The Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Thursday announced that there is no winner of the 2019 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.This decision was made following deliberations by the independent Prize Committee.
Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was adjudged the last winner in 2017. There has been no winner for the last two years. Similar scenario occurred when former Namibian PesidentHifikepunyePohambawon the prize in 2014, it took three years to find a winner in President Sirleaf in 2017. In 2011, President Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde was adjudged the winner, he followed President Festus Mogae of Botswana in 2008 and President JoaquimChissano of Mozambique (2007). Nelson Mandela was the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.
Announcing the decision, Prize Committee Chair Festus Mogae commented: “The Ibrahim Prize recognises truly exceptional leadership in Africa, celebrating role models for the continent. It is awarded to individuals who have, through the outstanding governance of their country, brought peace, stability and prosperity to their people. Based on these rigorous criteria, the Prize Committee could not award the Prize in 2019.”
Commenting on the decision, Mo Ibrahim, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said: “Africa is facing some of the toughest challenges in the world – ranging from those connected to population growth, and economic development, to environmental impact. We need leaders who can govern democratically and translate these challenges into opportunities. With two-thirds of our citizens now living in better-governed countries than ten years ago, we are making progress. I am optimistic that we will have the opportunity to award this Prize to a worthy candidate soon.”
The Ibrahim Prize aims to celebrate leaders who, during their time in office, have developed their countries, strengthened democracy and human rights for the shared benefit of their people, and advanced sustainable development.
The candidates for the Ibrahim Prize are former African executive Heads of State or Government who have left their office during the last three calendar years, having been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated term.
The Ibrahim Prize:
• Recognises and celebrates African leaders who, under challenging circumstances, have developed their countries, lifted people out of poverty and paved the way for sustainable and equitable prosperity;
• Highlights exceptional role models for the continent;
• Ensures that the African continent continues to benefit from the experience and wisdom of exceptional leaders once they have left national office, by enabling them to continue in other public roles on the continent;
• Is an award and a standard for excellence in leadership in Africa, and not a ‘first prize’, there is not necessarily a Laureate every year.
• Former African Executive Head of State or Government
• Left office in the last three years
• Democratically elected
• Served his/her constitutionally mandated term
• Demonstrated exceptional leadership
• The Ibrahim Prize is the largest annually awarded prize in the world, consisting of US$5 million over ten years