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Africa | Botswana
Politics | Economy - Development

Former Botswana leader gets good governance award

afrol News, 20 October - Former president of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae, has been announced today as winner of 2008 Ibrahim Price for Achievement in African Leadership, reports say.

Established to recognise and celebrate excellence in African leadership, Ibrahim Prize is largest annually awarded price in world, consisting of US$5 million over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.

A statement issued by Foundation today shows that it would consider granting a further $200,000 per year for ten years towards public interest activities and good causes championed by laureate.

Announcing 2008 Ibrahim Laureate before an audience of London's African diplomatic community, civil society representatives and media, former United Nations (UN) chief Kofi Annan, who chairs Price Committee, hailed Mr Mogae as an exceptional statesman.

"President Mogae's outstanding leadership has ensured Botswana's continued stability and prosperity in face of an HIV/AIDS pandemic, which threatened future of his country and people," Mr Annan said.

He went on to praise president Mogae's stewardship of Botswanan economy, saying, "Botswana demonstrates how a country with natural resources can promote sustainable development with good governance, in a continent where too often mineral wealth has become a curse."

Mo Ibrahim Foundation, launched in October 2006 as an initiative to support great African leadership, has established Ibrahim Price.

Price committee of six eminent individuals selected 2008 Ibrahim Laureate.

Committee assesses democratically elected former Executive Heads of State or Government from sub-Saharan African countries, who have served their term in office within limits, set by their country's constitution, and have left office within last three years.

Announcement of this year's Ibrahim Laureate comes a fortnight after publication of 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance in Addis Ababa. Assessed against 57 criteria, Ibrahim Index ranks sub-Saharan African nations according to governance performance.

Ibrahim Index is one of a number of independent and authoritative sources, which Price Committee is said to use in its deliberations.

At announcement of outcome of Price Committee's deliberations, Mo Ibrahim, founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said, "I am delighted that Price Committee has selected president Mogae as second Ibrahim Laureate. He is another example of outstanding leadership from African continent. I offer Mr Mogae my warmest congratulations and best wishes."

In October 2007, Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique, became inaugural Ibrahim Laureate.

Price Committee's citation praised president Chissano's "achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to his country."

Mr Mogae led Botswana from 1998 to 2008.

Mr Ibrahim is a Sudanese-born billionaire who also founded African telecommunications company Celtel International.

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