And the winner is… no one

It’s not a good sign when your leadership prize runs out of eligible candidates to honor after a whopping two years. Welcome to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, whose winner was meant to be announced in London today.  This year the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after ...

By , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.
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578963_091019_moib2.jpg
Sudanese born businessman Dr Mo Ibrahim speaks at a press conference in London, on October 19, 2009. Judges for a five-million dollar prize recognising African good governance said Monday they had decided not to award the honour this year. The Mo Ibrahim Prize for achievement in African leadership is described by organisers as the largest individual annual award in the world, with the winner receiving the five million dollars plus 200,000 dollars a year for life. It goes to a democratically elected former leader from a sub-Saharan African country who has left office in the last three years and recognises good governance. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

It's not a good sign when your leadership prize runs out of eligible candidates to honor after a whopping two years. Welcome to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, whose winner was meant to be announced in London today. 

This year the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after in-depth review, the Prize Committee could not select a winner."

It’s not a good sign when your leadership prize runs out of eligible candidates to honor after a whopping two years. Welcome to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, whose winner was meant to be announced in London today. 

This year the Prize Committee has considered some credible candidates. However, after in-depth review, the Prize Committee could not select a winner.”

Yikes. It’s been a rough year for African governance. A coup in Guinea led off the year last November, followed shortly by another unwelcome transition of power in Madagascar. Retiring heads of state this year included only Ghana’s John Kufuor and South Africa’s Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, who served for under a year. All the other elections were marred by voting irregularities, repression, and/or the reinstatement of long-time rulers for whom 3rd term is not a dirty word.

The good news? The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was founded to make a statement about the need for more and better African Leadership — and it has certainly done that this year.

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

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