$5M African Leadership Prize Goes to Nobody ... Again

Ibrahim prize has been awarded only 3 times since 2007

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2013 2:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Sudanese tycoon who created a $5 million prize to promote good governance in Africa is having a tough time giving his money away. For the second year in a row, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has decided none of the continent's leaders or governments are worthy of the prize, which has been awarded just three times since its inception in 2007, reports the Los Angeles Times. To win the prize—which pays out $5 million over 10 years followed by an annual $200,000 for life—leaders must have been democratically elected, have left office over the previous three years, and have displayed exceptional leadership.

Ibrahim, who is not a member of the committee that awards the prize, says he has no intention of changing the criteria despite the lack of winners. "It is up to the prize committee to decide whether people meet the standard," the billionaire tells Al Jazeera. "We set a very high standard, of course. And we are proud of our prize committee for being credible and tough." His foundation has also released a report on governance in Africa since 2000 that finds most people in the continent's 52 countries are better governed now than they were 13 years ago, but the gap between the best-governed and the worst is getting bigger.

Mo Ibrahim speaks at a press conference in London.
Mo Ibrahim speaks at a press conference in London.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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