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Quett Ketumile Joni Masire

(b. 1925)


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(b. 23 July 1925).

President of Botswana 1980–98 Born in Kanye, in the southern part of what was then the British Crown Colony of Bechuanaland, he was trained as a teacher in South Africa and returned eventually to become a journalist and the editor of the African Echo. Together with Khama he co-founded the Bechuanaland (later Botswana) Democratic Party (BDP) in 1962 and became its general secretary. Deputy President dating from Botswana's independence in 1966, he held several ministries (e.g. for finance and planning) until he succeeded Khama as President. He opposed the apartheid regime and granted asylum to many ANC activists, but otherwise pragmatically sought good working relations with South Africa. His attempts to reduce his country's economic dependence on South Africa were counteracted by the droughts of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Subjects: African Studies — Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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