Ian Khama became president of Botswana in 2008, the year when the world was in economic turmoil. It was the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s Great Depression. Fast forward to 2018. Khama himself is on the verge of stepping down. He will be automatically succeeded by Mokgweetsi Masisi, the present vice-president of the land-locked African nation. The latter will lead his country until 2019, when Botswana will elect a new government. It remains to be seen if the people of Botswana sends the Botswana Democratic Party back to power.
Making the best of the past
Masisi, like his predecessor, inherits a world in turmoil. Unlike a financial recession, he wades into a world suffering from a geo-political recession. The world economy now thrives, but politics remain unpredictable and dangerous. The world is much more dangerous than it was in 2009. The United States of America no longer polices the world. Surprisingly, no other nations want to supplant the United States. It seems the world is now much nearer to a geopolitical depression compared to the reversion to any past stability,
When it comes to Africa, the countries within it remains committed to the integration agenda. African nations now talk of free movement of its citizens and more trade. A number of regional trade agreements can make such a phenomenon possible. Botswana itself signed SADC-EAC-COMESA agreement of free trade. These will be the building blocks of free trade in the continent. It is also being observed that a number of African leaders have been much more assertive and shows a united face when it comes to portraying an independent and positive vision on the place and also the role of Africa in the world political map. These do not mean the continent is free from risks. Terrorism and militancy are still rife on the continent.
Resurgent African leadership
The African Union is being headed by Paul Kagame. He continues to be a popular and powerful figure not only in Rwanda but also in the East African region. Uhuru Kenyatta, although a little rocky at home, continues to shine internationally. CEOs of many global companies have invested in Africa solely due to his efforts. South Africa's new leadership of Ramaphosa and Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa have made new inroads in Davos at World Economic Forum. Investors are impressed by their talk of the “new age” coming soon to their countries. Botswana's President Masisi will clearly be surrounded by two able presidents who can only 'up' his game.