Does Africa have any good leaders?

mo ibrahimThe Mo Ibrahim Foundation , set up to award a $5m as an annual prize for African ex-leaders who have shown good governance , has said there will be no winner this year because it could not find anyone to award it to.

Mr.Mo Ibrahim , the Chairman of the foundation, said that this was the committee’s decision and that it must be respected. He also said that “We made clear at the launch of the foundation that there may be years when there is no winner.”

But why isn’t there? It’s true, this is the committee’s decision and the reasons are confidential, but this is simple enough. This is a prize awarded for good African governance and no one won. Does that mean there are no good leaders in Africa?

29 Responses to “Does Africa have any good leaders?”

  1. 1 Dave in Florida
    October 19, 2009 at 16:35

    With so many of Africa’s leaders being hopelessly corrupt, a five-million dollar prize is nothing when compared to the hundreds of millions that can be looted from a country’s coffers during a term in office. It is doubtful most leaders will give this prize a second thought.

    This is an additional five-million dollars given to pad the bank accounts of the least corrupt leader.

  2. 2 VictorK
    October 19, 2009 at 17:04

    No, not very many.

    It’s a pity that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation doesn’t itself lead by example: it appears to be based in London (according to its website).

    Despite packaging itself as an African initaitve, Its objectives are exclusively drawn from the usual high-minded cliches of Western liberalism. They have absolutely nothing to do with African realities, and could just as easily have been formulated by Bill Gates. Why African leaders should pay any attention to such an organisation – apart from the cash – is beyond me. And isn’t a bribe to secure good leadership self-defeating?

    • 3 Folajide
      October 19, 2009 at 21:37

      I absolutely disagree with your comment VictorK. It is infact irrelevant where the foundation is based; i mean we don’t complain about the Nobel Peace Prize for instance. It is also not high minded to draw inferences from western values.
      In my view African leaders will not care for the financial benefit and prestige this brings, because they can do better by just reaching out for it from the largesse of their countries. I will be completely shocked if any leader wins under any criteria. They are all useless and will not stop until they have destroyed Africa.

  3. 4 Mavis
    October 19, 2009 at 17:06

    The winners for this prize were bound to run out anyway.African leaders are more interested in hanging onto the presidency like their lives depend on it and they do because they are so frightened of being prosecuted for the heinous crimes they commit while the are in power.Most of the African presidents that were in power since independence are still the same leaders that we have today and they will comtinue being presidnents till they die because of the persistent vote rigging that goes on in this continent and the constitutional amendments that are done to prolong their stay in power. The five million dollars or any other amount cannot be enough to attract good governence in African countries because these people have that amount and even more on their off shore accounts to last their families, the entire generation by the way a lifetime of paradise on earth.

    October 19, 2009 at 17:14

    Yes, most African leaders are too distant mentally from the real Africa. Ironically most citizens of Africa are still in the old Africa of paternally-personalized leadership. It is absurd for one to think that the asserts of the state can robbed or handed freely to supporters as mana from heaven without hurting the common interest; thereby underming the future. Having said that, can Mo Ibrahim do any difference by handing five million dolars to the destitutes instead? Why is it that he aimes to give only those that do not have a need?

  5. October 19, 2009 at 17:42

    Yes,there are good leaders in Africa somewhere. The simple fact is that they have not yet been elected.

  6. 7 Robert
    October 19, 2009 at 18:10

    Looking at it from a purely incentives perspective, why bother?

    On money alone, $5million is nothing, compared to the prizes of corruption.

    For prestige, the corrupt don’t care about having their names written into history, like a western leader. They care about money and power NOW. There is now prestige to those it is trying to improve.

    Are there good leaders in Africa. Yes I think there are. But maybe the award has to lower its aim. Don’t chase the presidents, by that time they are likely to be so surrounded by corruption this does nothing. Give the award instead to provincial governors, business leaders, aid program leaders who are fighting corruption in their current day to day jobs. Make corruption unacceptable on the local level and you stand a chance of forcing it out on a the national level.

  7. 8 Tom K in Mpls
    October 19, 2009 at 18:27

    I would agree, but the question is a bit unfair. Things are, and have been very bad. Sometimes to make progress you can’t play by the rules you wish to establish. I believe some of this is true today. But those legitimately doing this need to accept harsh judgment by all.

  8. 9 Mathew
    October 19, 2009 at 19:14

    Not even one single leader who is worthy of the award. I lived there almost 6 years and I found all of them power-hungry selfish corrupt rulers. Obasanjo? You are kidding. How could he stash up 300 million in Europe? Where did he get that amount of money?

  9. 10 Mathew
    October 19, 2009 at 19:17

    Show me one retired leader who could be equated to President Bill Clinton or Mr. Bill Gates in Africa. What do these people do after their retirement, if at all they retire?

  10. 11 Ignasio Kambale
    October 19, 2009 at 19:22

    Yes, africa has leaders who have done better to get their conutries where they are today but surprisingly there they say they couldn’t find the winner thats a surprise to me coz we have seen for example here in Malawi our president has done alot of development that are crucial to the country. We have also seen zimbabwe rising from the level it was but still that hasn’t been seen. He should have taken steps to find the winner. Let Bingu Mutharika be the winner, it couldn’t surprise me.

