The Ibrahim Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is an annual US$5 million award paid over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.
Presenting the award to President Pohamba, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the independent Prize Committee, said: “President Pohamba’s focus in forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia’s consolidation of democracy and social and economic development impressed the Prize Committee. His ability to command the confidence and the trust of his people is exemplary.”
Accepting the Award, President Pohamba said: “This honour is not for me alone. I accept it with a sense of great humility, on behalf of the Namibian people, who entrusted me, through democratic processes, to lead our country as President for two consecutive terms. Their commitment to uphold democracy and the rule of law, made the modest achievements that were recorded during my tenure of office possible.”
Mo Ibrahim, the founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “We need to change the narrative about African leadership. The world knows everything about our bad leaders, but nothing about our heroes, especially those who are doing wonderful things for their people. We need role models – we need heroes – to inspire and motivate our young people. President Pohamba is one of the unsung heroes of Africa.”
The Ibrahim Prize Ceremony kicks off the 2015 Governance Weekend, a series of events and debates organised by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. On Saturday 21 November, the Ibrahim Forum will bring together experts from across Africa and the world to discuss African urban dynamics. It will be followed by a free concert in Accra’s Independence Square involving Angelique Kidjo, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Youssou N’Dour and others. On Sunday 22 November, TP Mazembe from Democratic Republic of Congo will compete against Ghana Dream Team for the Ibrahim Cup in a special football match at Accra Stadium.
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.
The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through four main initiatives:
• Ibrahim Index of African Governance
• Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
• Ibrahim Forum
• Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships
Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Forum is an annual high-level discussion forum tackling issues of critical importance to Africa. The Forum convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to identify specific policy challenges and priorities for action. Previous Forums have dealt with: Africa in the next 50 years (2013), African Youth (2012), African Agriculture (2011) and African Regional Economic Integration (2010). Data and research on Forum issues are compiled by the Foundation as the basis for informed and constructive debate.
The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee. Previous Laureates: Presidents Joaquim Chissano (2007, Mozambique), Festus Mogae (2008, Botswana) and Pedro Pires (2011, Cabo Verde. The 2007 Honorary Ibrahim Laureate – President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba 2014 Ibrahim Laureate
Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba served as Head of State of Namibia from 2005 to 2015. He won the 2004 election overwhelmingly as the candidate of SWAPO, the ruling party, and he was re-elected in the 2009 election.
President Pohamba was awarded the fourth Ibrahim Prize for his role in maintaining and consolidating his country’s stability and prosperity and for forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia’s consolidation of democracy and social and economic development.
The Prize also recognises his contribution in cementing Namibia’s reputation as a well-governed, stable and inclusive democracy with strong media freedom and respect for human rights.