Born in Botswana in 1939, Festus Mogae gained a BA in Economics at University College, Oxford, and an MA in Development Economics at the University of Sussex in 1970. Following a number of distinguished roles in the Government of Botswana, including as the Governor of the Bank of Botswana, and as Minister of Finance and Development Planning, he was elected as the Third President of the Republic of Botswana in 1998, stepping down ten years later.
As President, he ensured the country’s continued stability and prosperity through careful management of mineral resources and diversifying the economy to protect the region’s natural resources and environment. He also enforced strict anti-corruption measures. He has received many prestigious international awards, including the Legion d'Honneur Grand Croix of the Republic of France in 2008 for his “exemplary leadership” in making Botswana a ”model” of democracy and good governance, and the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership in 2008.