Thinking Anglicans

Why Botswana is different

There is another African country, whose Court of Appeal has just confirmed the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships.  See for example, this Reuters report: Botswana appeals court upholds ruling that decriminalised gay sex, or this in the Guardian: Botswana upholds ruling decriminalising same-sex relationships.

The Anglican Peace and Justice Network reports: Alice Mogwe Receives Prestigious Award

Botswana activist Alice Mogwe spoke about the African and Anglican roots of her commitment to human dignity as she was presented with the prestigious Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award for 2021. Mogwe, the President of the International Federation of Human Rights, is a leading figure in the world-wide human rights community and in 2018 she became the first person from civil society to address a High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

In her acceptance speech entitled ‘What I learnt on the Way’ she emphasised the significance of human dignity as the basis of all right relationships between people and peoples. The concept of Botho – made famous as Ubuntu by her friend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu – is the foundation of all she has fought for from her awakening to the present day…

The full text of her acceptance speech can be found here.

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Froghole
Froghole
6 months ago

Botswana is indeed different in many ways, and the tone of the country was set by its founding president, Seretse Khama, whose son, Ian, was also president (2008-18). It is a country with very low levels of corruption, excellent public administration, impartial courts and relative (though quite unequal) levels of prosperity. The blueprint set by Khama was followed diligently by his successors, Masire, Mogae, Ian Khama and Masisi. I am sorry to dredge this up again, but one of the reasons why Khama established this blueprint (and had Botswana become independent as a republic) was that he wished to strike… Read more »

David Runcorn
Reply to  Froghole
6 months ago

Froghole. Thank you for this helpful background. Much to admire there. The earlier Ghana discussion contained some similarly helpful background history and culture. It all helps to keep the ‘thinking’ thoughtful at this distance.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
6 months ago

God bless the appeal court in Botswana. Hopefully those African nations that still criminalise LGBTQI people (including threatening them with the death penalty) will begin to reconsider. If only Archbishop Welby were not so equivocal and mealy mouthed in his defence of gay Africans in fear of being put to death.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Fr Dean
6 months ago

He could, for example, have used Botswana as an example that the criminalisation of LGBTI isn’t universally African to challenge the accusation that he was peddling Western values.

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Kate
6 months ago

Botswana – a Light to the Nations in this Advent Season. Thanks be to God!

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Kate
6 months ago

I wonder who “those advising the Archbishop on these matters” are (quoted from a recent letter from his Correspondence Manager)

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
6 months ago

Thanks so much for the link to the acceptance speech by Alice Mogwe. I’ve sent it around to a number of folks. A kairos moment under present circumstances for sure.

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