The BBC reports that former Mozambique president, Joaquim Chissano, has won the first Mo Ibrahim prize rewarding a retired African head of state for excellence in leadership.
The prize is a significant African initiative to highlight the capacity for Africans to solve their own problems. Ibrahim, who made a fortune assembling a lucrative network of mobile phone companies in Africa, believes that by offering African political leaders a graceful way out of office — and funds to lead a comfortable post-political life — that more of them will do so.
Chissano is credited with bringing peace to Mozambique.
Ibrahim, who hails from Sudan, has said he hopes his prize, paid out over ten years, will increase Africa’s self-sufficiency and bring a day when the continent’s people no longer need to live on aid.
Kofi Annan, one of the judges and former head of the U.N., praised Mr Chissano’s role at home and more widely in Africa. “His decision not to seek a third presidential term reinforced Mozambique’s democratic maturity and demonstrated that institutions and the democratic process were more important than personalities,” he told the BBC.