As Seretse Khama Ian Khama takes over from Festus Mogae as Botswana's president, BBC Focus on Africa magazine asks the Mr Mogae about his decade in charge.
In his invitation, the editor of Focus On Africa urged me to briefly address the reasons for Botswana's relative success in achieving sustained economic growth and political stability.
Festus Mogae steps down at the end of March
This is a big question that has been debated at length from many perspectives.
Professional experts, along with ordinary individuals, have long expressed critical and often contradictory views.
Most observers, however, acknowledge the fact that Botswana's consistent progress since independence in 1966 has occurred in the context of an uninterrupted record of multi-party democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.
At the centre of this democratic dispensation is our constitution which has - with the occasional amendment - been the law of the land for over four decades.
It has thus remained as the ultimate guarantor of the civil liberties and fundamental freedoms of all citizens.
Ruler by the people
I have stepped down as head of the executive, in accordance with the document's provision that the tenure of any president be limited to a total of ten years.
I believe that Botswana's democratic values are rooted in our society's long-standing tradition of decision-making through public consultation.
Since time immemorial local rulers have consulted their people in open for a known as kgotla, where participants are free to express their opinions without interference.
My optimism is not simply grounded in sentiment
Our traditional democratic values are thus articulated in the venerable saying, "A ruler is a ruler by the people."
Such accountability has assured political stability, which we have always recognised as a prerequisite for sustained economic and social progress.
As another saying goes, "Prosperity is the child of peace."
In this respect I am comforted by the fact that last year the World Bank Institute once more rated Botswana as being among the top ten per cent of nations in the world in terms of political stability.
If this all sounds a bit simple, perhaps it is because it is the simple truth.
Nowadays it has become conventional wisdom to assert a link between good governance - in a liberal-democratic context - and sustainable development; but I can remember a time not long ago when Botswana stood alone in the region as a multi-party democracy at peace with itself.
Botswana has enjoyed comparative stability for the region
Today, I am happy to have left high office still excited about my fellow citizen's prospects of meeting the challenges before them.
My optimism is not simply grounded in sentiment. It rests on the sure knowledge that the people of Botswana are not only more prosperous than in the past, but perhaps more importantly much more educated and informed.
There are hopeful signs that our youth are leading the way in meeting our greatest challenge - the reduction of HIV prevalence.
This, combined with the success of other interventions - in particular the reduction in HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children from about 40 per cent to four per cent - gives me hope that we shall reach our goal of an Aids-free generation.