African leaders have a hard earned reputation for hanging on to power and exploiting their countries’ resources for their personal gain. To curb this pandemic, Sudanese telecom mogul, Mo Ibrahim set up the Achievement in African Leadership prize. It is a credible award of $5 million to a democratically elected African Head of State who has served his constitutionally mandated term and demonstrated excellence in leadership.
The objective of this award is to promote good governance across the continent by honoring the successful laureate with global recognition for their integrity and an annual stipend of $200,000 in addition to the $5 million. As lucrative as this package is, only 3 African leaders have been awarded the prize: Cape Verde’s former President Pedro Pires was the recipient in 2011, President Festus Mogae of Botswana won the award in 2008, Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano was the laureate in 2007 and Nelson Mandela was the honorary laureate in 2006.
Last week, Mo Ibrahim’s foundation announced that they could not find an African leader who met the criteria required to win of this prize in 2012. Senegal’s former president Abdou Diouf was rumored to be a contender, but with his tainted record of uncontrolled corruption and his attempt to alter his country’s constitution so he could seek political office again, he came up short.
This is the second time that the Achievement in African leadership prize has not been awarded. It is clear demonstration of Mo Ibrahim’s refusal to compromise on the guiding principles of the Achievement in African leadership.