Palapye — Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) on September 22 awarded former President Dr Festus Mogae an honorary Doctoral Degree in Science at its 8th graduation ceremony in Palapye.
BIUST Professor Otlogetswe Totolo said it was a well-deserved honour for the founding chancellor who during his tenure never tired of giving them wise counsel and guidance.
He said Dr Mogae played a significant role in the establishment and growth of BIUST, provided guidance during its formative years, and continued years later to emphasise the vision of BIUST growing into a leading international university, focused on science and technology.
He said BIUST conferred honorary degrees on persons who reflected the honours bestowed on them to a diversity of the community nationally, regionally, and beyond. Professor Totolo said Dr Festus Mogae had an enormous impact on all throughout his career.
"He had a high impact fighting HIV scourge by seeking medical science and other avenues. The country is winning because of Rre Mogae's commitment to using science to fight the scourge, "he said.
Professor Totolo said Dr Mogae did not only fight HIV in Botswana but also regionally because he launched 'Champions for an HIV-Free Generation', a group consisting of former African Presidents and other influential personalities aimed at strengthening efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
He noted that Dr Mogae had won many international awards.
He served as the third President of Botswana between 1998 and 2008. Prior to that, he served in Washington DC as Alternate and Executive Director for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Anglophone Africa from 1976 to 1980.
He was appointed of Bank of Botswana Governor between 1980 and 1981. In 1982, Dr Mogae took up the position of Permanent Secretary to the President, Secretary to Cabinet and Supervisor of Elections.
After leaving office, Dr Mogae was appointed to take up positions of responsibility at the United Nations, as well as on boards and commissions of other international organizations and charities.
These include appointment as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Climate Change, Member of the WHO Panel on Non Communicable Diseases and Other Communicable Diseases, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) for the South Sudan peace process, member and chairperson of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, Member of the Board of Directors of the Mastercard Foundation, Member of the Board and Prize Committee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Chancellor of Kenya's AMREF International University.
Dr Mogae is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, both locally and internationally, including Naledi Ya Botswana and the Presidential Order of Honour. He is the recipient of the coveted Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership.
The Africa-America Institute awarded Dr Mogae its National Leadership Award, presented only once before to Nelson Mandela. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
He also holds honorary doctorates and fellowships from several institutions including University of Botswana and University of Oxford.