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18 August 2017 08:59 (South Africa)

African governance prize withheld for 2009

Judges in the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's annual $5 million prize for good governance in Africa decided to skip the award this year. And, although no one is telling why, it must be that after Botswana's Festus Mogae won it last year, there wasn't anybody anywhere else on the continent who deserved to be set up with a nice retirement package. The prize sees the winner getting $5 million over 10 years, plus $200,000 a year for life thereafter. The booty goes to a democratically elected former leader from a sub-Saharan African country who has voluntarily left office in the last three years. Seems Thabo Mbeki was a frontrunner to win the prize (even though his leaving office wasn’t really voluntary), along with Ghana’s John Kufuor. As the award recognises excellence, Mbeki was definitely not a great candidate, whether over Aids denialism, Jackie Selebi, Bob Mugabe, wholesale abuse of the organs of state or a million other reasons. Read more: BBC

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