Quett Ketumile Joni Masire was born in Kanye in 1925 and later became one of the founding fathers of independent Botswana. Long admired for his innovative farming methods, Sir Ketumile formed the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and was one of the key architects of Botswana’s political and economic development. He then served as Vice President of Botswana from 1966-1980 and then became President in 1980 upon the death of Sir Seretse Khama. He lead his party to three successive election victories in 1984, 1989 and 1994, retiring in 1988. The years under Masire realized stellar income per capita growth rates, extensive decline in corruption, and important changes in the election processes. Since retiring from the Presidency, Masire was knighted in 1991 and has continued to be an influential presence in African affairs.