Ibrahim Prize

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The Ibrahim Prize
Ibrahim Prize icon.png
Awarded forexcellence in African leadership
Sponsored byMo Ibrahim Foundation
Presented byan independent Prize Committee
Reward(s)$5 million
First awarded2007
Last awarded2020

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, also known as the Ibrahim Prize, is an annual prize awarded to a former African Executive Head of State or Government on criteria of good governance, democratic election and respect of terms limits. Since its inception, the Prize has been awarded 7 times. It has often not been offered, no leader being found worthy of the award on a given year[1][2]


Established by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2007, the Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee composed of eminent figures, including two Nobel Laureates. Prize winners are referred to as Ibrahim Laureates.[2]

The Ibrahim Prize

  • Recognises and celebrates African leaders who have developed their countries, lifted people out of poverty and paved the way for sustainable and equitable prosperity
  • Highlights exceptional role models for the continent
  • Ensures that Africa continues to benefit from the experience and expertise of exceptional leaders when they leave national office, by enabling them to continue in other public roles on the continent


  • Former African Executive Head of State or Government
  • Left office in the last three years
  • Democratically elected
  • Served their constitutionally mandated term
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership


Prize recipients are awarded US$5 million, divided into annual instalments of US$500,000 paid out over 10 years, followed by US$200,000 annually, thereafter.[2]

With a US$5 million payment, the Ibrahim Prize, is believed to be the world's largest, exceeding the $1.5m Nobel Peace Prize.[3][4] 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.[5]

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has been awarded in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020. Former South African president Nelson Mandela was named an honorary laureate in 2007.[2] Desmond Tutu was awarded a Special Prize for speaking truth to power in 2012.[6]

Prize Committee[edit]

Former Committee Chairs:

Former Committee members:


Year Laureate[10] Country Rationale
2007 Joaquim Chissano (cropped).jpg Joaquim Chissano  Mozambique "President Chissano’s achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to his country greatly impressed the committee."[11][12]
Nelson Mandela-2008 (edit).jpg Nelson Mandela (honorary)[13]  South Africa “Nelson Mandela stands as an inspiration, in South Africa and throughout the world, to all who share his devotion to democracy and equality. In presenting this Laureate, the Foundation would like to celebrate his extraordinary achievements and support the important work of the foundations he established.”[14]
2008 Festus Mogae.jpg Festus Mogae[15]  Botswana "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."[16]
2009 No award given[17]
2010 No award given[18]
2011 Secretary Alphonso Jackson with Pedro Pires (cropped).jpg Pedro Pires[19]  Cabo Verde “The prize committee ha[d] been greatly impressed by President Pedro Pires’s vision in transforming Cape Verde into a model of democracy, stability, and increased prosperity.” and, “President Pires embodies the type of leadership the prize is designed to recognise.”[20]
2012 No award given[21]
2013 No award given[22]
2014 Hifikepunye Pohamba.jpg Hifikepunye Pohamba[23]  Namibia “President Pohamba’s focus on forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia’s consolidation of democracy and social and economic development impressed the committee” and, “During the decade of Hifikepunye Pohamba’s Presidency, Namibia’s reputation has been cemented as a well-governed, stable and inclusive democracy with strong media freedom and respect for human rights.”[24]
2015 No award given[25]
2016 No award given[26]
2017 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf February 2015.jpg Ellen Johnson Sirleaf[27]  Liberia “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focused on building a nation and its democratic institutions. In very difficult circumstances, she helped guide her nation towards a peaceful and democratic future, paving the way for her successor to follow.”[28]
2018 No award given[1]
2019 No award given[29]
2020 Mahamadou Issoufou 2014.jpg Mahamadou Issoufou[30]  Niger "For his efforts to economic development of his country while working for regional stability, as well as his engagement to limit himself to two terms, leading to the first ever democratic transition of power in Niger. In the face of the most severe political and economic issues, President Issoufou has led his people on a path of progress."[31]
2021 No award given
2022 No award given

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Flanagan, Jane (2019-08-06). "African leaders fail $5m test yet again". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mo Ibrahim: 'It is the head of the fish that goes rotten first'". Financial Times. 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  3. ^ a b c "Prize may improve African leadership - Annan". Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  4. ^ "Africa: Former President of Mozambique Wins Leadership Prize". allAfrica.com. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  5. ^ "Prize offered to Africa's leaders". BBC. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  6. ^ Yeung, Todd Leopold,Larry Madowo,Jessie (2021-12-26). "Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid leader and voice of justice, dead at 90". CNN. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  7. ^ "Niger president Issoufou wins $5m leadership prize". Financial Times. 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  8. ^ "Prize Committee". Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  9. ^ "About". CMI. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  10. ^ "Mo Ibrahim Foundation - Laureates". Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Mozambique ex-leader wins prize". BBC News. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  12. ^ "Africa: Former President of Mozambique Wins Leadership Prize". allAfrica.com. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  13. ^ Tutton, Mark (14 October 2013). "Mo Ibrahim prize for African leaders: No winner ... again". CNN. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Nelson Mandela named Honorary Laureate by Mo Ibrahim Foundation". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  15. ^ "Festus Mogae wins Ibrahim Prize". BBC News. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  16. ^ "Botswana's Mogae wins African leadership prize". Reuters. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  17. ^ "No award". 19 October 2009. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  18. ^ "No award". 19 October 2009. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  19. ^ "Cape Verde ex-leader Pedro Pires wins Mo Ibrahim prize". BBC News. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  20. ^ Tran, Mark (2011-10-10). "Cape Verde's Pedro Pires wins Mo Ibrahim African leadership prize". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  21. ^ McGregor, Sarah (15 October 2012). "Mo Ibrahim Foundation Picks No Winner for African Leader Award". Bloomberg News.
  22. ^ "Mo Ibrahim African leaders prize unclaimed again". BBC News. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  23. ^ "Announcement". Mo Ibrahim Foundation. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  24. ^ Anderson, Mark (2015-03-02). "Namibia's president wins $5m African leadership prize". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  25. ^ "Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces no winner of 2015 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement". 20 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  26. ^ "Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces no winner of 2016 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement". 28 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Announcement". Mo Ibrahim Foundation. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Ex-Liberian president wins prize for African leadership". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  29. ^ "Ex-Botswana leader appointed chair of Ibrahim Prize committee". apanews.net. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  30. ^ https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20210307-le-prix-mo-ibrahim-attribu%C3%A9-au-pr%C3%A9sident-nig%C3%A9rien-mahamadou-issoufou Le prix Mo Ibrahim attribué au président nigérien Mahamadou Issoufou
  31. ^ "Niger's outgoing president wins $5m African leadership prize". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2023-02-22.

External links[edit]