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Africa

Panel won't award prize for honest leadership

October 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A $5-million prize for former African leaders who set examples of honest, democratic government will not be awarded this year, the prize committee said.

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is awarded only to democratically elected heads of state who have left office in the last three years.

That requirement limits the pool of contenders, eliminating the continent's strongmen leaders, some of whom have held on to power for decades.

The committee considered "some credible candidates" but could not select a winner, said former Botswanan President Ketumile Masire, a board member of the group that awards the prize.

Created in 2007 by Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim, the prize awards $5 million over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life thereafter to encourage leadership that improves the prospects of people in the continent.

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