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Quett Masire

Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, GCMG (born 23 July, 1925 in Kanye, Botswana) was the second President of Botswana for the Botswana Democratic Party from 1980 to 1998. He stepped down and was replaced by the then Vice-President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, who became the third President of Botswana.

Masire was born in Kanye. He worked as teacher and headmaster of the Seepapitso Secondary School from 1949 to 1955. In 1962 he was the co-founder of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). In 1965, party leader Seretse Khama was elected prime minister of Botswana. After the independence of Botswana in 1966, he became Vice President of Botswana.

After President Seretse Khama died on 13 July 1980, Quett Masire was elected President of Botswana (18 July). He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. In 1998 he stepped down.

After his retirement as president he has been active in diplomacy, acting as a mediator in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In June 2007, he was appointed by the Southern African Development Community to mediate in a political dispute in Lesotho.

On May 16, 2004, Masire was appointed non-executive chairman of Global Africa Resource & Energy Corporation (Garek), a South African-registered unlisted public company. Since inception, Garek has failed to produce an audited financial statement or to hold an annual general meeting, which are both requirements of the South African Companies Act. The company is the subject of a fraud investigation commissioned by South African Trade and Industry minister Mandisi Mpahlwa.

He has written a book, "Very Brave or Very Foolish: Memoirs of an African Diplomat". Discussing Zimbabwe, he speaks of the "persecution of many Africans and the destruction of the capacity of the economy to function".

In October 2005, Masire gave a lecture entitled "Perspective into Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Contemporary Peacebuilding Efforts" at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series.

Masire is a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to promote good governance around the world.


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