Monday, June 21, 2010

African Leaders Suck, Apparently

In a sad commentary on the state of African leadership, the world's most valuable individual prize is not being awarded for a second year because no-one is deemed worthy of winning it

Sudanese businessman Mo Ibrahim has established a $5 million  prize for African ex-leaders to encourage good governance on the continent.  After receiving the initial award, winners also receive $200,000 a year for life.

"The standards set for the prize-winner are high," Ibrahim said, adding that no new candidates had emerged since last year.  Winners must have been democratically elected and agreed to leave office.  South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Ghana's John Kufuor are among those who qualified for last year's prize after stepping down in the previous three years.

Botswana's former President Festus Mogae won the prize in 2008 after two terms at the helm of one of Africa's least corrupt and most prosperous nations.  The inaugural prize was given to Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique's former president, who has since acted as a mediator in several African disputes.

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