Botswana: Festus Gontebanye Mogae

Updated April 2008

Festus Gontebanye Mogae was born on August 21 1939 in Serowe. He completed his tertiary education in England. He gained an undergraduate degree from North West London Polytechnic, an honours degree from Oxford University and a degree in Development Economics from Sussex University.

Mogae returned home in the late 1960's and joined the BPD becoming part of its vanguard of young, educated politicians in the post independence era. In 1968 he served as planning officer in the Ministry of Finance and Development and Planning. He was promoted twice within this ministry, in 1971 to senior planning officer and in 1972 to director of economic affairs.

Between 1975 and 1976 and 1982 and 1989 he served as permanent secretary to the president. This position enabled him to serve on the De Beer Botswana Mining Co, the Bank of Botswana and the International Monetary Fund. In 1989 he was named Minister of Finance and Development Planning. In 1992 he was elevated to the post of vice president.

Mogae succeeded Masire to the presidency in April 1998. Described as a "no nonsense politician", Mogae's period in office was characterised by programs for developing education and medical infrastructure and the privatization of the airlines and telecommunications industry. A priority for the Mogae administration is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Botswana has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world.

Mogae is married to Barbara Modise and they have three daughters.

President Mogae retired from office in 2008 and was succeeded by Ian Khama who was inaugurated on 1 April 2008.


BIOGRAPHY RESOURCE CENTRE 2001 "Festus Gontebanye Mogae", African