Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Light Rain Fog/Mist, 66 °F


Ambassador meets Danielle Parker, student trustee after lecture

Photographer: Ashley Anderson


Ambassador meets with faculty and staff during tour of Alden

Photographer: Patrick Traylor

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Botswana ambassador speaks to class, renews book depository agreement

Tebelelo Seretse gives new perspectives about Africa to students

Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana ambassador to the United States, visited Ohio University on Monday to renew the book depository agreement between the University and Botswana.

In the morning, Seretse renewed the long standing book depository agreement, which calls for thegovernment of Botswana to deposits books and official documents into Alden Library for public use. She also toured Alden Library with Ohio University officials.

The day began with the official presentation of the books she brought for the depository, followed by a tour of the Center for International Collections and the Botswana Depository.

"We are grateful that she is very much interested in helping us build our Botswana collection," said Araba Dawson-Andoh, the African studies subject librarian.

Dawson-Andoh said she plans to keep in contact with the ambassador to improve the collection.

In the afternoon, Seretse presented a speech titled, "An ambassador's life: Representing Botswana in the U.S." to an "Introduction to African Studies" class. Community members were also in attendance.

The ambassador's national pride was obvious as she spoke to the audience in Bentley Hall.

"We don't just mine diamonds, Botswana itself is a gem," Seretse said. "It is one of the best kept secrets about the whole of the African continent. It makes me very proud to represent this country." 

Throughout the speech Seretse discussed the progress that Botswana has made in its 45 years as a nation. She said the country boasts free education, a good healthcare system and has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. She added that it has held free and fair elections since its independence in 1966, and according to Transparency International, Botswana ranks as the 33rd least corrupt nation in the world — by far the highest-ranked country in Africa.

Seretse also described her experiences since becoming an ambassador earlier this year, and how she enjoys life in the U.S.

"We share a lot of common democratic principles," Seretse said. "It becomes easy to be an ambassador to a country which tries to cherish human rights, which tries to be democratic, which tries to do well for its people."