Many countries, particularly in Africa, have failed to realize development largely because they suffer from a ‘leadership deficit’. Evidence across the African continent shows that even countries that are endowed with resources have failed to transform, in part because of bad leadership. Yet, there are countries that are an exception to this trend. Botswana is one such a country. This paper uses the case of Botswana to demonstrate that leadership can make a difference. It, therefore, argues that leadership can either make or break a country. Botswana has been able to transform itself from a position of desolation at independence to one of an upper middle income country by the 1990s. It is today held as an economic and political success story that can offer lessons to other African countries. This is remarkable by African standards. Botswana’s transformation was possible in part because of the good leadership and good policy decisions. The case of Botswana shows that leadership is a crucial success factor for any country’s development prospects. The paper uses the case studies of presidents Seretse Khama, Ketumile Masire, Festus Mogae and Ian Khama to demonstrate the significance of leadership in influencing the direction and development of the country.
That is from the paper "The critical role of leadership in Botswana’s development: What lessons?" by Sebudubudu and Botlhomilwe. It was published in the journal Leadership (February 2012).