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Botswana-Rutgers Leadership Summit Focused on Fostering Relationships and Leadership Goals

A delegation of 16 executive-level government officials from Botswana visited Rutgers in May 2019.

In February 2019, the Government of Botswana and Rutgers University launched the Mahube (“Dawn) Partnership for Transformation—a unique partnership designed to enhance leadership capacity and knowledge transfer as the Republic of Botswana transforms its predominantly natural resource-based economy into a knowledge-based economy. The partnership is organized around five areas of need in Botswana:

  • Enhancing the health care system—both infrastructure and education
  • Providing leadership training across the public sector
  • Creating policies and programs that encourage entrepreneurship
  • Developing strength in information technology across government and health care
  • Enriching higher education and developing strength in critical STEM fields

In collaboration with the President’s Office, the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership was actively involved in the design, coordination, and facilitation of the Botswana-Rutgers Leadership Summit, which was hosted at Rutgers in early May 2019. A delegation of 16 executive-level government officials from Botswana participated in the 12-day Summit, which was designed to accomplish two goals:

  • Deliver a leadership development program for senior Botswana government officials to enhance leadership competencies and capabilities
  • Foster relationships between Botswana executive leaders and Rutgers experts in specific areas that align with the five pillars of the partnership

The following executive government leaders from Botswana participated in the program:

  • Mr. Elias Magosi, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President
  • Mr. Stanley Makosha, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President
  • Ms. Goitseone N. Mosalakatane, Director, Directorate of Public Service Management
  • Dr. Grace Kgakge-Tabengwa, Director General, National Strategy Office
  • Ms. Grace Muzila, Secretary Budget Administrator, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED)
  • Dr. Theophilus Mooko, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science, and Technology (MOTE)
  • Mr. Dikagiso B. Mokotedi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development
  • Ms. Botshelo Mathuba, Executive Director – Botswana Public Service College
  • Ms. Peggy Serame, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment. Trade, and Industry (MITI)
  • Ms. Alicia Mokone, Deputy Permanent Secretary (ICT), Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC)
  • Prof. Doreen Ramogola-Masire, Interim Dean for Faculty and Medicine and Deputy Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Botswana (UB)
  • Dr. Morrison Sinvula, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Wellness
  • Dr. Omponye C. Kereteletswe, Reforms Coordinator, Public Sector Reforms
  • Prof. Shedden Masupe, CEO, Botswana Institute of Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI)
  • Dr. Bernard Bulawayo, CEO, National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI)
  • Dr. Thato Moumakwa, Commissioning Manager, Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital

The team from the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership developed a Leadership in the Public Sector model, which was customized for use as a framework for the organization and design of the program. Inspired by the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Excellence in Higher Education model, this framework focuses on seven dimensions of excellence that are recognized as critical for organizational design, assessment, planning, and implementation in public sector organizations—Leadership, Purposes and Plans, Beneficiary and Constituency Relationships, Programs and Services, Human Resources and Workplace, Metrics, Assessment, and Analysis, and Outcomes and Achievements. Sessions and case studies were designed to focus on each of the seven areas in relationship to the transformational leadership challenges, goals, and vision as articulated in the Botswana plan, Vision 2036—Achieving Prosperity for All.

A unique feature of the Summit was the development of a personal and organizational leadership plan for each participant. Over the course of the program, participants developed their plans in alignment with each dimension of the framework examined throughout the sessions. The goal was to have each leader return to Botswana with a comprehensive and personalized implementation plan for applying concepts and competencies from the program in their own organizational setting.

According to Brent Ruben, Distinguished Professor of Communication and Executive Director of the Center for Organizational Leadership, “The Summit was a truly outstanding event, which met and exceeded the high expectations we all had set during the planning for the program. From the evaluations provided at the completion of the program by members of the Botswana delegation, this was a most significant experience for them professionally and personally—a view that was certainly shared by members of the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership team.” Plans are underway for future directions, including a train-the-trainer program whereby professionals in Botswana will be able to implement the program within their country.

A number of SC&I-affiliated are playing a key role in this unique partnership. Brent Ruben, Ph.D. and Ralph Gigliotti, Ph.D. '17 co-lead the leadership development initiative, with active involvement and support from Christine Goldthwaite, Ph.D. '10, Kate Immordino, Ph.D. '06, and Morit Blank, Ph.D.

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