Topics: International Relations
Regional focus: Sub-Saharan Africa
Origin: Botswana
Fellowship: Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo is an economic diplomacy professional whose career spans trade & investment, finance & development, and public policy.

Kenewendo served as a Specially Elected Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry in Botswana where she increased investment, improved Botswana's doing business environment, and negotiated key trade agreements as the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Customs Union Council of Ministers of Trade including the European Union EPA, The United Kingdom Post Brexit agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Area, etc. She most recently has been part of driving non-state actor ambition in climate action and crafting solutions for unlocking quality, efficient & affordable finance for sustainable development in Africa and EMDE markets as the Special Advisor to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions. Her and her team, in collaboration with partners, have been instrumental in the creation of USD 20 Billion UN compendium of Climate action projects, Africa Carbon Market Initiative; Working Group for Sustainability-linked Sovereign Financing of Nature and Climate; Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance and the Africa Climate Risk Insurance Facility for Adaptation to mention a few.

Kenewendo serves in various corporate and philanthropic boards including as Chairperson of Bank Gaborone, Non-Executive Director of the Africa Free Trade Area Adjustment Fund Corporation and the Africa Center for Economic Transformation. Kenewendo has served the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, Advisory group on the gender architecture of the UN, and group on Financing for Development. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Trade Advisory Group, Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and a WEF Young Global Leader.

She is a Non-Resident Fellow with the Center for Global Development. She is frequently named among Africa's Most Influential People by various publications including the New African Magazine 2022. In 2022 she was named among Prestigious Time magazine’s TIME100 Next Honorees highlighting 100 emerging leaders from around the world who are shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership.

Last updated: 2024