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4 countries in Southern Africa get new presidents within 5 months

After the inauguration of Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi over the weekend, it means over the past 5 months, 4 countries in Southern Africa have had Presidency changes.

But only 1, was through the ballot box, and that’s in Angola. Zimbabwe and South Africa had their Presidents forced to resign and in Botswana, the former President Ian Khama retired months before his term expired.

Botswana inaugurated Mokgweetsi Masisi as its fifth president, in a ceremony designed to highlight a smooth transition of power in one of Africa’s strongest democracies.

The ex-vice president took over on Sunday from Ian Khama, who stepped down after his term limit – 10 years – was reached. Elections are scheduled for next year.

In his first address to the nation, Masisi vowed to focus on tackling unemployment, which stands at about 20 percent.

“Botswana faces a myriad of challenges, such as unemployment, poverty, crime, HIV/AIDs, alcohol and drug abuse, amongst others,” he said.

“Therefore, my top priorities as a president of this country will be to address the problem of unemployment, especially among the young people who constitute the majority of our population.”

Masisi has 18 months to assert his authority within the ruling Democratic Party before national elections in October 2019.

Botswana gets to choose its members of parliament and then the party with the majority of votes, in turn, elects a president. Masisi hopes to be that man.

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