Bogolo Kenewendo

💼 Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Government of Botswana

🎓 MSc International Economics, University of Sussex (2012)

Bogolo is the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in the Cabinet of Botswana. Appointed at age 30, she became the youngest minister in Botswana’s history. Previously, she served as a Specially Elected Member of Parliament, and as a trade economist in Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. She has received several accolades for her work, including the Ten Outstanding Young Persons award by JCI Botswana (2012), the Botswana Change Makers Award in business and leadership (2016), and the Formidable Woman award (2016).

In addition to her Chevening Scholarship, Bogolo has participated in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s prestigious International Leaders Programme. While taking part in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Washington DC, Bogolo was inspired by former First Lady Michelle Obama to found her own women’s leadership and mentorship programme, Molaya Kgosi. This programme aims to promote intergenerational dialogue on careers and leadership, and provide mentorship opportunities to young women.

Bogolo Kenewendo

Chevening means change because my life was never the same after.

What made you apply for a Chevening Award?

It was in my five year plan. I had planned to do my postgrad degree after two years of working. Chevening was the right scholarship for me. The alumni were of good standing in society and I really wanted to join the network.

How do you feel your Chevening experience has influenced where you are now?

It has broadened my network within Africa, and has opened up new possibilities and opportunities abroad, including the International Leaders Programme (ILP) and Commonwealth Summer School. Of course, I have also made a lot of close friends, one of whom I have had the pleasure of serving as her maid of honour.

What advice would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?

Chevening is more than a scholarship. You must attend the student events because they will open up your mind and network. It’s not just a scholarship, it’s a network. Enjoy it!

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