Mo Ibrahim

The Prize Committee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced that there is no winner of the 2012 Mo Ibrahim Prize. The Prize Committee stated: “The Prize Committee reviewed a number of eligible candidates but none met the criteria needed to win this Award. The Award is about excellence in leadership. In the first six years the Prize Committee has selected three very worthy Laureates who continue to be an inspiration and whose examples, we hope, will be emulated."

The award is the biggest cash prize available to former leaders of African countries, with USD5 million going to the award winner. Candidates are former heads of state of government who were democratically elected and who left office in the past three years. Winners to date were former Cape Verde President Pedro Verona Pires, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique.

Meanwhile, the Foundation has also launched the 2012 Index of African Governance (IIAG) in London. This is the sixth year in which governance outcomes in Africa have been measured, looking at both country and regional performances across four major categories -Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development – and 88 component indicators.

The data points to some important findings that can assist leaders and citizens in their decision-making processes. The 2012 IIAG confirms that governance progress has been achieved since 2000. From 2000 to 2011, seven countries have demonstrated a significant improvement in their overall governance score: Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

One country, Madagascar, has significantly declined. Over the last six years, Tanzania has climbed up the IIAG’s rankings, making it into the top ten for the first time. Angola, Liberia and Togo have left the IIAG’s group of the ten worst performers. They have been replaced by Eritrea, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria.

The Foundation noted there was a “paucity of African data and the need for statistical autonomy within African countries.” It said: “This is a leadership and governance issue. Good governance is about harnessing a country’s resources to achieve the results any citizen living in the 21st century has a right to expect. One of Africa’s biggest challenges going forward is to master its own robust statistical system. Political sovereignty begins with data autonomy.”

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