Until recently, I had been totally unaware of Mohamed (Mo) Ibrahim’s existence, and had never heard that, through his foundation, he funds the world’s single largest cash award.
The Prize for Achievement in African Leadership bestows $500,000 a year for the first 10 years and $200,000 a year for life thereafter to the African leader or former leader who delivers security, health, education and economic development to his constituents, and who democratically transfers power to his successor.
Mo Ibrahim, who is a Sudanese-born English mobile-communications entrepreneur, is a billionaire and can probably come up with the annual prize money by looking under the cushions of his couch. However, in the years since he established the prize in 2006, it has only been handed out twice. Once it went to Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, and once it went to Festus Mogae of Botswana. But in spite of the fact that there are 34 nations in sub-Sahara Africa, not to mention all those Arab and Muslim countries above the great desert, two years have gone by without a new honoree.
That would indicate a couple of things to me. First off, for all the lip service, not to mention foreign aid, paid out by the Western nations to Africa, it’s all been for naught. The dark continent is pretty much one enormous cesspool of murder, tribalism and corruption.
What’s more, Africa’s thugs control 53 votes in the United Nations, which dwarfs the number of votes the Western democracies possess. So much for the “international community,” which left-wing lunatics are always claiming is rightfully the world’s moral arbiter.
Another thing I’m able to glean from the fact that not a single African leader has shown himself to be worthy of the prize in the past two years is that even with all those millions of dollars being dangled before them, it’s chump change compared to the amount they can steal running the show in Yemen, Sudan, Kenya and all the other ganglands.
Something else that occurred to me is that if there was a comparable prize for American leaders, it, too, would go begging.