Botswana swears in third president

FESTUS Mogae was yesterday sworn in as Botswana's third president since Africa's oldest democracy gained independence three decades ago. Mr Mogae assumes power a year before his ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) faces voters in a national election.

Botswana has enjoyed remarkable economic growth during his decade-long tenure as finance minister. The country's vast diamond wealth has made it the world's biggest producer by value terms, estimated at $1.82bn in 1997. Mr Mogae is under pressure from opposition parties to spend more of the diamond-generated wealth to combat a 21 percent unemployment rate among its 1.5 million people.

-- Reuters, Gaborone