Bogolo Kenewendo Bio: Age, Education, Career, Controversy, Philanthropy

The youthful ingenuity of Honorable Bogolo Kenewendo

By  | May 20, 2020, 01:28 PM

Bogolo Kenewendo is the Cabinet Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana. She is an Economist and a Politician and the youngest and most dynamic minister. In 2018 she visited the Chobe area to familiarize and motivate entrepreneurs in the wildlife and tourism rich corner of Botswana. 

The honorable Bogolo Kenwendo is certainly making a lasting impact on her country.

Let’s have a look at the ingenious life of Bogolo Kenewendo:

Bogolo Kenewendo Age 

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo is 32 years old and was born in 1987 in Motopi Village in Boteti Area, in Botswana circa. She describes her upbringing as ordinary, “an ordinary Botswana child with an ordinary upbringing”.
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Bogolo Kenewendo Education

As a child Bogolo Kenewendo envisioned playing a role in Botswana’s development. Once she had completed primary school, she enrolled at Pitzer College and was later admitted to the University of Botswana. There she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and later obtained a Master of Science in International Economics from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. She is also certified in Project Management.

Bogolo Kenewendo Career

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Bogolo Kenewendo specializes in:

-       Financial Sector Development

-       Poverty Alleviation

-       Industrial Development Policy

-       Trade Related Issues

-       Trade and Investment Policy

-       Trade and Investment Regulatory Frameworks

-       Macroeconomic Policy

-       Public Debt Management

-       Export Development and Trade Policy

After her postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom, Kenewendo worked as a Trade Economist for some time in the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry. She also served at Econsult Botswana, a Gaborone-based think tank, as an economic consultant. She has been active from 2003 to present.

Bogolo Kenewendo Political Career

In 2011, Bogolo Kenewendo met former first lady Michelle Obama in Washington D.C. as a participant in the Young African Leaders Initiative, which was a fellowship begun by the US State Department in 2010. The former president of Botswana, Ian Khama, nominated Kenewendo to the Parliament of Botswana in 2016, while he was in Presidential Office. She was then elected as a presidential nominee to parliament.
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“I am a pan-Africanist; I enjoyed working in Ghana, where the history of pan-Africanism is rich,” she said in an interview with Africa Renewal.

The new succeeding president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, appointed Kenenwendo on the 4th April 2018 as the new Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry and she was sworn in on the same day.
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Bogolo Kenewendo was appointed in her capacity as minister by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in 2018, to the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma.

Bogolo Kenewendo Controversy

Amidst claims that the Botswana Trade Commission, established in 2016, was given 3 months to finalise their business and close their doors, Minister Bogolo Kenewendo fiercely denied the closure of the (BOTC). She stated that she had not heard anything regarding the winding up of the commission.

Bogolo Kenewendo Philanthropy


The Dipetsana Coop Women’s Bike Shop in Kasane has been set up and mentored by the Department of Co-operative Development’s Kasane office, who is in partnership with AKP (Abercrombie and Kent Philanthropy). The department falls directly under Bogolo Kenewendo’s Ministry, who cleared an entire day to meet specifically with Dipetsana Coop.

It was a momentous and exciting day for the women of Dipetsana Coop, with the Minister ordering one of the store’s own products, which was a table made of recycled bicycle rims.

She accompanied the Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, along with Chobe District Minister of Parliament, Honourable Machana Ronald Shamukuni. Machana bought a bicycle on the day.

An invitation was sent out to Dipetsana Coop, to form part of the Ministers’ Delegation that visited Nigeria for the 12th Africa Cooperative Ministerial Conference. This is where Honourable Bogolo Kenewendo handed over the Chairpersonship of the Conference, which Botswana was trusted with since 2015.

It came as an honour on the side of Dipetsana Coop and their excitement was quite evident.

Narufu Kwesi, who is Chairperson of Dipetsana Coop said, “as a fairly new Coop, an invitation by the Minister to represent Botswana at such an international event is overwhelmingly exciting.”

Health and Sanitation for ‘The Girl Child’

The ‘Voice of Africa Trust’ had been campaigning with various other organizations in addressing the health and sanitation issue that many young school-aged girls face regarding proper sanitation during their mentrual cycle. These campaigns have not been in vain. 

Many of these young women are faced with the challenge of missing out on school due to the physical restraint of their monthly period. Many young women, in a desperate attempt to secure funds, engage in sexual activities with partners in exchange for money, which in turn results in sexual violation, sexually trasmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies, contributing to the increase in poverty.

In August 2017, state and private schools of Botswana were backed in a motion by the Botswana parliament to provide free sanitary pads to girls. Once the motion was tabled, Minister Bogolo Kenewendo fought for the reduction or abolishment of tax on sanitary pads and tampons, correctly arguing that a woman’s menstrual cycle, was not by choice or desire. She argued against the injustice that see woman pay tax over an estimated period of 39 years for a natural experience that they cannot control. Kenewendo contended that the health and sanitation of women and young women specifically, is an issue that largely impacts poverty as a whole. This is attributable to the actuality that many young women would be able to attend school confidently, contributing to the upliftment of the economy through educational empowerment and later professional capability.

There is a call upon other African States to follow suit, ensuring a dignified menstrual cycle for all girls.

Bogolo Kenewendo pays close attention to the representation of women in all sectors and advocates on behalf of women and children in Africa.

Read next: Amantle Montsho Biography: Age, Family, Education, Career, Controversy, Networth

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