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Owen J. M. Kalinga

physician and president of Malawi from 1964 to 1994, was born in about 1896 at Mphonongo, approximately 18 miles (29 kilometers) east of the headquarters of the present-day Kasungu district. Given the name, Kamunkhwala, denoting the medicine that his mother took to enable conception, Banda attended two local junior elementary schools of the Livingstonia Mission of the Church of Scotland. In 1908, he went to the more established school at Chilanga Mission where, in that year, Dr. George Prentice baptized him as Akim Kamunkhwala Mtunthama Banda. He was to drop all three names and replace them with Hastings Walter (after a Scottish missionary, John Hastings), before finally settling on Hastings Kamuzu Banda, substituting kamuzu (root) for Kamunkhwala.

In 1914 Banda passed three standard exams a mandatory step to continue to the full primary school level the satisfactory completion of which was the highest qualification one could attain ...


Elizabeth Heath

Félix Houphouët-Boigny was the first president of the Côte d’Ivoire. Many people credit his political acumen and skillful leadership for the achievement of stability and economic prosperity in the country. Born in Yamoussoukro, the son of a Baule chief, HouphouËt-Boigny attended the prestigious école Normale William Ponty and the école de Médicine et de Pharmacie, both in Dakar, Senegal. After graduating in 1925, he practiced medicine and, at the same time, ran a coffee plantation. In 1940 he was appointed the canton chief of his family s home district he subsequently turned his attention to politics especially as they affected the Baule coffee farmers Confronted by the racist policies of the colonial government HouphouËt Boigny organized fellow planters into the Syndicat Agricole Africain SAA to protest the colonial administration s race based crop prices and use of forced labor which only benefited European farmers Although the ...


Shannon Oxley

president of Botswana, was born Seretse Khama Ian Khama in Surrey, England, on 27 February 1953. Khama descends from a long line of Botswanan royalty. Son of Botswana’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama, who himself was the son of Sekgoma II, the paramount chief of the BaNgwato (Bamangwato) people, Ian Khama was also the great-grandson of Khama III, or “Khama the Good,” who made Botswana a British protectorate. The Khama family history is filled with intrigue and taboo; twice did two members take British wives and each time were banished from the group. Khama III was the first of his line to undertake a Christian baptism in 1860 and then married a white woman in 1866, whom history knows only as Bessie. For this, Khama III was exiled and eventually moved his Christian following to Serowe. Similarly, Sir Seretse Khama married Ruth Williams in 1948 The interracial ...


Willie Henderson

president of Botswana, was born in Serowe, Botswana. Mogae’s background was impeccably that of the educated and internationally trained “technocrat,” a personality schooled in internal and development economics. He was educated at Moeng College and later, in economics, at Oxford and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Mogae entered into the life of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) at the age of 53 and represented the Palapye constituency from 1994 to 1998.

Mogae developed his economic skills within Development Planning a ministry that during the formative years of Botswana s developmental state just after independence became the dominant force for economic mobilization He spent time at the World Bank and as governor of the Bank of Botswana He was permanent secretary to the president 1982 1989 When he was vice president Mogae held the post of minister for finance and development ...


Luis Gonçalves

Angolan doctor, writer, and first president of independent Angola from 1975 to 1979, was born António Agostinho Neto in Kaxicane, in the county of Icolo e Bengo, near Luanda. His father was a pastor of an American mission, and his mother was a teacher. He went to school in Luanda, where he finished high school in 1944. He then went to Portugal, where he studied medicine at the prestigious University of Coimbra. It is there that he started his anticolonial activities. In 1947 he was a founding member of the movement of young Angolan intellectuals, “Let’s Discover Angola.” In the following year he received a study grant from the American Methodists, and he transferred to the University of Lisbon.

In 1950 Neto was arrested in Lisbon by the Portuguese political police PIDE Polícia de Intervenção e Defesa do Estado while he was collecting signatures for the World ...


Eric Young

The son of a Methodist minister, António Agostinho Neto received his high school education in Luanda. In 1947, after spending three years in the government health service, Neto traveled to Portugal to attend medical school on a Methodist church scholarship. While there he met his Portuguese wife, Maria Eugénia da Silva, and other students from Portuguese Africa, including future nationalist leaders Amílcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau and Eduardo Mondlane of Mozambique. He also became involved in the youth organization of the Portuguese opposition movement. Between 1952 and 1962, during various stays in prison for his political activity, Neto began writing poetry. The publication of his nationalist poetry and his subsequent detention delayed his graduation from medical school until 1958.

By mid 1957 he had joined the recently formed opposition group the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola MPLA He fit in well with the MPLA s educated ...