  11. 12 Adenrele Sulaimon
    October 19, 2009 at 20:10

    Africa have no good leader,they are almost the same,from the north to the east,from west to south no difference,they rules like hungary people,traitors,tyrants and any other bad way you can describe them,they did not have good plans for there countries exept corruption and embesslement.

  12. 13 patti in cape coral
    October 19, 2009 at 20:30

    Although I rarely agree with VictorK, I think he is spot on. A good leader would not need a 5M incentive; however, I would like to believe that Mr. Ibrahim’s heart is in the right place, it’s just an ineffective strategy and possibly making the problem worse.

  13. October 19, 2009 at 21:21

    I think the problem of africa is the same as the rest of the developing world. We are just aping the west and trying to do everything as they do. Instead of creating systems in harmony with our own climatic and cultural conditions. Even corruption basically started with colonialist , ‘Baksheesh’.
    Since our conditions are very different there are bound to be distortions. I do not believe western styled democracy can ever work in most developing countries. For e.g. calling India the largest democracy is a farce when 90% don’t know what the word means. Nor do ties, suits and oxford shoes work but our politicians and businessmen wear them in temperatures of forty degrees in the shade.

  14. October 19, 2009 at 22:42

    None of the presidents mentioned for the award deserve it. exp. the man from Ghana. For me, he is the most corrupt leader ever ruled Ghana and is good the panel didn’t give it to him. Well done panel.

    October 20, 2009 at 03:19

    The truth is that if you could be a good African leader, it will be so difficult for you to get elected; that is, if there is any election at all. The road to power in Africa is mard with everything bad you can think of, and incombents never offer you the least chace to win.

  16. 17 scmehta
    October 20, 2009 at 08:25

    The democratic processes, election included, are the best ways to throw-up good leaders, provided the processes are free and fair. Corrupted processes can only get you scoundrels or gang-leaders, but not good leaders.

  17. 18 Ibrahim in UK
    October 20, 2009 at 10:21

    Does Europe have any good leaders? What Europe and most countries have is a system of accountability that limits how bad their leaders can be. If you take the current European leaders and move them to an African country, would they be any better than the African leaders?
    The goal of a good leader is to be a servant of the people, responsible for their welfare and their future. Until a system is in place, we can only hope that a good leader will arise.

  18. 19 Saut
    October 20, 2009 at 11:27

    No, Africa does not need good keaders. No matter who is in charge, the rest of the world will always get its diamonds, gold, oil, ivory, etc. This is internationalistic and capitalistic trade for you. There will always be lowest offerors and highest bidders. But never enough good leaders,

  19. 21 Dennis Junior
    October 20, 2009 at 12:43

    In Africa, no they don’t have that many good leaders at this time….And, its’ sad that it is occurring…

    ~Dennis Junior~

  20. 22 ransford arthur jr
    October 20, 2009 at 15:35

    In ghana there’s a popular saying that goes like ‘the beautiful ones are not yet born; because the ugly ones are refusing to die’. therein lies the problem with our leaders- if we can call them that. Its simply a case of too many old men with old mentalities and worse, it gets passed on.

  21. 23 Dennis Junior
    October 20, 2009 at 19:14

    Does that mean there are no good leaders in Africa?

    That is simply not true…But, there are always going to be times in Africa, when the bad leaders will simply do the betting of the population…

    =Dennis Junior=

  22. 24 Pete Hodge
    October 20, 2009 at 22:33

    The reality is, there are few good leaders in Africa. Most are totally corrupt. But then one only has to look at our so called ‘leaders’ to see corruption is not just the way of the thrid world.

  23. 25 Chuksagwu
    October 21, 2009 at 07:22

    I would gladly bet my best shirt on a debate like this.There was hardly any African leader who retired last year whom the adjective’good’ could be honestly used to describe.In fairness to them,they may have shown flashes of good leadership here and there but when it mattered most, they more often than not back the wrong horse. Sit-tight leaders can’t be called good, those who rig themselves into office or back militants to massacre minorities are more evil than good.Having said this it is important to also say that Africa is never in short supply of good leaders but these hardly survive the suffocating political waters of the continent,the vice-like grip of the ruling party (PDP) in Nigeria is a classic example.Hopefully a few who are currently in office would chart a new course.

  24. 26 beatrice ngumo
    October 21, 2009 at 13:23

    of course the are no good leaders in africa and their will never be so long as majority of the people dont know their rights and dont know how to demand for whats due to them…..
    african leaders will always take advantage of the poor and of the majority who r yet to wake up and realize they are exploited and abused daily by our leaders who have no remorse or excuses for what they do…
    we need to get a generation that is able to say no and fight the current systems selflessly……
    like some said….they r yet to be born……

  25. 27 Jon
    October 21, 2009 at 13:54

    NO…all corrupt and greedy..this has been the problem for years..and it wont change because they dont care about each other..only about themselves..this sadly is the global opinion.

  26. 28 Keith Shaw
    October 21, 2009 at 14:05

    The answer to your Question short and sweet

  27. 29 No Thanks
    October 21, 2009 at 23:01

    Perhaps not, but at least there’s a group of influential Africans who seem to be willing to say so – implicitly at any rate.

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