THE Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership was left vacant for the fourth time in seven years on Monday (14/10/2013) due to a lack of excellent former state leaders to choose from — the award goes to leaders who have completed their mandate in the last three years.
Salim Ahmed Salim‚ chairperson of the Ibrahim Prize Committee said that after careful consideration it was decided not to award the prize.
Mr Ibrahim said the award was for former African presidents who displayed excellence and there was no reason to change the criteria‚ but "it took time to build this case”.
"I see a lot of good people who have just come to office now. We may even have to split the prize in the future.’’
AFRICAN GOVERNANCE IMPROVING
South Africa has maintained its score of 71 in the 2012 Ibrahim Index of African Governance‚ which keeps it fifth out of 52 countries and third best in Southern Africa‚ but the survey showed it has dropped one point overall since 2000‚ with the four-point drop in its education score one of the more worrying long-term performance statistics.
The average African score remains at 51‚ while Mauritius is again the highest-ranking country with a score of 82.9‚ and Zimbabwe the lowest-ranking country in Southern Africa‚ at 47th out of 52 overall and scoring 35.4.
Ibrahim Prize Committee chairman Salim Ahmed Salim said: "The widening range of the governance results‚ especially within some subregions‚ stresses the growing need for more cohesion and solidarity. This will be critical to African unity.”
Mo Ibrahim‚ chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation‚ said: "Neither Afro-pessimism nor Afro-optimism do justice to modern Africa. This is now the age of Afro-realism. There have been great achievements‚ but also great challenges.”
Mr Ibrahim was most concerned about worsening levels of personal safety and the rule of law‚ saying this was likely feeding into the trend of more internal‚ as opposed to cross-border‚ conflict on the continent. He called for better African statistics to be provided across the continent and for regional groups to pay more attention to the worst performers‚ as the gap between the best and worst countries was widening.
The seventh Ibrahim Index of African Governance said overall governance across the continent continued to improve. The countries that had experienced overall governance improvement since 2000 were today home to 94% of people living on the continent‚ it said. © BDlive 2013