Former President Sir Ketumile Masire, was invited to give a lecture at the Botswana International University of Science And Technology. The lecture was titled, The Journey Of Botswana, “Where We Come From; Where We Are, Who We Are, And Where Are We Heading.”
Sir Ketumile Masire is one of the most intelligent leaders to have come out of this country, and his capacity of him being a former President of this country, gives him the accurate insight to give advice where needed, and applaud as well. Read his lecture below.
1. I must confess, however, that when I saw that I was asked to speak to about – “the journey of Botswana, where we come from; where we are, who we are, and where are we heading” – I wondered where does one begin? It struck me as a topic that could fill several books!
2. Given our country’s relative success over the past five decades in combining adherence to democracy and the rule of law with economic growth accompanied by notable advances in human development, I have often been asked what accounts for our country’s relative success. What has set us apart from others?
3. One could here speak of good governance in the context of leadership, policies and institutions, the African image, the history of political parties or the history of our economic development. But I suppose that is reserved for our discussion time.
4. But on further reflection I thought I might rather try to dig a bit deeper by focusing on some of the longstanding, shared qualities that have defined who we are as a nation.
5. Certainly one of our strengths as a nation has been our ability of the last five decades to uphold our unity in diversity through our practices of consultation and consensus building buttressed by tolerance and mutual respect.
6. Other social values that have propelled our progress would include our prudence and, at least in the past, collective commitment to self-reliance.
7. As a nation we can take collective pride in the fact that we have made remarkable progress since independence, though many challenges admittedly remain.
8. Let me here cite but a few statistics, while acknowledging the fact that although numbers do not generally lie, they can be misleading. As the old adage goes if ones head is stuck in an icebox, while one’s feet are on a fire, one’s medium body temperature may be normal but the body itself will be less than comfortable.
9. Botswana’s numbers then and now do, however, tell a story.
10. Back in 1966 our total budget was just under US$3 million (R 10 million). In the current financial year it is about US$ 5 billion (P 56 billion).
11. In 1966 we were listed among the ten least developed countries in the world with annual per capita income of less than R80! We are now listed among the world upper middle income countries with a per capita income of just over USD 18,000 (PPP)
Read the full lecture here—>https://www.facebook.com/Botswana.Government/posts/1030059667076691:0