LONDON JUNE 17, 2016 (CISA) – For a second consecutive year, no leader has met the criteria to claim the $5 million Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
According to the organizers, a seven–member prize committee did not select a winner for the 2015 award for former African leaders which is aimed at celebrating democracy and outstanding leadership in the continent.
“When we launched the prize ten years ago, we deliberately set a very high bar,” said Ibrahim, chairman of the foundation in a statement on June 17.
“We want the prize to shine a spotlight on outstanding leadership to provide role models right across society, as well as supporting laureates to continue to serve the continent by sharing their wisdom and experience.”
To win the prize, set up by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim in 2006, a leader must have been a democratically elected head of state or government and left office in the past three years, serving only their constitutionally mandated term.
He or she must have shown outstanding leadership in developing their countries and lifting people out of poverty, said the organizers. Since being launched in 2006, the Ibrahim Prize has only been awarded four times – to Mozambique’s Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Botswana’s Festus Gontebanye Mogae, Cape Verde’s Pedro De Verona Rodrigues Pires and Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba.
South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was awarded an honorary prize in 2007.
Although elections have become more common in Africa, some leaders have remained in office long beyond their mandates, often pushing through constitutional changes to hold on to power.
The winner receives $5 million over 10 years and then $200,000 a year for life, and can apply for another $200,000 a year for good causes they support.