Gaositwe K. T. Chiepe
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Education and early life
Chiepe was born in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1926. She attended primary school in Serowe and eventually went to Tigerkloof, South Africa for secondary education. She then attended Fort Hare University, also in South Africa, where she received a Bachelor of Science as well as a degree in education. In 1958, she graduated from the University of Bristol in the UK with a master's degree. Her thesis was entitled "An Investigation of the Problems of Popular Education in the Bechuanaland Protectorate in Light of a Comparative Study of Similar Problems in the Early Stages of English Education and in the Development of Education in Yugoslavia and Uganda." She was awarded an honorary degree from Depaul University, United States. She began her career in the Bechuanaland Protectorate Government in the Department of Education and was one of the first two Africans appointed to an administrative position (Education Officer) in the colonial government.
Chiepe was the first female cabinet member in Botswana (1974) having become a Specially-Elected Member of Parliament. She was popularly elected to parliament from the Serowe South constituency in the Central District of Botswana in a by-election in 1977. She was appointed to the post of high commissioner to United Kingdom and Nigeria and ambassador to West Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the European Economic Community from 1970 to 1974. From 1974 to 1977, Chiepe was the minister of Trade and Industry. From 1977 to 1984, she was the minister of Mines & Natural Resources. In 1984, Chiepe became the Foreign Minister (minister of external relations), in which position she remained until 1994. From 1994 to 1999, she was the minister of education. Chiepe retired from government life in 1999 after nearly 30 years of high level positions.
- Gossett, C.W. "The Civil Service in Botswana," Ph.D dissertation, Stanford University, 1986, p. 372.
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