The passing of Botswana’s second president Sir Quett Ketumile Masire was not just the death of a good man but also the death of a man of integrity, and a model leader for Africa. Sir Ketumile who led Botswana for 18 years, is credited with solidifying the country’s economy and robust democracy.

At the U.N. General Assembly in New York today, a minute of silence was held in remembrance of Sir Masire. The government of Botswana also honoured Sir Masire by renaming the new University of Botswana Teaching Hospital, the state of the art facility located at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, to Sir Ketumile Masire University Hospital.

Read: Sir Quett Ketumile Masire: Botswana’s second president and nation builder dies

Research assistants at the BHP lab (Photo by Neo Jasmine Mokgosi)

Sir Masire was the first Chancellor of the University of Botswana in 1982 while he was still president. In 1998 when he retired from the presidency, he passed the baton to former President Mr Festus Mogae. Sir Masire was later appointed the third Chancellor in September 2008, and the first non-head of state to hold such a position.

The new hospital which has been under construction since 2010 is scheduled for opening in either late 2017 or early 2018. The 450 bed hospital was constructed in accordance with the mission of the Botswana University Hospital which is to provide excellence in Medical Education, Research and Patient Centred Clinical Care.

Read: Botswana’s hidden treasure: A photo essay on Tsodilo

Botswana which is a landlocked country is one of Africa’s most successful nations. The hospital will serve the southern African countries and will probably be one of the first steps towards stopping medical tourism in Africa.

Currently, many African presidents such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari, Cameroon’s Paul Biya and a long list of others have been seeking medical attention overseas.