Botswana: President Masisi Continues to Deliver On His Promise to Empower Women - BDP

16 September 2021

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoTE), Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe, announces the appointment of Her Excellency Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse as the Chancellor of the University of Botswana. The appointment was made by His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. M. E. K. Masisi and is effective from 1st of September 2021 until 31st August 2026. Her Excellency Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse comes in as the new Chancellor of the University of Botswana after the recent passing on of Ms. Linah Mohohlo who was the Chancellor.

Her Excellency Ambassador Seretse had the honor of being the first woman to be appointed Botswana's Ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2014. During her posting in Washington, Her Excellency achieved several milestones as noted below;

. Ambassador Seretse organized several missions (trade, education, health, and tourism) to Botswana.

. Appointment to be one of the two Ambassadors organizing Africa Day 2012.

. Participation in numerous debates such as the 2010 Black Congressional Caucus.

. Presentations on CNN, This is America TV, Africa Today TV, NBC and other panels and platforms summarizing Botswana's achievements and promoting

investment, trade and education in Botswana.

Ambassador Seretse' s great achievements and dedication in service were recognized by several organizations and Universities which lead to her being awarded four honorary Doctorates: two in Public Service from Ohio University (2014) and University

of Cincinnati (2014), one in Doctor of Laws from Morgan State University (2012) and

another in Doctor of Humane Letters from St. George's University (2012).

Ambassador Seretse has furthermore spoken at numerous conferences, lectures, and universities including at Morgan State University, University of Cincinnati, Howard University, University of Syracuse, George Washington University and Boston University. She has also participated in several round table discussions and presentations such as the Council on Foreign Relations globally.

Ambassador Seretse has been a Member of Parliament from 1999 to 2004. During this period,

 She served as a Cabinet Minister holding three cabinet positions namely; Acting

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Minister of Trade and Industry, Wildlife and

Tourism and Minister of Works, Transport and Communications.

 As Acting Minister of Presidential Affairs, she initiated the enlisting of women in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and negotiated Partnership Agreement with the United States government to start International Law Enforcement Agency (ILEA) in Botswana (One of the objectives of ILEA is to train the police not only in Botswana but in the Region to fight various forms of crime). In addition, she was instrumental in advocating and ensuring that Government appointed women to Boards and leadership roles in Government as well as Parastatal Boards.

As Minister of Trade, she worked tirelessly to ensure that Botswana qualified for Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) whose objective is to increase trade between African countries and the United States of America. She further signed a Trade Agreement between Botswana and India. She led the African Ministers to a successful round of World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Talks in Doha in

2001. Ambassador Seretse was instrumental in establishing both Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) and Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

 As Minister of Transport and Communications, she spearheaded several successful initiatives such as; the upgrading of the National Drivers Licenses, the Road Cattle Chasing Project which saw road accidents related to animals reducing significantly, the Trans-Kalahari highway which was pivotal in improving relations and trade between Botswana and Namibia. In these Ministerial Portfolios, she led and attended several Conferences, Seminars, Debates and Meetings.

Prior to her political career, she had an extensive and distinguished career in the private sector. She worked for 6 years at Bank of Botswana as a Senior Research Officer. Thereafter, she worked as a finance manager at British Petroleum (BP) for 6 years. She

practiced law as a senior partner at Seretse Attorneys firm, and continues to be an

admitted Member of the Botswana Law Society. She has sat in various private, parastatal and government Boards including the Botswana Life (Insurance), Bank of Botswana (Central Bank), Debswana (Diamond Mining Company), and Denel in the Republic of South Africa.

As Chairperson of Funeral Services Group (FSG), she was instrumental in the company listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) which made FSG the first listed Funeral Services Company. Furthermore, she started Phomolong, the first private cemetery in Botswana. She also Chaired RPC Data, an IT Company which was also listed on the BSE. She was Chairperson of the Government Labour Advisory Board. She is also a Director of several family businesses. Ambassador Seretse has assisted and continues to mentor a number of women and youth to set up their own businesses.

Academically, Ambassador Seretse acquired two undergraduate degrees in 4 years being a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1978. Thereafter, she completed a Master of Arts in Economics from University of Cincinnati, in Ohio in 1981. Ambassador Seretse later studied law at the University of Botswana where she obtained her LLB degree in 1995.

Her Excellency has also participated in many short courses including a six months course on Balance of Payments conducted by the International Monetary Fund. She sat for the Estate Agents Board Examination in the Republic of South Africa which she successfully passed.

Throughout her academic career, she has taught part-time at University of Botswana in

the evenings and taught first year undergraduate students at University of Cincinnati. She has examined and written on the case of Excess Liquidity in the Banking system a phenomenon which was rare to Botswana which saw the Central Bank becoming a deposit taker of last resort.

The Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology congratulates Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse on this appointment and wishes her the best in her role as the Chancellor of the University of Botswana.

Silas Sehularo

For/Permanent Secretary

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