Gloria Somolekae

Senior Research Fellow (Governance and Administration)

Dr Gloria Somolekae is the head of the Governance and Administration Unit at BIDPA. The unit spearheads research on a number of Governance areas including democracy and development, corruption, e-governance, public sector reforms, policy implementation and project management, service delivery issues, evidence-based policy making, local government, rural development and policy analysis in general.

Dr Somolekae brings to BIDPA extensive expertise and experience in a variety of Governance issues that are the focus of its work.

She holds a PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, USA. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration in 1983 from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. Her undergraduate degree is in Public Administration and Political Science obtained from the University of Botswana and Swaziland.

Dr. Somolekae started her career as a Lecturer at the University of Botswana where she taught Development Administration, Public Policy analysis, Research Methods, Local Government, Program evaluation and Organizational Development.

After 18 years with the University, she joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Policy Consultant focusing on poverty eradication and broader issues of rural development in Southern Africa. In 2006, she moved to South Africa to take on the role of Program Director at the W.K. Kellogg Africa head office assuming responsibility for the work of the Foundation in Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

After relocating to Botswana, she was appointed Specially Elected Member of Parliament. She served as a member of the Pan African Parliament which is located in Midrand in South Africa. In 2011 she was appointed the Deputy Minister of Finance and Development Planning where she also assumed the role of Director for the African Development Bank representing the Botswana Government. She then served for a year, before moving to the Office of the President, and later the Ministry of Health in the same role of deputy.

During her stay in parliament and cabinet, she contributed to a variety of policy related tasks covering State Owned Enterprises, Budget formulation and Administration, reviewing the mandate of the Rural Development Council and the Rural Development Program. Her portfolios included issues of Poverty, disability and HIV/AIDS.

 

RESEARCH TOPICS COVERED OVER THE YEARS

During the many years that she was a researcher, she covered a number of research topics in the broad governance field ranging from, Democracy and elections, Local government, election management; Foreign Aid effectiveness: how the management of Aid in Botswana has been critical to aid effectiveness; civil society issues and the role of this sector in development; Governance and HIV/AIDS issues; Performance Management System within the Botswana Public Service; Public Sector Reforms; Development planning and management; Gender and development.

SUMMARY OF SELECTED CONSULTANCIES AND RESEARCH PROJECTS

  • National Coordinator of the UN SDG 11 Project on Human Settlements (February to July 2017)
  • Lead Researcher; National Survey on Public Confidence in the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), 2015
  • Developed the Implementation and Monitoring Framework of the Sports Commission Act; 2015. Commissioned by the Botswana Sports Commission
  • Coordinator; The National Customer Satisfaction Survey; Commissioned by the Citizen Economic Development Agency (CEDA), 2010.
  • Authored the Background Paper for the Botswana Government and the European Union on the 10th Development Framework between Botswana and the EU.
  • May 2005-February 2006: Member of the Pan African Working Group on Institutional Effectiveness in Africa.  Was charged with assessing the state of institutional effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa focusing on Kenya, Senegal and Ghana.  A project coordinated by the Institute of Global Dialogue in Pretoria
  • July 2006: Institute for Global Dialogue Project: Strategic responses to HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa: The case of Botswana.
  • June-August 2005: Governance and AIDS Project:  An examination of the role of Parliament, Parliamentary committees and individual members of Parliament in the response to HIV in Botswana.  A study commissioned by IDASA, South Africa.
  • January 2005: Economic Commission for Africa Report: Democracy, development and poverty – on strengthening the capacity of African parliaments and political parties to play a more effective role in poverty reduction.
  • February to May 2003: NORAD’S Governance Program team member:  Project aimed at drawing up a comprehensive strategy to support governance in Southern Africa.
  • February to March 2002: Consultancy on Contract Financed Technical Cooperation and commissioned by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
  • May 2002: Member of an EU’s commissioned team of three to evaluate the performance of the Lesotho Electoral Commission.
  • 1999/2000: Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) Project- A situational analysis of the Performance Management System in the Botswana Public Service.  This work was key in guiding the efforts of the Botswana Government as it rolled out its Public sector reform initiative in the form of the performance Management system.  As the Chair of the Vision 2016 Council, She continued to play a key role in this effort of transformation of the public service.  The Permanent Secretary to the President at the time constituted a group called The Critical Eye to advise him in rolling out this process.  Somolekae served in this team.
  • 1998/1999: International Development Research Centre (IDRC): Project on managing transition from aid dependency: the case of Botswana.
  • 1998: The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA):  A study on Managing Good Fortune: Macro-economic Management and the role of Aid.
  • Member of the research team: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Project on Managing Transition From Aid Dependency: The Case of Botswana (1998-1999).
  • 1996: Overseas Development Council (ODC):  A study on aid effectiveness in Africa with special reference to Botswana but covering 7 African countries.

