Masire, Sir Ketumile

Masire, Sir Ketumile (Quett Ketumile Joni Masire), 1925–2017, Botswanan political leader, president of Botswana (1980–98). He was a teacher and a farmer before taking up journalism and helping to found the Bechuanaland Democratic party (1961; later Botswana Democratic party) with Seretse Khama. Masire was deputy prime minister of the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (1965); after Botswana's independence (1966), he became vice president and finance minister as well as minister of development planning (1967). Under Khama and Masire, Botswana achieved economic growth and stability, benefiting from the the discovery of diamonds and the growth of wildlife tourism. Masire became president upon Khama's death in 1980. He was knighted in 1991.

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