Kgosi Motšoane (29)

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2018 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Politics & Government

Kgosi Motšoane (29)

Strategic partnerships and knowledge generation official, Tisa Divisional Executive Management Unit, Department of Trade and Industry

Kgosi Motšoane is a passionate public servant, working to forge closer ties with the rest of the African continent. He works for Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa) under the deputy director general.

He was part of the founding team for the Trade Invest Africa (TIA) initiative of the department of trade and industry which aims to promote outward investments and value-added exports into the rest of Africa as a means of increasing the levels of intra-Africa trade.

“A career highlight for me has to getting the rare opportunity to be part of TIA’s founding team, and being able to shape new ways of promoting South African businesses across the rest of Africa,” says Motšoane.

He is well-qualified for this role, with degrees in international relations, political studies and development economics from Wits University; and experience in academia, civil society and the private sector. He is also a skilled public speaker and in his personal time, a writer.

For Motšoane, it’s always been clear that his passions lie in developing Africa. “It becomes near impossible resist the allure that is encapsulated in Africa. Sure, there’s a lot of work across all fields that still needs to be done, but that’s the magic of it. Everything I do in national government forms part of my life’s work — that’s why it interests me,” he says.

He says “a career in government is a relational one,” and this type of situation is something that motivates Motšoane. “I’m primarily inspired by my work family; it is not lost on me that the dynamic relationship we have, combined with how synchronised we are when there’s a high-pressure situation, which comes every other week, everyone forgets their performance agreements and contracts and gets down to the work that needs to be done. That’s rare.”

Motšoane is passionate about the potential young people have to build the Africa of his dreams. “I want to live to see young people living in a country that allows them to fall and not stay down, that allows them to pursue whatever whim, wonder and perhaps calling they have. I hope that all those pursuits allow them to reach a point where their parents are able to say ‘they’re better off than where we were’.” — Aaisha Dadi Patel