Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was launched in October 2006 to support good governance and great leadership in Africa.
The Foundation’s Secretariat is based in London.
The stated aims of the foundation are to:
- Provide a framework and tools with which citizens and governments can assess and measure progress in governance
- Recognise excellence in African leadership and provide a practical way in which leaders can build positive legacies on the continent when they have left national office
- Stimulate debate on the quality of governance and major governance issues in Africa
- Develop leadership and governance capacity in Africa
The Foundation works to achieve these objectives through four major programme areas:
- The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
- The Ibrahim Index of African Governance
- The Ibrahim Discussion Forum
- Capacity Building Programmes
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
In 2006, the Foundation launched the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The Prize is awarded to democratically elected former African Heads of State who have delivered security, health, education, rights, rule of law and economic development to their constituents and who have democratically transferred power to their successors in the last three years. According to Ibrahim, "Good governance is crucial."
With a $5 million initial payment, plus $200,000 a year for life, the Prize is believed to be the world's largest, exceeding the $1.3m Nobel Peace Prize. Former South African President Nelson Mandela, former United States President Bill Clinton, and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan are among those who have welcomed the initiative.
The winner of the Prize is chosen by an independent Prize Committee. The Committee is chaired by Salim Ahmed Salim, who took over from former chair Kofi Annan in 2011. Other members of the Committee are Festus Mogae, Martti Ahtisaari, Mohamed ElBaradei, Mary Robinson, Aïcha Bah Diallo and Graça Machel.
- In 2007 the inaugural Prize was awarded to former president Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, for "his role in leading Mozambique from conflict to peace and democracy." Nelson Mandela was also made an Honorary Laureate in recognition of his extraordinary leadership qualities and achievements.
- In 2008 Festus Mogae, former leader of Botswana, won the Ibrahim Prize. Kofi Annan stated: "President Mogae's outstanding leadership has ensured Botswana's continued stability and prosperity in the face of an HIV/AIDS pandemic, which threatened the future of his country and people." Both awards ceremonies were held in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
- In 2009 the Prize Committee did not select a winner. The controversial decision came following the consideration of "credible candidates" and was interpreted by many as a laudable act in establishing a standard of credibility for the Prize.
- In 2010 the Prize Committee decided not to award the prize.Dr. Ibrahim said that "the purpose of the Foundation is to challenge those in Africa and the world to debate what constitutes excellence in leadership. The standards set for the prize are high, and the number of eligible candidates small. So it is always likely that there will be years when no prize is awarded."
- In 2011 the Prize was awarded to Pedro Pires, former president of Cape Verde. Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Prize Committee, presented President Pires with the award at a prize ceremony in Tunis, Tunisia. On the evening before the ceremony the Foundation organised a music concert with the theme ‘Africa Celebrates Democracy’ to mark the events in Tunisia that inspired the Arab Spring. Artists including Youssou N’Dour, Angélique Kidjo, Bendir Man and Lotfi Abdelli performed and all the proceeds were given to the Tunisian Red Crescent.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance
The Ibrahim Index is an annual assessment of African countries based on the quality of their governance. It aims to provide a tool for citizens to assess progress in their country and hold their governments to account. Countries are graded on factors which fall into four main areas: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. It was first published in 2007 in partnership with Kennedy School of Government Professor Robert I. Rotberg and ranked the performance of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Index is now compiled under the auspices of African academics and researchers, whose work is supported by a number of major African governance institutions. In 2009, the Index included all 53 African countries for the first time, including those in North Africa.
- 2007 Index: Mauritius, the Seychelles, and Botswana were ranked first, second and third, while Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and lowest places respectively. Ibrahim's home country, Sudan, ranked fourth lowest. The Economist noted that small island countries seemed to do better than their counterparts on the mainland.
- 2008 Index: Mauritius, the Seychelles and Cape Verde were ranked first, second and third, while Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and lowest places respectively. The 2008 Index found that two thirds of sub-Saharan African countries saw an improvement in governance.
