No African leader found suitable winner for Mo Ibrahim Prize 2016

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Tuesday said none of the former African heads of State and government met the criteria to receive the $5 million award.

 

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Tuesday said none of the former African heads of State and government met the criteria to receive the $5 million award and therefore there was no suitable winner of the 2016 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

“As I emphasise each year, a very high bar was deliberately set when the Prize was launched in 2006. We recognise and applaud the important contributions that many African leaders have made to change their countries for the better. But the Prize is intended to highlight and celebrate truly exceptional leadership, which is uncommon by its very definition. After careful consideration, the Committee has decided not to award the Prize in 2016,” Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, the chairman of the independent Prize Committee said.

The candidates for the Ibrahim Prize are all former African presidents or heads of government who have left office during the last three calendar years and who were elected democratically and have served their constitutionally mandated term.

Since its launch in 2006, the Ibrahim Prize has been awarded only four times.

Previous laureates

In 2014 President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia was the winners.

Others include President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde in 2011, President Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007).

Nelson Mandela was the inaugural honorary laureate in 2007.

The winners receive $5 million spread over a decade and a further $200,000 annually for the rest of their lives.

With the African countries  increasingly shunning international institutions like the International Criminal Court, which would otherwise deter some leaders from taking power through the gun, It may take a while before an African leader scoops the Mo Ibrahim award.

The likes of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and José Eduardo dos Santos who have been in power for ages neither inspire confidence.

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