All hail Bogolo Kenewendo, Botswana’s youngest minister
31-year-old Bogolo Kenewendo is the youngest minister in Botswana’s parliament. She first joined parliament in 2016 as an elected MP by former president Ian Khama, and she is now the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. Her appointment has received a lot of praise as most political positions are given to older people.
Bogolo Kenewendo was born in Motopi village in the Boteti area in Botswana. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Botswana and an MSc in International Economics from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom which she obtained after landing a Chevening Scholarship. She is also a Certified Project Manager.
Bogolo Kenewendo taken part in several high-level positions and projects in Botswana including being part of the former president Ian Khama’s Private Public Dialogue structure, the High-Level Consultative Council which is a structure aimed at addressing the challenges of the private sector in Botswana.
In September 2009, Kenewendo was one of two Botswana youth delegates at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and was nominated to present a statement of African youth to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
She has also taken part in a number of prestigious programs including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office International Leaders Program in 2016, A variation of the US President Obama’s YALI for Young Women Leaders in 2011.
After taking part in the young African women leaders’ forum which was hosted by Michelle Obama in 2011, Kenewendo and her friend were inspired to form a mentorship program called Molaya Kgosi. The program mentors and exposes young women to experienced and successful women in Botswana.
Bogolo Kenewendo has worked as a trade economist in the ministry of trade and industry in Ghana and was previously employed as an economic consultant at Econsult Botswana. Her areas of expertise include Macroeconomic policy, public debt management, trade policy, export development, trade in services, regulatory frameworks, trade-related issues, trade and investment policy, industrial development policy, institutional frameworks for policy formulation, poverty alleviation, and financial sector development.
In 2012, Kenewendo was honoured with the Ten Outstanding Young Persons award by Junior Chamber International Botswana.