- The former Mozambican President, Joachim Chissano has become the winner of the inaugural Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership - the largest individual prize in the world.
The prize worth US $5 million for 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter. Besides, the laureate gets US $200,000 a year for 10 years to grease his public interest activities and good causes.
The Chair of the Prize Committee, Kofi Annan who unveiled the news at a high profile occasion in London today, hailed “Chissano for his achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to his country greatly impressed the committee. So, too, did his decision to step down without seeking the third term the constitution allowed.”
Annan praised Chissano’s economic progress, poverty reduction programmes, infrastructure development and work to tackle HIV/AIDS.
“It is his role in leading Mozambique from conflict to peace and democracy that President Chissano has made his most outstanding contribution,” the former UN chief said, highlighting Chissano’s “major contribution outside his country’s borders.” This included providing “a powerful voice for Africa on the international stage”.
The prize celebrates good governance, leadership, the ability to formulate a vision and to convince others of that vision, and the skill of giving courage to society to accept difficult changes in order to make possible a longer term aspiration for a better, fairer future.
President Chissano ruled Mozambique between 1986 and 2005, served as the Chairman of the African Union and worked as a UN envoy.
Chissano is an African leader with a difference, as he left power without good reputation. His decision not to seek a third term in office reinforced Mozambique’s democratic maturity and demonstrated that institutions and the democratic process were more important than personalities.
The prize has been launched and bankrolled by a Sudanese mobile phone billionaire, Mo Ibrahim whose aim is to promote good governance and leadership.
“I am absolutely delighted that Joaquim Chissano has been selected as the first laureate,“ Mo Ibrahim said. “As a man who has reconciled a divided nation and built the foundations for a stable, democratic and prosperous future for the country, he is a role-model not just for Africa, but for the rest of the world.”
The winner was selected by a six member committee of eminent individuals who assessed every sub-Saharan African leader who has left office in three years of leadership.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.