Ebert, a Social Democrat from a humble crafts background who had risen to hold the highest political office in his country, in response to his own painful experience in political confrontation had proposed the establishment of a foundation to serve the following aims:
- furthering political and social education of individuals from all walks of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism,
- facilitating access to university education and research for gifted young people by providing scholarships,
- contributing to international understanding and cooperation.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and re-established in 1947, continues today to pursue these aims in all its extensive activities.
As a private cultural non-profit institution, it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Botswana
The Botswana Office in Gaborone was established in October 1973. The FES signed an agreement with the Government of Botswana in April 1974 manifesting strong ties with state institutions, civil organisations, trade unions and academic bodies. Priorities of cooperation were then placed on strengthening political institutions in order to enhance the democratic development of Botswana despite an adverse political environment in the neighbourhood. Early projects targeted political partners, small business, trade unions, radio journalists, and academic research. From the 1990ties onwards the focus of co-operation shifted. The scope of activities nowadays comprises issues such as institutional reforms, economic and social policy, local democracy, policy dialogue with civil society, and strengthening of regional integration. Today our main objectives are the support of major institutional and political reforms that would foster the democratic stability in Botswana, and the promotion of the involvement of Non-State-Actors into the process of shaping policy and democracy. The FES plays an increasing role in the promotion of regional integration with different programmes in the SADC Region
FES is a co-operation partner, not a funding agency. Activities are jointly planned and carried out in close coordination with our local partners. Instruments include national, regional, and international workshops and conferences, studies and publications, as well as international exchange programmes
Our activities focus on the following areas: