Coveted Mo Ibrahim African Leadership Prize Goes to President Pohama of Namibia

March 02, 2015 at 10:08 am | News

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March 02, 2015 at 10:08 am | News

Hifikepunye Pohama

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohama (pictured) recently became the fourth African president to be awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, according to the BBC.

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Since 2007, Sudanese mobile communications billionaire Mo Ibrahim (pictured below) has Mo Ibrahimrecognized African leaders who he and his foundation deem exceptional paradigms for leadership on the African continent.

In order to be considered for the award, a past African executive head of state has to have been democratically elected, left office in the last three years, and fulfilled his or her term.

Considered the world’s “most-valuable individual award” by the BBC, beneficiaries of the award receive $5 million that is spread over 10 years and then $200,000 for every year thereafter.

President Pohamba served two terms in his country, after being elected in 2004.

As a founding member of South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), which fought for the liberation of Namibia from South Africa, Pohamba was eventually imprisoned for his political activities.

Afterward, Pohamba would study in the Soviet Union and then return to his post-independent homeland as a minister of land reform.

The first president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, would later handpick Pohamba as his successor.

Hage Geingob

Last November, Namibia held its presidential elections, with the ruling SWAPO party securing the presidency again with Hage Geingob (pictured above) garnering 87 percent of the vote.

Previous winners of the Ibrahim Prize include President of Cabo Verde Pedro De Verona Rodrigues Pires (2011), President of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae (2008), President of Mozambique Joaquim Alberto Chissano (2007), and honorary recipient late-President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

Due to a dearth of viable candidates, the prize was not awarded in 2009, 2012, or 2013.

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