Thursday, October 25, 2007

African prize a step in the right direction

Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese businessman created the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. One of the functions of the foundation is to give a "good governance" award to an African leader who has, well, exhibited "good governance". The recipient receives $5 million.
The first recipient is former president of Mozambique, Joachim Chissano. Great choice. Great idea. The award is supposed to encourage African leaders to govern well and be duly rewarded.
I fully support the idea and the award. More than anything, I am impressed that a multimillionaire Sudanese businessman would think up this award. How did Mo Ibrahim make his money? Not off the backs of impoverished Africans, or from the coffers of international aid organizations. He founded a mobile phone company called Celtel.
Obviously, Mr. Ibrahim doesn't need a $5 million award, but perhaps he should get greater international recognition for his leadership role in Africa. Better yet, Mr. Ibrahim, have you considered running for political office?