And the winner of the Ibrahim Prize for good governance is … President Festus Mogae, former head of state of the Republic of Botswana.
President Festus Mogae will receive $200, 000 every year for the rest of his life other than the $5million cash award he received.
After receiving his award, president Mogae was quoted as saying ‘One does one’s work, one uses one’s best endeavours to do a job as well as one could, and if other people then assess it and judge it to be meritorious and worthy of recognition it’s then honouring and humbling.’
Throughout his tenure, Botswana was one of Africa’s most stable countries. Botswana had and still has Africa’s highest average income and is seen as its least corrupt country, according to Transparency International. It is also the world’s biggest diamond producer but unlike other resource-rich countries in Africa, this has not become a source of conflict.
Kofi Annan the former UN secretary General commended Mr Mogae for his action to tackle the Aids pandemic amidst other leadership accomplishments because the president had taken charge of a country with one of the world’s highest rates of HIV/Aids and he took strong action to tackle it, making Botswana the first sub-Saharan African country where anti-retroviral drugs known locally as Mogae’s tablets were widely available for free.
The former president in modest response to all the praises he received said ‘I did not create the democracy in my country, I consolidated it and deepened it by practiced, accountable governance, respect of the rule of law, independence of the courts, respect for human rights, including women’s rights.’