Friday, 23 October 2009

Not to Award Africa Governance Prize – A Mistake

Not to award the Africa Governance Prize is a mistake and the wrong decision. The Prize is awarded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to leaders that have ‘ruled wisely’ and ‘handed over power to elected successors’. All 3 Presidents, Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo and John Kufuor, with some blips, have brought their countries forward and have been succeed by democratic means. I have known all 3 Presidents personally and worked with them over the years, they have worked in difficult times and circumstances to the benefits of their respective countries. Even recognising their faults and flaws, if Leaders such as these 3 aren’t eligible, President Mugabe must be having a good laugh!

I wonder at the Jury’s intentions by not awarding, are they trying to raise the bar for African leaders in the future? If so, it seems unlikely that the Foundation will award a prize in the next few years. If these criteria were used globally, would the jury be able to pick a winner?

Perhaps, if the prize was awarded to the Presidents who are still serving their first term; it could have a more direct impact and improve the performance of an incumbent government, providing an incentive to govern well and a democratic transfer of power.

1 comment:

Garry said...

Absolutely right on all points, Mohan.