Awards

No Winner for African Leadership Prize

What does it say that the $5 million prize for former honest, democratic African leaders went un-awarded this year? The prize committee, chaired by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and including four Nobel Laureates, denied that the decision was intended to snub former South African President Thabo Mbeki or former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. Citing the confidentiality of its discussion, the committee refused to say why they made that choice, or whether the decision signified that no leader met the required standard. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born telecommunications entrepreneur who founded the award said the decision not to award the prize had nothing to do with the global financial crisis or the state of his pocketbook. When he set up the prize two years ago, Ibrahim said he had made it clear that there might be some years when no one won.