[QODLink]
Africa
No award for African leadership
Mo Ibrahim panel fails to find any deserving candidate for $5m good governance prize.
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2009 03:46 GMT
Ibrahim has denied that the panel's decision had anything to do with the global financial crisis

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which annually hands out a $5 million prize for African good governance, has said it could not find anyone to award this year. 

The prize committee had "considered some credible candidates" but could not select a winner, Ketumile Masire, the former president of Botswana, said on Monday.

He said the foundation "noted the progress made with governance in some African countries, while noticing with concern recent setbacks in other countries".

The board, which is independent from the prize-giving committee, said it could not give the reasons why it did not select someone because of the confidential terms of the decision-making process.

The Mo Ibrahim Prize for achievement in African leadership is awarded to a democratically elected former African head of state or government who has left office in the past three years.

Mo Ibrahim, a Sudan-born billionaire who created the prize in 2007, said the foundation "entirely respects" the committee's decision while insisting that Africa was "moving forward in the area of governance".

"If this credible committee says there is no winner this year, then I'm afraid there's no winner this year," he told Al Jazeera.

"I am not privy to the conversation, I don't know on what basis they decided not to award it this year, and I don't want to know. Their deliberation is confidential."

The prize is described by organisers as the largest individual annual award in the world, with the winner receiving $5 million plus $200,000 a year for life.

Recession link denied

Earlier, addressing a news conference in London's City Hall, Ibrahim denied suggestions that the decision not to award the prize was linked to the world financial crisis.

"The prize committee do not pay any attention to my bank statement," he said.

"This is an award for excellence. Jury meets and they set the bar some way and decide. There's no way to know where the bar was set."

Ibrahim stressed that the foundation had always said there might be years when the prize was not awarded.

The past recipients are Joaquim Chissano, former Mozambican president, and Festus Gontebanye Mogae, Botswana's former president.

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon, is an honorary laureate.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list