Cape Town – The ANC says it is saddened by the death of former Botswana president Sir Ketumile Masire, who died on Thursday night after he was hopitalised last weekend in a critical condition.In a statement, the ruling party said that the Southern African region and the entire African continent have lost "a leader, a democrat, and an architect of Africa's economic and infrastructural growth"."As we mourn the passing of President Masire, we are remaining by his contribution to the liberation and development of Botswana, the SADC Region, and the African continent. We will continue learning from his work as we charge towards prosperity of Africa and its people," said the statement. it added that Masire was "a country friend, Comrade, unifier and an African leader". The party also passed its " deepest condolences to the family of Sir Masire, the Botswana Democratic Party, and the people of Botswana at large". Masire was the president of Botswana from 1980 to 1998.He led various diplomatic initiatives in Africa, including chairing a panel that investigated the 1994 Rwanda genocide, and co-ordinating the Inter-Congolese National Dialogue.Masire also served as a chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and vice chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which has since been renamed the African Union.