age of 30, in Commonwealth countries.

The Association of African Universities (AAU), whose headquarters is in Accra, Ghana, was founded in Rabat, Morocco on November 12, 1967, following recommendations made at an earlier conference organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Antananarivo, Madagascar in September 1962 for the formation of such an apex organization.

He was married to Professor Sheila Tlou, Botswana's minister of health from 2004 to 2008 and a former associate professor of nursing at the University of Botswana.

Sheila Dinotshe Tlou is a Botswana specialist in HIV/AIDS and women's health, and a nursing educator. She was Minister of Health from 2004 to 2008.


In 2006 Tlou was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Cape Town [4] He also received the Botswana Presidential Order of Honour, and was made a Chevalier dans L'Ordre des Palmes académiques by France.

University of Cape Town university in Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College making it the oldest higher education institute in South Africa. It is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside Stellenbosch University which received full university status on the same day in 1918.


Tlou has written or co-written many of the standard texts on Botswana history.

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  2. University of Botswana Chancellors
  3. Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis Archived 5 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. "Honorary doctorates for June graduation". Electronic Monday Paper. University of Cape Town. 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2006-08-07.[ dead link ] Vol 25 No 14