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African presidents should not be given Mo money

By | October 13th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim's award for good governance in Africa is indeed a novel and noble idea. Its aim is to encourage high quality leadership in sub-Saharan Africa and is awarded to a former African leader who has demonstrated excellence in office. Former President of Cape Verde, Mr Pedro Pires, is this year’s winner.

For this, he’ll bag $5m (Sh0.535 billion) over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life thereafter.

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By all standards, Sh0.5b is a lot of money. Indeed the Mo Ibrahim prize is the biggest annual prize in the world. While we don’t begrudge good leaders of this coveted prize, we feel the amount of money involved is far too much. African leaders are among, if not, the richest people in their countries. Besides, majority leave office at an advanced age and with good retirement packages—more than enough to cater for their twilight years. So, why should Mo give them more money? A pat on a winner’s back is good enough. The cash can be used to fight poverty in the winner’s country.

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