1920 Native Advisory Council

Its membership was confined to Chiefs (Dikgosi) and persons appointed by Dikgosi and the Resident Commissioner and some officials of his administration.

1940 Native Advisory Council was renamed African Advisory Council

1951 African Advisory Council changed to the African Council

  • Dikgosi of the eight largest tribes in the protectorate were appointed ex-officio members of the Council.
  • In addition to ex-officio members, 32 representatives to the African Council were elected from different Dikgotla by various tribes.
  • Resident Commissioner still became a member with two other members that he would have appointed

1951 Joint Advisory Council (JAC) was formed.It was formed by eight (8) members of the African Council.

1959 The Joint Advisory Council was set up by an eight member Constitutional Committee whose main task was to formulate Constitution for consideration by the Protectorate. It was made up of representatives of the Africans (Tshekedi Khama, Seretse Khama, Chief Bathoen II and Dr S.M Molema) and Europeans (Russel England, J.G Haskins, H.S Gass and G.W. Sim).

1960 The Constitutional Committee presented its proposals to the Joint Advisory Council in 1960 and the Council adopted them. The British Administration accepted the proposals and introduced a Constituion for the Protectorate which came into force in 1961.

The 1961 Constitution established an institution known as House of Chiefs where some traditional leaders could meet and discuss issues affecting their tribes, customs and traditional privileges. The 1966 Constitution of the Republic of Botswana retained the House of Chiefs as it was in the Bechuanaland Protectorate.

The House of Chiefs comprised of 15 members
Eight (8) ex-officio members being persons performing the functions of the office of the Chief in respect of: Bakgatla, Bakwena, Balete, Bangwato, Bangwaketse, Barolong, Batawana and Batlokwa tribes.

Elected members being persons who shall be elected from among their own, the person for the time being performing the functions of office of Sub-Chief in the Chobe, North East, Ghanzi and Kgalagadi.

Three (3) Specially Members elected by the ex-officio Members and the Elected Members subject to Section 79 (2-6) of the 1961 Constitution of Botswana.

November 2006

House of Chiefs was dissolved following a Constitutional Amendment Act of 2005 which sought to amend Section 77, 78 and 79 of the Constitution in order to render them tribally neutral. In January 2007 Ntlo ya Dikgosi was established.