The Prize was established in 2007 by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to recognize and celebrate excellence in African leadership.
It is to encourage leaders who fully dedicate their tenure of office to surmount the development challenges of their countries, improving the livelihoods and welfare of their people and consolidating the foundation for sustainable development
An official statement issued in Accra on Thursday said the announcement was made at a press conference in Nairobi in the presence of the diplomatic community, civil society representatives and the media.
The statement quoted Salim Ahmed Salim, the Chair of the Prize Committee, saying, “President Pohamba’s focus in forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia’s consolidation of democracy and social economic development impressed the Prize Committee.
“His ability to command the confidence and the Trust of his people is exemplary. During the decade of his Presidential mandate, he demonstrated sound and wise leadership. At the same time, he maintained his humility throughout his Presidency,” he added.
Salim Ahmed Salim noted during the decade of Hifikepunye Pohamba’s Presidency, Namibia’s reputation has been cemented as a well-governed, stable and inclusive democracy with strong media freedom and respect for human rights.
Mo Ibrahim, Founder of the Foundation said they were pleased that the Prize Committee has selected President Pohamba as the 2014 Ibrahim Laureate.
He said President Pohamba served his country since its independence and his leadership has renewed his people’s trust in democracy.
“His legacy is that of strengthened institutions through the various initiatives introduced during his tenure of office. He is a role model for the continent,” he added.
The Ibrahim Prize is a five Million Dollars award paid over 10 years and 200,000 dollars annually for life thereafter. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation will consider granting a further 200,000 dollars per year for 10 years towards public interest activities and good causes espoused by the Ibrahim Laureate.
Former Mozambique President, Joachim Chissano won in 2007, Festus Mogae, Botswana won in 2008 and Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde won the 2011 Prize. President Nelson Mandela was made the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.
In 2009, 2010, 2012and 2013 the Prize Committee, after in-depth review, did not select a winner.