No winner of African governance prize

2012-10-15 19:58

London - The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership - the world's biggest individual prize - was not awarded for a third time in four years as no suitable candidates were found, it was announced Monday.

At a press conference in London, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said it was not going to compromise on its standard of excellence in a leader.

The award, set up by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim in 2006, carries a $5m prize paid over 10 years and $200 000 annually for life from then on, with a further $200 000 per year available for 10 years for good causes backed by the winner.

The award goes to a democratically-elected African leader who has served their mandated term and left office in the last three years.

"You make your bed, you have to lie on it. If we said we're going to have a prize for exceptional leadership, we have to stick to that. We are not going to compromise," Ibrahim said.

"We are not just in the business of positive messages - we would lose our credibility."

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has awarded the annual prize only three times since it was established, plus two special awards given to South Africa's Nelson Mandela and South African former archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The prize committee said they reviewed a number of eligible candidates "but none met the criteria needed to win this award".

Inaugural prize

"The award is about excellence in leadership. In the first six years the prize committee has selected three very worthy laureates who continue to be an inspiration and whose examples, we hope, will be emulated."

The inaugural prize went to former president Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in 2007 and Botswana's ex-president Festus Mogae won in 2008.

The prize was not awarded in the following two years. Former Cape Verde president Pedro Pires won the 2011 prize.

The London-based foundation also publishes the Ibrahim Index, ranking 52 African countries according to 88 indicators grouped under safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development.

There has been no change in its top five this year - with Mauritius topping the index with a score of 83 out of 100, ahead of Cape Verde (78), Botswana (77), Seychelles (73) and South Africa (71).

Somalia remained at the bottom with a score of seven, behind Democratic Republic of Congo (33), Chad (33), Eritrea (33) and the Central African Republic (34).

Ibrahim said that while there had been major improvements in some sectors, the continent's main players were lagging behind.

"Between 2000 and 2011 there is a marked improvement in governance across Africa," he said.

Highest improvement

"The major improvements were in health, the rural sector, the economy. The interesting development was in gender. Gender has improved amazingly over the last 10-11 years. The highest improvement in any category in the index."

However across the data, "the four main powerhouses in Africa - Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya - appear to be really stuttering. They are not showing really convincing progress.

"East Africa is not doing that well. It has been over taken by west Africa in the category of sustainable economic development.

"In general, we see positive development in Africa. The economy is moving forward relentlessly. Education and health is improving, there is great development there. Gender issues are improving.

"We see, unfortunately, a little bit of decline in the issues of human rights and participation. Economic development does not give us a reason to be complacent about that."

  • ChristelleJames - 2012-10-15 20:06

    I wonder why not?

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-15 20:14

      Simple Chris, because it it impossible to find an african leader who isn't stealing something, lying or cheating.

      franklyn.davies.1 - 2012-10-15 20:39

      yup ,change the criteria to least exceptional leadership-go figure that,plenty of joint winners for sure.

  • TSR01 - 2012-10-15 20:17

    Take your cue, ANC, you've brought a prosperous South Africa to a grinding halt, especially with your monster Malema and zombie Zuma - what is also worrying is Zuma "sharing sentiment" with striking miners that they are underpaid. The president doesn't dictate job's pay grades or going rates, especially not across an entire industry, unless he is a dictator, stupid, or trying to cripple the economy.

  • desertratbkf - 2012-10-15 20:19

    HHHHHHHHHH (A sigh!) Well it's hardly a surprise! Incapable! Its as simple as that!

  • BulletProof. - 2012-10-15 20:24

    Will see a lot of candidates if the prize was awarded for corruption in Africa.

      lunga.matsikechangu - 2012-10-15 20:43

      The money is too little,as compared to how much they loot on hourly rate

  • neilpretorius83 - 2012-10-15 20:26

    That's why people who spout platitudes like 'African solutions to African problems' don't have a clue. Lots of Africans are rowing, not enough are steering. That said, I would probably nominate Botswana's Ian Khama, as he has presided over steady economic growth and relative socio-political stability in his country.

  • busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-10-15 20:26

    Recession,the man is broke n is coming with stupid excuses. Keep your money n we will keep our Africa

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-15 20:52

      Keep YOUR Africa. I think you are giving it away to the Chinese.

      stanley.marries - 2012-10-15 21:07

      You can really keep your rotten Africa and f*ck it up further like you are busy doing now...kill each other for richess and then ask the whites for help afterwards!!...damn idiot!!

      danie.strydom.7 - 2012-10-15 21:13

      Keep your Africa, just stop asking for aid to feed your children as well. If you can't figure out how to feed your family, stop having kids, or watch them die from hunger. Choices. Options. Time to face up to some responsibility for yourself. If this prize is not awarded, because they cant find any good governance in Africa, should someone with some intellect not question the validity of the regimes they elect? Or just sit in blissful ignorance and blame the colour of their skin, or someone elses' skin colour for their inability to elect a government based on skill and honesty. Roll on Africa, keep it. But no more money from bwana hey :)

  • pistonpete.outriders - 2012-10-15 20:27

    There's a surprise.................

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-10-15 20:33

    African brilliance, give it to Haiti!n b

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-10-15 20:36

    Expanding business to Mauritius at the moment. What a pleasure.

      dean.polley.3 - 2012-10-15 20:50

      No surprise Mauritius is top of the log, there are very few Africans there. The population (and the government) is primarily made up of ethnic Indians. I honestly don't understand why Mauritius is grouped under Africa? They are so far removed from Africa in most aspects.

  • jsomwe - 2012-10-15 20:44

    Very sad indeed ...!

  • stanley.marries - 2012-10-15 21:04

    Jip...I'm not surprised..I said it before and I'm going to say it again...EVERYTHING BLACK TOUCH,TURNS TO SH*T...prove me wrong by showing me ONLY 1 country in Africa who is prospering under the leadership of a black person!!...I'm not a racist,just a realist!!..blerrie goed is moer korrup!!!

      danie.strydom.7 - 2012-10-15 21:58

      @ Ernest. You miss the point, the comment doesn't refer to you as a black sh*t. It states that black fellas tend to screw things up very well. I think the comment is asking for a country, in Africa, run by an elected majority black government, which is prospering? Can you contribute and respond with something concrete?

      juannepierre - 2012-10-16 05:52

      Damn Stanley, I am trying so hard to prove you wrong, but the black politicians who have done amazing work are not in Africa. I think it has more to do with tradition than with the colour of their skin though, as African leaders are traditional thinkers, whereas the black folk abroad are just thinkers.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-15 21:08

    Really?! REALLY!? How can... What... REALLY?

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-16 07:35

    Oh for heavens sake Mr Ibrahim - what you are offering these egotistical leaders is peanuts - they steal this amount on a daily basis. So either you up the stakes or they just carry on looting. Good governance that is a laugh.

  • yolandi.reichert - 2012-10-16 07:55

    Not one on a whole continent???? Wow that's bad

  • jaun.lombard.9 - 2012-10-16 12:53

    Apartheid is to blame...Is it wrong for a white guy to blame his problems on apartheid? I am going to start using that excuse every time something happens!

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-10-16 13:18

    Surprise of the millennium!

  • michael.mcn.9 - 2012-10-18 03:34

    If you are going to publish African news, do the math when you need to. There are 54 African countries. Less than half are presided over by democratic governments. The pool of eligible winners narrows. Of the democracies in Africa, only three had leaders which satisfy the next requirement: to have left office peacefully in the past three years. Pedro Pires of Cape Verde, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Rupiah Banda of Zambia are the only three men to have done so. Pires won in 2011, so he was likely not considered again this year. That leaves Wade, who was basically hounded out of office because he tried hard not to leave, and Banda, who was basically a caretaker in between the terms of Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata. You don't give millions of dollars to losers who don't know when to leave office gracefully. Well done Mo Ibrahim! Let's hope more candidates surface this year.

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