Mo Ibrahim Launches World's Biggest Prize: An Inspirational New Prize to Promote Good Governance Was Launched Recently in London. It Aims to Transform the African Polity and Provide Additional Momentum for the Continent's Economic Development. Stephen Williams Has the Details

By Williams, Stephen | African Business, December 2006 | Go to article overview

Mo Ibrahim Launches World's Biggest Prize: An Inspirational New Prize to Promote Good Governance Was Launched Recently in London. It Aims to Transform the African Polity and Provide Additional Momentum for the Continent's Economic Development. Stephen Williams Has the Details


Williams, Stephen, African Business


A $5m prize for Africa's most effective head of state was launched in late October by one of the continent's most successful businessmen. It will award one leader a year the princely sum of $500,000 every year for 10 years, thereafter $200,000 a year for life.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The man who came up with this plan is the Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim, the telecoms entrepreneur, founder of Celtel, Africa's fastest growing mobile phone network and no stranger to the pages of this magazine (see 'Doing meaningful things is my motivation'--African Business May 2006 issue).

Ibrahim's intentions are as simple as his vision is ambitious: he wants to raise the quality of African leadership and governance and, in turn, stimulate Africa's economic development. The prize is being administered by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) and will award winning elected leaders, when they step down from office, $5m over 10 years and thereafter $200,000 a year for life. There is a further facility of $200,000 a year for 10 years to support the ex-leaders' charitable projects. It makes the Nobel Prize of 'only' $1.3m look almost mean.

Ibrahim is providing the funding from his personal fortune. Speaking at the MIF's launch in London, he said that the fact that African leaders are often expected to leave office without any financial means can make the temptation to indulge in corruption irresistible. "Our guys have no life after office ... suddenly all the mansions, cars, food, wine is withdrawn. Some find it difficult to rent a house in the capital. That incites corruption; it incites people to cling to power.

"This prize will offer essentially good people, who may be wavering, the chance to opt for the good life after office. We need to remove corruption and improve governance--then the continent will not need any aid, and the day we do not need any aid will be the most wonderful day in my life."

Governance league table

While fighting corruption may be high up the list of good governance objectives, the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership--as this prize is formally named--also takes into account a leader's ability to deliver security, health, education and economic development. MIF has asked Robert Rotberg of the Kennedy School of Governance at Harvard University in the US to compile a governance league table based on some 50 variables, but weighted towards delivering economic development and security. This league table will go before a special committee to arrive at a recommendation for MIF's board. Ibrahim says that MIF expects the UN's outgoing secretary-general, Kofi Annan to accept an invitation to chair this committee.

Joining Ibrahim, who chairs the MIF board, are a number of high-profile directors: Mary Robinson, former Irish president and UN high commissioner for Human Rights; Salim Ahmed Salim, former Tanzania PM and secretary-general of the OAU; Dr Mamphela Ramphele, founder member of the Black Consciousness Movement along with her late partner, Steve Biko, and a former managing director of the World Bank who currently co-chairs the UN Commission on Migration; Lord Cairns, former chair of Actis Capital LLP (formerly CDC Group plc), co-founder and chair of the Commonwealth Business Council, and former chair of the Overseas Development Institute; Nicholas Ulanov, an expert in providing strategy and management advice to the non-profit sector who co-founded the Royal Institution World Science Assembly; and Lalla Ben Barka, director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Africa.

Lining up to lend support to Ibrahim's initiative was a veritable 'who's who' of world leaders. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, enthused in his endorsement: "Good governance and democracy are central to Africa's development. Without them it will be hard, if not impossible, for any African country to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 ... I thank Mo and all those engaged for establishing such a generous prize as an incentive. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mo Ibrahim Launches World's Biggest Prize: An Inspirational New Prize to Promote Good Governance Was Launched Recently in London. It Aims to Transform the African Polity and Provide Additional Momentum for the Continent's Economic Development. Stephen Williams Has the Details
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.