The Prize Committee met yesterday to discuss the award of the 2010 Mo Ibrahim Prize. Following its deliberations, the Prize Committee informed the Board of the Foundation that it had not selected a winner. Last year the Prize Committee announced that it had considered some credible candidates, but after in depth review could not select a winner. This year the Prize Committee told the Board that there had been no new candidates or new developments and that therefore no selection of a winner had been made.
The Ibrahim Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. The prize is awarded to a democratically elected former African Executive Head of State or Government who has served their term in office within the limits set by the country’s constitution and has left office in the last three years. The first winner of the Prize was Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique in 2007, followed by Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana in 2008. In addition Nelson Mandela was made an Honorary Laureate in 2007.
Responding to the Prize Committee’s decision, Mo Ibrahim, the founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said:
“The Board respects the decision of the Prize Committee not to select a winner for the 2010 prize. The Prize Committee, which is independent from the Board, is a unique repository of experience and expertise. “Whether there is a winner or not, the purpose of the Foundation is to challenge those in Africa and across the world to debate what constitutes excellence in leadership. “The standards set for the Prize winner are high, and the number of potential candidates each year is small. So it is likely that there will be years when no Prize is awarded. In the current year, no new candidates emerged.
“Many African countries are making great strides not just economically, but also in terms of their governance. The Ibrahim Index, which measures the performance of African countries across around 80 governance criteria, indicates that the overall standard of governance is improving. “Nevertheless, the Foundation is anything but complacent about the standards of governance in Africa. Its mission is to improve governance and nurture leadership in Africa. It is clear that much more needs to be done. It is for that reason that the Foundation has decided to promote complementary initiatives.
“For example, the Foundation will shortly be launching the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships, a selective programme designed to identify and prepare the next generation of outstanding African leaders by providing them with mentoring opportunities in key multilateral institutions. The programme will seek to attract a number of highly qualified and talented professionals each year to serve in leading institutions whose core objective to improve the prospects of the people of Africa.
“The Foundation is currently working with pan-African organisations to design the fellowships. It will announce further details of them at the Foundation’s annual celebration and forum on governance to be held in Mauritius in November. Applications will open shortly afterwards and we expect the first Leadership Fellows to begin their Fellowships early next year. “The task of promoting good African leadership is more important than ever. Good governance is crucial if African people are to share in the strong economic growth that many are predicting for Africa. There are many ways to support great leadership. The prize is one such way, the fellowships will be another.”
Foundation to fund Leadership Fellowships for next generation of African leaders
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