BOOKS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS

  • With K.R. Hope Sr. Public Administration and Policy in Botswana (1998) Juta Publishers, South Africa.
  • With Jerker Carlson and Nicolas Van de Walle, Foreign Aid in Africa: Learning from Country Expriences (1997) Nordiska, Afrikainstitute, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • With Hildegunn K. Nordas and Gilbert Sekgoma, Managing Good Fortune: Macroeconomic Management and the Role of Aid in Botswana (1998) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
  • With Gervase Maipose & T. Johnston, Aid Effectiveness in Botswana (1996) Overseas Development Council, Washington D.C. U.S.A
  • Book Review, Third Word Quarterly, Volume 8, No, July 1986.Review of Jack Parson’s book: Botswana: Liberal Democracy and the Labour Reserve in Southern Africa.
  • “Perceptions and Attitudes of Botswana Mineworkers Towards the South African Gold Mines”, with Special Reference to Living Conditions, Legal Issues and Trade Unions, (1987) ILO Working Paper No. 36, Geneva with L,Molamu and Athaliah Molokomme.
  • The Informal Sector and Small-Scale Enterprise Development in Botswana’’ (1992) Working Paper No. 61 National Institute for Development Research and Documentation, Gaborone.
  • “Mobilizing Public Opinion and the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations” in Which Way Botswana’s Environment? Proceedings of a Symposium organized by the Kalahari Conservation Society, (1992) Botswana.
  • With John Holm “Some Tentative Conclusions on the Democracy Project” in Botswana, Education, Culture and Politics (1998), Centre of African Studies, Edinburg, U.K.
  • “Do Batswana Think and Act as Democrats?’’ in Holm Molutsi (eds.) Democracy in Botswana (1989) Macmillan Botswana Publishing Company.
  • “Policy Formulation and Land Tenure Re-organization: A Case Study of the Tribal Grazing Land Policy’’ in Mobilization of Resources for National and Development in Southern Africa.
  • “The Nature and Evolution of Botswana’s Development Planning System: Achievements and Challenges Ahead” in Nordas, Somolekae (1998).
  • “Bureaucracy and Democracy in Botswana: What Type of a Relationship?”    in Stedman (1992). The Political Economy of Botswana, Westview Press, U.S.A.
  • “Reconciling Sustainable Development and Environment Concerns’’ in Sustainable Rural Development, (1993) Botswana Society, Gaborone.
  • With Patrick Molutsi and J. Holm “The Developments of Civil Society in a Democratic State” in African Studies Review, Volume 39, No. 2.
  • With B. Grosh “Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns: Can Micro Enterprises Serve as the Seedbed for Industrialization?”  in World Development (1996) Volume 24, No. 12.
  • With G. Maipose “Aid Management in Botswana: Experiences and Lessons” in Botswana:  Politics and Society (1998) edited by H. Lekorwe and W. Edge. Van Schaik Publishers, South Africa.
  • With H. Lekorwe “The Chieftainship System and Politics in Botswana” (1966-1995) in W.A. Edge and M.H. Lekorwe Botswana: Politics and Society, J.L. Van Schaik, South Africa.
  • With Maipose and Johnston “Effective Aid Management: The Case of Botswana” in Carlson, Somolekae and Van de Walle (1997), Foreign Africa:   Learning from Country Experiences.  Aid in Nordika Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, Sweden.
  • “A Brief History of the Botswana Public Services’’ in Somolekae and Hope (1998), Public Administration and Policy in Botswana, Juta, South Africa.
  • “The Financing of Local Government” in Hope and Somolekae (1998).
  • With Maipose “Aid Management and Impact” in Hope and Somolekae (1998).
  • With M. Molomo “Making a Difference: NGOs, Good Governance and Service Delivery” in Hope and Somolekae (1998).
  • “Localization and Training for Change: Experiences and Challenges” in Hope and Somolekae (1998).
  • “Widening the Frontiers of Democracy: Towards a Transformative Agenda In Botswana Politics” in pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies (2000), special issue on Elections and Democracy in Botswana.

 

CONFERENCE PAPERS

  • “Who Runs for Office? The Results of the 1984 Candidates Survey.” Presented at the Election Study Workshop in 1984, Gaborone, Botswana
  • “The Chieftainship System and Politics in Botswana: 1966-1986)” Paper presented at Workshop on Development Trends in the Past Twenty Years of Independence, Gaborone, Botswana.
  • “Attitudes of Batswana Miners Towards their Working Living Conditions in South Africa.” Preliminary results presented at the Southern African Labour Commission Conference held at Gaborone (1986).
  • February, 1987: “A Profile of Batswana Mineworkers”. Paper presented at the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions Workshop on Migrant Labour, held at Tlokweng, Botswana.
  • “Problems of Coordinating Rural Development in  Botswana:  A  Case Study  of  Drought  Relief  Programmes in the Central  District”  (co-authored with M. Lekorwe),presented at the Case Writing Working held at Arusha, Tanzania (1988).
  • “Do Batswana Think and Act as Democrats?” (1988) A paper presented at the Democracy Seminar, Gaborone, Botswana
  • “Some Tentative Conclusion from Democracy Project” (1988) Paper co-authored with Prof. J. Holm, presented at a Conference on “Botswana: Education, political, culture,’’ Centre for African Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • “Migration from Botswana to South Africa and Its Impact on family life’’ (1991) Presented at Northwest University, Chicago, Illinois.
  • “Women and Politics in Africa” (1991) Paper presented as a Guest Speaker at the Women’s Weeks, Cleveland State University, Ohio.
  • “Bureaucracy and Democracy in Botswana. What Type of a   Relationship?”  (1991) Presented at the John Hopkins School of African and International Studies, Washington D.C., U.S.A
  • “Reconciling Sustainable Development and Environmental Concerns in Botswana,” (1992) Paper presented at a Joint Botswana Society and Ministry of Local Government and Lands Conference on Sustainable Rural Development, Gaborone.
  • With V. Ayeni “Promoting the Credibility and Effectiveness of Electoral Administration Agencies – The Case of Botswana” Paper presented at a Senior Policy Seminar on Strengthening Electoral Administration in Africa, Accra, Ghana, 1993.
  • “Reorienting Public Administration for National Development in a Changing Society: Experiences from Botswana.”  Paper presented at a conference on the Role of public Administration in Political Transformation:  1994, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
  • The Prevalence and Research Consequences of Rape on Women in Botswana: An Agenda for Research and Action.” Paper presented at a Workshop on Violence Against Women, Gaborone, Botswana (1995)
  • “Women and Politics in Africa” Overseas Development Council, Washington D.C June 11-12, 1996.
  • “Challenges Facing Local Authorities in Botswana” Paper presented at a Chief Executives Seminar, Gaborone 1998.
  • “Elections and Democracy in Botswana” Paper presented at the Workshop on Electoral Democracy in Southern Africa, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • With Dr Mpho Molomo “Sustainable Democracy in Botswana” Paper Presented at a Conference on Towards Sustainable Democratic Institutions in Southern Africa, The International IDEA, May 10-13, Gaborone, Botswana,2000.
  • “Methodologies of Assessing and Evaluating Voter Turnout in Southern Africa” Paper presented at the Southern African Election Forum, 11-14June, 2000, Windhoek, Namibia.
  • “The Democracy and Development Nexus: Exploring the Linkage”. Paper presented at the international conference on Sustaining Africa’s Democratic Momentum, organized by the South African Electoral Commission and the African Union, Johannesburg, South Africa 5-7 March 2007.
  • “Democracy, Development and Poverty – exploring the linkage”. Presented at the International IDEA Democracy Roundtable 2008, New Delhi, India,17 June 2008.
  • Participated in the Regional Expert Consultation on Democracy and Development, Accra, Ghana,14-15 December 2009.

BOARDS EXPERIENCE

Over the years, Dr Somolekae has served in a number of Boards in the country and beyond. These include the Election Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and others. She currently chairs the following boards; the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) and the Remuneration Committee (Remco) of Letshego Holdings. She is the Patron of the Cancer Association of Botswana.