Five retired African presidents have missed out in the list of winning $5 million prize money in the Mo Ibrahim Award of achievement in African leadership for 2019.
The award has a separate lifetime annual grant of $200, 000 for the winner’s choice of retirement development engagement. Those in contention this year were Ian Khama (Botswana), Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola), Mulatu Teshome (Ethiopia), Ernest Bai Koroma (Siera Leone) and Joseph Kabila (DRC).
The Prize Committee chairperson, Festus Mogae said that the prize is awarded to individuals who have, through the outstanding governance of their nations, created peace and prosperity to their people.
“Based on the mentioned criteria, it was unfortunate that the Prize Committee could not award the Prize in 2019, ” he sadly noted.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance metric uses over 100 variables to rate governance across African countries, and only five African leaders have won the award since its inception in 2007.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s announcement that there was no winner for the 2019 Prize comes as a result of a decision that had been made following deliberations by the independent Prize Committee.
As a chairman Mo Ibrahim, himself revealed that Africa was facing tough challenges in the world, particularly those connected to population growth and economic development to environmental degradation.
“We need leaders who can govern democratically, and transform the challenges into opportunities. We are making progress and I am optimistic that we will have the opportunity to award the Prize to a worthy candidate soon, ” his statement reads.
Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela (1994-99) was the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007, according to the statement. Other Laureates for the award were President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), President Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2017) and President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde.