Third President of Botswana, HE Mr Festus Gontebanye Mogae inaugurated as the First Chancellor of Amref International University

by Amref Health Africa

NAIROBI, 3 October, 2019: His Excellency Mr Festus Gontebanye Mogae, third president of the Republic of Botswana has been inaugurated as the first Chancellor of Amref International University (AMIU).

HE Festus Mogae will serve in the position of a Chancellor for one term of five years, an appoinrtment  that is effective from today. Among the main duties of the Chancellor will be to confer Degrees and award Diplomas and Certificates during graduation ceremonies.

‘‘We are elated that HE Festus Mogae honoured our request to be our first Chancellor. With his wealth of experience as a statesman, an economist, his passion and practice in community based health system strengthening, we are certain that he will lead the University to be the Premier Pan African University with a strategic academic and research niche in health sciences,’’ noted Prof Margaret Kobia, Chairperson of the University Council.

Amref International University, the Pan-African health sciences University is an affliliate of Amref Health Africa – the largest Africa based international health NGO. From its predecessor Amref International Training Centre, AMIU started in 2017 and focuses primarily on health sciences training with a commitment to progressively develop innovative programmes catering to the present and future needs of African populations.

‘‘The decision to upgrade the training centre to a university was in response to the dynamic needs for quality health care in Africa. It is thus gratifying to witness this final stage of transformation to a University,’’ said Mr. Omari Issa, Chair, Board of Trustees.

HE Mr. Mogae appreciated the opportunity to serve as the first Chancellor of AMIU. In his acceptance speech, he commented: ‘‘I graciously, accept the roles and responsibilities of a Chancellor to work together with all stakeholders in profiling and supporting this great institution, and to be part of a team that will build a health sciences University that will set pace for evidence-based learning and practice.’

Speaking at the inauguration event, Prof. Marion Mutugi, Vice Chancellor, noted, ‘‘We are honoured to have such a renowned and respected Chancellor. The installation of the Chancellor is re-energising; it is an impetus to recommit ourselves to develop a University where students will have a practical learning experience responsive to unique African community and emerging global public health needs.’’

AMIU is strategically positioned in Amref Health Africa’s organisational strategy. In training human resources for health, AMIU is anchored on  Sustainable Developement Goals (SDG) goals three and four.

‘‘We are certain that the symbiotic relationship between Amref Health Africa and Amref International University will make AMIU the ‘University of Choice’ for health practitioners who wish to contribute to Universal Health Coverage, both locally and regionally,’’ said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa.

The ceremony was attended by among other dignitaries, Her Excellency Former President of Malawi Dr Joyce Banda, and Her Excellency Former Vice President of  Uganda Dr Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe.

During his presidential tenure as President of Botswana, the new Amref International University Chancellor, HE Mr Mogae prioritised health service provision. He is particularly remembered for his response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic where Botswana was the first African country to avail free ARVs and roll out  a grassroots prioritised health system strengthening programme that ensured that even citizens in the remotest part of Botswana had access to a health centre in their communityOn top of being a former president of Botswana, he has served in various international organisations including the World Bank. HE Mogae is a recipient of many awards including the coveted Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African leadership for ensuring “stability and prosperity”.


Notes to Editors

About Amref International University

Amref International University (AMIU) is an institution of higher learning focused on training in health sciences and is fully owned by Amref Health Africa. AMIU is founded on the intellect of Amref Health Africa, which has over 60 years’ experience providing quality public health interventions, training and education. AMIU has nurtured leaders and shaped the future of public health practice in Africa for over 40 years under its predecessor Amref International Training Centre (AITC). We lead the way in health sciences education with a breadth of programmes. We focus primarily on health sciences courses with a commitment to progressively develop innovative programmes catering to the present and future needs of African populations. AMIU currently has an Institute of Research, Innovation and Consultancy and one School of Health Sciences with five departments: • Community Health Practice • Health Systems Management and Development • Nursing • Laboratory Sciences • Health Professions Education. Visit for more information on our programmes.

Biography of HE Mr. Festus. G. Mogae, Third President of the Republic of Botswana

His Excellency was born on 21st August, 1939 at Serowe in the Central District of Botswana. He trained as an Economist at the Universities of Oxford and Sussex in the United Kingdom. He was Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning from 1975 to 1976, Minister of Finance and Development Planning in 1989 and became Vice President in 1992, until 31st March, 1998 when he became the Third President of Botswana.

He became Alternate Governor for Botswana at the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Governor of the Bank of Botswana. His Excellency served in various parastatal boards, as, Member of the Board for Water Utilities, Botswana Housing Corporation, Botswana Meat Commission, Botswana Meat Commission (United Kingdom) Holdings, ECCO Cold Stores Limited and Allied Meat Importers Limited. He was also Director, then later Chairman, Botswana Development Corporation, Representative of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, Director of the De Beers Botswana Mining Company (Pty) Limited (Diamond Mining Company), Botswana RST Limited, Bangwato Concessions Limited (BCL) and Bank of Botswana.

Mr Mogae serves on the boards of several international organisations involved in leadership, governance and the fight against HIV and AIDS. These include his leadership of the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation group of some former African leaders such as First President of Zambia Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Former President of Mozambique Chissano, Former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. He is also Chairperson of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), and a Board Member of the MasterCard Foundation. He is also a member of the Commission on HIV Prevention of UNAIDS and Commission on HIV and the Law of UNDP. He is the co-Chairman of the High Level Review of the Fiduciary Controls Panel of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Champions for AIDS-Free Generation – Gaborone and Chairman of the Board of Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) – Addis.

He has been awarded the AIDS Leadership Award by Harvard AIDS Institute; the Africa-America Institute National Leadership Award – New York, USA; and the coveted Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for ensuring “stability and prosperity”

The former President’s tenure office ended on 31st March 2008 and was succeeded by his former Vice President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama as the 4th President of the Republic of Botswana.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Ntonjira
Head of Global Corporate Communications, Amref Health Africa
Email: [email protected]; Cell phone: 0719 369730


Betty Buyuka
Communications Manager, Amref International University
Email: [email protected]; Cell phone: +254 722 513 239

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