Ibrahim Prize has no winner this year

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s flagship event in support of better governance in Africa is the awarding of the annual Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, worth $5 million. But this year there was no winner. According to the press release, ‘the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after in-depth review, the Prize Committee could not select a winner.’ Mo Ibrahim himself pointed out that it was ‘the Prize Committee’s decision not to award a prize this year and we entirely respect it. We made clear at the launch of the foundation that there may be years when there is no winner.’

Meantime, the Ibrahim Index, which he also sponsors, has released its latest results, according to which Mauritius is the best governed country on the continent and Somalia the worst. The index measures governance across 84 performance indicators, though its main categories are safety and security; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; and human development. Mauritius heads them all (with a total score of 82.8 out of 100) and tops the Ibrahim Index for the third year running. It is followed by Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Botswana. North African countries are included in the list for the first time, but none made the top ten. While they score highly on economic development and personal safety, they lost points for democratic participation and civil rights. Southern Africa is the continent’s best performing region, with an average score of 58.1.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has placed full-page advertisements in newspapers in 45 African countries describing its findings in local languages, an attempt to inform a broader public and to encourage civic groups to take advantage of the information on its website.

A second index – compiled by Robert Rotberg, a political scientist at Harvard and one-time collaborator on the Ibrahim Index until, apparently, a dispute over editorial control over findings caused a separation – produced similar results, particularly in regard to the top and bottom ten.

The Guardian, 5 October 2009, 19 October 2009
The Scotsman, 7 October 2009

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