- 2009 Index: Mauritius, Cape Verde and the Seychelles were ranked first, second and third, while Zimbabwe, Chad and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and lowest places respectively. The 2009 Index found that Southern Africa was outpacing North Africa in governance performance.
- 2010 Index: Mauritius, the Seychelles and Botswana were ranked first, second and third, while Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and lowest places respectively. The 2010 Index showed overall improvements human and economic development but declines in political rights, personal safety and the rule of law.
- 2011 Index: Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana were ranked first, second and third, while Zimbabwe, Chad and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and lowest places respectively. The 2011 Index illustrated that countries that pursue a balanced approach to all dimensions of governance achieve the most success.
- 2012 Index: Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana were ranked first, second and third, while Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and the lowest places respectively. The 2012 index showed declines in overall score and in the safety and rule of law.
- 2013 Index: Mauritius, Botswana and Cape Verde were ranked first, second and third, while Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia held the third lowest, second lowest and the lowest places respectively.
The Ibrahim Discussion Forum
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation also hosts an annual forum at which participants discuss and debate a particular topic on the African agenda.
In 2009 the Foundation held the forum in Dar es Salaam where members of civil society, the media, academia, regional bodies, NGOs and government debated climate change and climate justice; agriculture and food security; and regional economic integration.
In 2010 the forum was held in Mauritius and focused on the need for greater regional integration in Africa. The forum was opened by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, and African Union Commission Chairperson, Jean Ping.
Capacity Building Programmes
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation offers scholarships to African students studying at the Ahfad University in Khartoum, the American University in Cairo, the London Business School or the School of Oriental and African Studies.
In 2009 the Foundation launched the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships programme with the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the World Trade Organization. The Programme provides young Africans with mentoring opportunities in each of these organisations and aims to help create a new generation of African leaders. The three inaugural Ibrahim Fellows were announced in 2011.
- "The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board".
- "The Mo Ibrahim Foundation: About".
- "Mo Ibrahim: Why no one got a prize this year, The Independent, 15.10.2005". London. 2010-06-15.
- "Interview with Mo Ibrahim, founder and former Chairman of Celtel, Jeune Afrique, 29.10.2006".
- "Prize offered to Africa's leaders, BBC News, 26.10.2006". 2006-10-26.
- "Salim Ahmed Salim appointed Mo Ibrahim Prize Committee chair, Afrique Avenir, 22.02.2011".
- "Mozambique ex-leader wins prize, BBC News, 22.10.2007". 2007-10-22.
- "Nelson Mandela named Honorary Laureate by Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Modern Ghana, 03.12.2007".
- "Botswana's Mogae wins $5m prize, BBC (UK), 20.10.2008". BBC News. 2008-10-20.
- "Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces decision not to award 2010 Ibrahim Prize, APPA Blog, 13.06.2010".
- "Mo Ibrahim: Why no one got a prize this year, The Independent, 15.10.2005". London. 2010-06-15.
- "Cape Verde ex-leader Pedro Pires wins Mo Ibrahim prize". BBC News. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- "Party time in Tunis Artists, Richard Dowden's Africa blog, 23.11.2011".
- "The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Technical Committee".
- "It's better to be out to sea, The Economist, 29.09.2007".[dead link]
- "The Big Question: Is political and economic stability beginning to take root in Africa?, The Independent, 07.10.2008". London.
- "Who’s Doing Well in Africa. Look South, The Economist, 01.10.2009". 2009-10-01.
- "Africans see economic gains, democracy losses, Mail & Guardian, 04.22.2010".
- "Ex-Cape Verde leader wins $5m African governance prize, AFP, 10.10.11".
- "Winners and losers of Mo Ibrahim’s African governance index".
- "List of African Countries by Index of Governance 2013".
- "Mo Ibrahim Foundation Discussion Forum in Dar es Salaam".
- "'Speed up good governance’ in Africa, Business Day, 23.11.10".
- "Mo Ibrahim Foundation To Host Flagship Events In Honor Of African Youth, Face2Face Africa, 02.09.11".
- "Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships to support Africa’s next generation, African Development Bank 07.04.2011".
- "Mo Ibrahim Foundation Fellows".