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Botswana: Former president joins Boston University residence programme

Published date:
Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Former President Mr Festus Mogae will serve as the African Presidential Archives and Research Centre (APARC)'s sixth African President-in-Residence from today until end of May 2009 at Boston University in the United States of America.

A news release from his office says the programme is a Boston University initiative that allows former democratically-elected African leaders to spend up to two years in residence at the university.

It faciliatate the former leaders' transition to civilian status by providing a venue that will value and utilise their experience and expertise. APARCs'work, says the release, complements the mission of Boston University's African Studies and African-American Studies programme.

The centre also provides residential opportunities for these leaders to write, lecture, and engage the university and the broader community on African issues and matters of interest relative to Africa.

"It functions as a venue to examine, debate, and contribute to the development of current policy regarding Africa." Furthermore, the release explains that former and current heads of states, private and public sector leaders, and students, among others, have participated in policy discussions on topics such as attracting foreign direct investment, leadership, and land reform in Africa at APARC's annual African Presidential Roundtable summits.

APARC's director and former US Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Charles Stith met with Mr Mogae recently to discuss his appointment.

In addition, it says Ambassador Stith said: "Given the turn that we have seen in US-Africa relations, starting with President Clinton and AGOA and expanding under the Bush administration, as the Obama administration inaugurates its new era of engagement, a statesman of President Mogae's stature can provide an interactive framework for Americans to understand the importance of engaging Africa in new ways." Mr Mogae in accepting his appointment said: "I am both honoured and excited to serve as the next APARC African President-in-Residence and bridge the distance between the United States and the African continent.

"I am looking forward to my time in Boston and am anxious to interact intellectually with the Boston University community."

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