President Pohamba wins the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's prize

By Drum Digital
02 March 2015

Namibia's outgoing president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, has won the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's $5 million African leadership prize, an award meant to recognise good governance that has been presented only three times in eight years.

Namibia's outgoing president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, has won the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's $5 million African leadership prize, an award meant to recognise good governance that has been presented only three times in eight years, Reuters has reported.

Since it was set up by the Sudanese telecom tycoon in 2007, the prize has gone to three former presidents, from Cape Verde, Mozambique and Botswana. In other years, no one was found to have met the criteria.

To win the prize, a leader must have been democratically elected and have left office in the last three years, serving only their constitutionally mandated term. The winner must also have displayed "exceptional leadership".

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Announcing the award in Nairobi, the Mo Ibrahim committee praised Pohamba's commitment to the rule of law and his respect for the constitution, as well as his promotion of gender equality.

Pohamba (79) , was first elected president in 2005 and is due to step down this month. The elections held under his leadership were considered by observers to be free and fair.

He held home affairs and marine resources portfolios in cabinet prior to becoming president.   Continued... he winner receives $5 million, given over 10 years, and after that receives $200,000 a year for life.

The previous recipients were former presidents Pedro de Verona Rogrigues Pires of Cape Verde, Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano and Festus Mogae of Botswana. South Africa's Nelson Mandela was also given an honorary award.

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