Cross-linked at Bertelsmann Stiftung – Future Challenges’ site
The World Bank defines governance as “the exercise of political authority and the use of institutional resources to manage society’s problems and affairs.” As we move forward in the second decade of the 21st century, the question of good governance is particularly important.
Defining good governance (a nebulous term) as human development and fair, transparent, participatory management of state resources, it is fair to say that good governance ought to encompass the issues faced by today’s youth. This is especially true for Africa, where 65 percent of the population is below the age of 24, compared to the average age of African heads of state- just over 72.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was founded by Mohammed Ibrahim, a British Sudanese-born mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire, in 2006. The goal of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation is to support good governance and leadership in Africa. One method of incentivizing good governance among African leaders is the Mo Ibrahim Achievement in African Leadership, gives $5 million lump sum payment, plus a $200,000 annual payment for life to African heads of state work toward the social (security, health, education) and economic development of their nation and democratically transfer power to their successors.
The inaugural winner of the Mo Ibrahim Achievement in African Leadership award was Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano, who served as president for 19 years before declining to run for a third term in 2004. This year’s winner was Pedro Verona Pires, President of Cape Verde from 2001-2010. The cited reason for his win was his role in making Cape Verde a “model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity.”