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No winners in good governance award

moibrahim-2And this years’ prize for good governance in Africa goes to… erm, sorry, there are no winners this year. Angela Hinds reports.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced their decision not to issue the annual prize for Achievement in African Leadership this year.

As their organisation prepare for their award ceremony in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania next weekend (Nov 14/15th) the Committee have announced that: “This year the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after in-depth review, the Prize Committee could not select a winner.”

Dr Mohamed Ibrahim (image above) is the Sudanese-born British mobile communications entrepreneur who is the founder of Celtel, the African mobile phone network. Although he founded the organisation he is not personally involved in the decision making process on who wins it.

He said: ‘The Prize Committee is independent of the Board. It is the Prize Committee’s decision not to award a Prize this year and we entirely respect it. We made clear at the launch of the Foundation that there may be years when there is no winner.”

The Prize Committee consists of members such as former United Nations secretary-General Kofi Annan, Graca Machel – the wife of Nelson Mandela – and former Ireland premier Mary Robinson, amongst others.

The aim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation is to support great African leadership and stimulate debate around and improve the quality of governance in Africa.

In 2007 the Mo Ibrahim Foundation created the Prize for Achievement in African leadership, a $5 million prize awarded annually to a former African Head of State or Government who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and has left office within the last three years.

The first recipient of this prize was Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, the 2008 winner was Festus Mogae, President of Botswana. This prize is widely recognised to be the most valuable annual prize in the world.

They also publish the Ibrahim Index of African governance, ranking the performance of the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Although there will be no prize-giving this year, other planned events will go ahead, these include a cultural event where Angela Kidjo, Youssou N’dour (Senegal) and Lady Jaydee (Tanzania) will appear.

There will also be a discussion forum where topics such as Agriculture and Food Security, Regional Economic Integration and Climate Change and Climate Justice will be discussed.

Dr Mo Ibrahim and his foundation need to be applauded for taking the opportunity to acknowledge good governance in Africa. He says:
“At a time when we are seeing overall progress in Africa, despite worrying setbacks in some countries, it is vital that together we look for a way forward on the major challenges facing the African continent.”

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One Response

  1. I’m surprised. African leaders have really been exemplary humanitarians this year. NOT.

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