Reception for Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse of Botswana

Topic Areas: Special Events

Date: 
June 18, 2014 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: 
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)

CEW welcomes Her Excellency, the Honorable Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, the ambassador of Botswana, to the Ann Arbor campus. Madam Tebelelo Seretse is the first woman to ever serve as Botswana's ambassador to the United States, a post in which she fosters and oversees joint Botswana/U.S. programs and initiatives related to the areas of health, education, trade and industry.

This reception is open to the public but pre-registration is requested.

Ambassador Seretse was a member of Botswana's parliament from 1999-2004. During this time, she held three cabinet positions: Acting Minister for Presidential Affairs; Minister of Trade and Industry, Wildlife and Tourism; and Minister of Works, Transport and Communications.

In those cabinet-level positions, Seretse negotiated a partnership agreement with the U.S. government to start an International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana; ensured that Botswana qualified for the Africa Growth Opportunity Act with the objective to increase trade between Botswana and the U.S.; signed an important trade agreement between Botswana and the Republic of India; and was instrumental in establishing Botswana’s Local Enterprise Authority and the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (now the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre), among other accomplishments.

Prior to her political career, Seretse served as senior research officer for the country’s reserve bank, the Bank of Botswana, as finance manager for BP Botswana (Pty) Ltd., and as senior partner with Seretse Attorneys, in addition to serving on numerous corporate boards.

She also served as director of her family’s business, Diragake (Pty) Ltd., and as a successful woman entrepreneur in the developing world, Ambassador Seretse assists and supports other women establishing their own businesses.

Ambassador Seretse considers education to be her most important asset, earning a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Accounting from Morgan State Univeristy, Baltimore , MD:  a Masters in Economics from the Univeristy of Cincinnati; and a law degree from the Univeristy of Botswana.  

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa that achieved its independence on 30 September 1966. It has held uninterrupted democratic elections since independence.  Botswana is flat, and up to 70% is covered by the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula, Zambia, is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred metres long.

A mid-sized country of just over two million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year. Botswana has since transformed itself, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $16,400 per year as of 2013,and a high gross national income, possibly the fourth-largest in Africa, giving the country a modest standard of living.[6] The country, being a member of the African Union, also has a strong tradition as a representative democracy and has the second highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan African countries, despite having been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic.


 

For those who are interested, Ambassador Seretse will also be part of a panel discussion entitled "Embracing the Vision: Global Servant Leadership Opportunities," on Tuesday, June 17th from 2:30 to 6:30 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

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