Botswana’s Former President Festus Mogae Newest Boston University African President-in-Residence

in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, International, News Releases
March 10th, 2009

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 | rtaffe@bu.edu

(Boston) – Former two-term President Festus Mogae of Botswana has accepted an appointment as the sixth African President-in-Residence at Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC), it was announced today by APARC Director Charles Stith, a former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania.

Funded by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, the residency enables democratically elected former African leaders to spend up to two years at BU sharing insights on contemporary trends in Africa. President of the world’s biggest diamond-producing nation from 1998 to 2008, the Oxford-educated Mogae will live on the BU campus through May.

Mogae, 79, has been credited with putting in place one of Africa’s most comprehensive programs for tackling AIDS in a country of 2 million where one in three adults is estimated to be infected with HIV. For leading the fight against AIDS and guiding Botswana along a stable, prosperous path, last year he was awarded the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize for African leadership.

“I am both honored and excited to serve as the next APARC African president-in-residence and bridge the distance between the United States and the African continent,” said Mogae. “I am looking forward to my time in Boston and anxious to interact intellectually with the Boston University community.”

Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda was named the first Balfour President-in-Residence in 2002. Since then, Ruth Sando Perry of Liberia, Karl Auguste Offmann of Mauritius, Sir Q. Ketumile Masire of Botswana (Mogae’s immediate predecessor as president), and Antonio Monteiro of Cape Verde have been APARC guests.

“As the Obama administration inaugurates its new era of engagement, a statesman of President Mogae’s stature can provide an interpretive framework for Americans to understand the importance of engaging Africa in new ways,” Stith said.

Stith founded APARC to complement BU’s African Studies program — one of the nation’s oldest, established in 1953. APARC organizes annual forums regarding Africa’s global relationships, hosts the residency program for African former heads of state, and publishes an annual “State of Africa” report with perspectives from former heads of democratic African nations.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is the fourth largest independent university in the United States, with more than 30,000 students in its 17 colleges and schools. BU has established an international reputation for excellence in teaching and conducting research on Africa, and has built and maintained broad collaborations with institutions in Africa.

For more on APARC visit http://www.bu.edu/aparc

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