Africa’s Executive Problem

Africa and Asia: The Key Issues

Leadership, or the lack of responsible political leadership, is sub-Saharan Africa’s major challenge. This common wisdom was confirmed Monday when the Ibrahim Foundation’s prize committee refused for the second year running and the fourth time in seven years to find any recently retired African head of state or head of government from any of Africa’s 55 countries worthy of receiving the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership (worth $5-million over ten years, plus another $200,000 a year for life).

President Joaquin Chissano of Mozambique received the prize in 2007, the first year of its existence; President Festus Mogae of Botswana, who had just left his post, was awarded it the next year, and Pedro de Verona Pires of tiny Cape Verde in 2011. Since then the Ibrahim Foundation has found no recently retired former president to have been sufficiently effective while in office as a promoter of good…

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