Mpule Kwelagobe is a former Miss Universe (1999). She is from Botswana. Since being crowned Miss Universe, Mpule has been recognized and honored as a human health rights activist, especially for her fight against HIV/AIDS and advocacy for youth and women to have greater access to sexual reproductive education and services. She is the first Miss Universe Africa.
Following her historic win Botswana Post launched five commemorative postage stamps of Mpule, and the government of Botswana established the Mpule Kwelagobe’s Children Center, a home for AIDS orphans. During her reign, she was awarded Freedom of the City keys to Gaborone (Botswana), Port of Spain (Trinidad) and Asunción (Paraguay) along with dozen of other honors and recognitions in the +25 countries she visited.
In 2000, she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations, focusing on youth and HIV/AIDS. Among others, she has addressed the United States Congress (the United States House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services. Mpule testified on the socioeconomic impact of AIDS in Africa and proposed a bill to set up a World Bank AIDS prevention trust fund). She has also addressed: The 4th United Nations World Youth Summit, The United Nations General Assembly, The World Summit on Sustainable Development, The 3rd United Nations Least Developed Countries Conference.
She was honored with the Jonathan Mann Health Human Rights Award by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC). In 2003, she was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum, joining people like Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Bono…
In 2006, she was again selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.
Mpule holds a degree in political science (international political economy) from Columbia University and is now doing charity work.