The Sir Ketumile Masire Factor in the Making of Botswana as an ‘African Miracle’

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Emmanuel Botlhale


Economic growth and development are associated with or caused by many variables one of which is leadership. The functional approach of leadership holds that leadership is not about an individual and his/her attributes. Rather, it is about a group and its attributes. However, it is unwieldy to focus on the role of the entire leadership in impacting macro-economic outcomes such as economic growth and development. Therefore, this paper discusses Sir Ketumile Masire’s role in shaping Botswana’s economic and development trajectory as founding Deputy Prime Minister, founding Vice President and Finance Minister and, latterly, President. It concludes that he provided leadership which very favourably circumstanced Botswana to become a relative economic and developmental success. In the process, the country earned accolades such as the ‘African Miracle’. However, serious macro-economic challenges such as persistent poverty and massive income inequality detract from these economic and developmental achievements. Hence, there is a need to determinedly address them to ensure prosperity for all or at least for the great majority of the country’s citizens.

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