Friday, July 15, 2011

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation - Their role in Africa

A snippet about the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that is at the forefront of developing leadership capabilities in Africa. Exemplary work!

The Mo Ibrahim foundation was created by Dr. Mo Ibrahim, an entrepreneur in the telecom industry who sold his organization, Celtel for $3.4 billion in 2005 .

The aims of the foundation are :
1. Stimulate debate on good governance across sub Saharan Africa and the world
2. Provide objective criteria by which citizens can hold their governments to account
3. Recognize achievements in African leadership and provide a practical way in which leaders can build positive legacies on the African continent

The other major objectives of the foundation are to reduce poverty in Africa and support aspiring leaders of the continent through scholarships, guidance etc. The foundation is committed to governance issues in Africa as means of improving the quality of life on the continent. It believes that only good governance focused on issues like healthcare, education, environment and citizen rights will improve the socioeconomic life of the African people .

The foundation has instituted an “Ibrahim Prize” which awards African leaders who have governed as per the limits set by the constitution of their country and transferred power in a democratic way to a successor in the last three years. The prize provides an incentive to the chosen leader to continue as role models for good governance without any economic liability. The prize awards a sum of $5 million in the first year and then $200,000 for life. In a way it provides aspiring leaders an economic incentive to not indulge in corruption and bad governance. It also provides a high level of respect and recognition for the chosen leaders and provides them with a platform to reach out to the masses with their model visions.

In countries like Egypt and Tunisia, where democracy is just taking hold after years of dictatorship, it can be instrumental in providing a guiding path and role models for upcoming leaders.