The London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation has decided that, for 2016, it will not award its annual prize for achievement in African leadership.
Created by Sudanese-British billionaire Mo Ibrahim, the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership recognizes a democratically elected African head of state who has left office within the last three years, has served his/her mandated term, and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in office. Recipients of the prize receive $5 million over ten years and $200,000 annually thereafter. The prize has been awarded four times since 2007 — to Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), Pedro Pires of Cape Verde (2011), Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007), and, as honorary laureate, Nelson Mandela of South Africa (2007) — while no recipient was selected in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015.
"As I emphasize each year, a very high bar was deliberately set when the prize was launched in 2006," said prize committee chair Salim Ahmed Salim. "We recognize and applaud the important contributions that many African leaders have made to change their countries for the better. But the prize is intended to highlight and celebrate truly exceptional leadership, which is uncommon by its very definition. After careful consideration, the committee has decided not to award the prize in 2016."