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Botswana Ambassador Who Is UC Alumna Will Speak at Spring 2014 Commencement


UC alumna Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States, will serve as the Commencement speaker in ceremonies set for Saturday, April 26.

Date: 3/31/2014 8:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot   One-time University of Cincinnati student Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States, will return to campus as the Commencement speaker in ceremonies set for Saturday, April 26. On that day, there will be undergraduate Commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in UC’s Fifth Third Arena.
Tebelelo Mazile Seretse
One-time UC student Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the U.S.



Seretse, who earned a master’s of economics at UC in 1980, is the first woman to ever serve as Botswana’s ambassador to the U.S., a post in which she fosters and oversees joint Botswana/U.S. programs and initiatives related to the areas of health, education, trade and industry. She has served in her current diplomatic role since 2011.

Prior to her diplomatic assignment, Seretse was a member of Botswana’s parliament from 1999-2004. During this time, she held three cabinet positions: Acting Minister for Presidential Affairs; Minister of Trade and Industry, Wildlife and Tourism; and Minister of Works, Transport and Communications.

In those cabinet-level positions, Seretse negotiated a partnership agreement with the U.S. government to start an International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana; ensured that Botswana qualified for the Africa Growth Opportunity Act with the objective to increase trade between Botswana and the U.S.; signed an important trade agreement between Botswana and the Republic of India; and was instrumental in establishing Botswana’s Local Enterprise Authority and the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (now the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre), among other accomplishments.

Prior to her political career, Seretse served as senior research officer for the country’s reserve bank, the Bank of Botswana, as finance manager for BP Botswana (Pty) Ltd., and as senior partner with Seretse Attorneys, in addition to serving on numerous corporate boards.

She also served as director of her family’s business, Diragake (Pty) Ltd., and as a successful woman entrepreneur in the developing world, Ambassador Seretse assists and supports other women establishing their own businesses.

Thus, in both her public and private-sector roles, Seretse has contributed to Botswana’s prosperity as country with a strong, longstanding tradition of representative democracy and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

In addition to her UC degree, she earned two undergraduate degrees (in economics and accounting) in four years at Morgan State University in Baltimore. She also holds a law degree from the University of Botswana.

In previously published reports, Seretse, who was born in a rural village, has stated that she came to the U.S. to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degrees because the value of education is strongly emphasized within the culture and society of her native country. That emphasis on education is part of what has contributed to Botswana’s political stability and ongoing economic prosperity.



See more on UC's upcoming spring Commencement: