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No African leader deemed worthy of leadership award

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NO ONE has been awarded the world’s most valuable prize, the $5 million Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which was due to be announced yesterday.

For the third time in six years, no African leader has been deemed worthy of the prize, awarded by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s foundation.

“The Prize Committee reviewed a number of eligible candidates, but none met the criteria needed to win this award. The award is about excellence in leadership,” the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Prize Committee said yesterday. The prize is a $5 million award paid over 10 years and $200 000 annually for life after that.

It is awarded to democratically-elected leaders who have stepped down in the past three years after serving their constitutionally mandated term, and have demonstrated “excellence in office”.

Last year’s winner was President Pedro Verona Pires of Cape Verde for his “vision in transforming Cape Verde into a model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity”.

Other previous winners have been Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano in 2007 and Botswana’s Festus Mogae in 2008. Nelson Mandela was made the honorary inaugural laureate in 2006.

In 2009 and 2010 there was no winner.

In a report on African governance released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation yesterday  to coincide with the prize, Nigeria moved into the bottom 10 countries on the continent for governance for the first time. It was ranked 43 out of 54 countries based on 88 indicators.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance — an annual study measuring accountability and good governance in 52 out of 54 African nations — found four of the continent’s powerhouses, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa, had declined in quality of governance since 2006. — CNN

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