Ian Khama, a retired army general, officially resigned on Saturday after spending 10 years at the helm of the country, reports our Reuters colleagues. The latter has decided to adhere strictly to the constitution of his country which limits to ten years the reign of heads of state.
Before his departure, the former President visited Botswana’s 57 constituencies to bid farewell to the population.
He was succeeded by the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi. Aged 55, he inherited a country that has long been considered an example of African democracy. Invested Sunday in Gaborone, he promised to tackle youth unemployment.
Botswana ranks among the least corrupt countries in Africa but faces a rising unemployment rate of 18%.
“One of my top priorities as President of this country will be to address the problem of unemployment, especially young people,” he said in his inaugural speech.
President Masisi, a qualified teacher who also worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund as an eight-year education project officer, was elected as a deputy in 2009. He served as minister of public affairs. from 2011 to 2014 before being appointed Minister of Education, a position he held until his appointment as Vice President last year.
The departure of Ian Khama leaves his younger brother and Minister of Tourism Tshekedi as the only member of the family occupying an important position in the government.
Unmarried and 65 years old, Ian Khama has always been against the decision of African leaders to stay in power after the end of their term.