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African Progress: Afro-Pessimism Redux?

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The Blair Commission for Africa: Commentaries & Critiques
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Africa-related Events in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area

Policy . Politics . Business . Trade . Finance . Civil Society . Arts . Culture . Entertainment


"Making Leaders". ALPN founder/director, Dr. Michael Isimbabi's letter in The Economist


African Leadership & Progress Briefs

The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize Revisited: How Dr. Ibrahim and Other Well-Off Africans Can Best Foster Good Governance in African Countries

 

Addressing Africa’s Humiliation: 'Brain Gain'/'Brain Circulation' Diaspora Networks for African Progress

 

After the 2005 G8 and UN Summits: Independent, High-Impact Information Infrastructures and Networks for Transparency and Accountability in African Countries

 

Leadership & Governance Capacity Building in African Countries: Why and How Well-Off and Accomplished Africans, Especially "Brain Drain" Africans, Should Proactively Take Charge of Fostering African Progress


Research/Information Portal


The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize - Commentaries & Critiques

Illicit Capital Flows, Tax Evasion, and African Development

Brain Drain, Brain Gain, Brain Circulation, Diaspora Africans, and Capacity Building in Africa

Perspectives on African Leadership, NEPAD, the African Union, Etc.


 

The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize: Commentaries & Critiques

 


See also the ALPN Brief: The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize Revisited: How Dr. Ibrahim and Other Well-Off Africans Can Best Foster Good Governance in African Countries (By Jump-Starting Resource-Pooling Efforts to Build High-Impact Independent Information-based Institutions and Infrastructures that Will Foster Accountability and the Emergence of Visionary and Transformational Leaders)


For links to the websites of organizations and initiatives that are actively helping to foster transparency, accountability, and better governance in African countries -- through capacity building, research, analysis/evaluation, information dissemination, public education, and advocacy -- visit our Governance - Transparency - Corruption - The Resource Curse webpage.


 

Mo Ibrahim and Foundation Members on the Index and Prize


Mo Ibrahim Foundation Website    Ibrahim Index of African Governance   


Strengthening African Governance: Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2008. The 2008 Rankings. Mo Ibrahim Foundation

An African Scorecard. African governance is getting better. Robert Rotberg. International Herald Tribune

Press Release   Briefing Note   The full 2008 Ibrahim Index

Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces next steps to strengthen Ibrahim Index. 6 October 2008


Criteria for a continent. Mo Ibrahim. The World in 2008 (The Economist)

Rewarding good governance in Africa: Criteria for a continent. Video (The Economist). Mo Ibrahim talks about why governance is a necessary first step for the development of Sub-Saharan Africa...

Leading Africa forward. Mo Ibrahim. The Guardian (UK).

New Governance Index Is 'An African Effort' for Development. allAfrica.com. Interview with Mo Ibrahim.

Mo Ibrahim unveiled. Liz Ng'ang'a. The East African.

The Secretary-General's Agenda: Sustainable Development In Africa Requires Good Governance. Mo Ibrahim. UN Chronicle.

Speech at the 7th Global Forum on Reinventing Government: Building Trust in Government - UN Headquarters, Vienna, 25-29 June 2007. Mo Ibrahim

Lunch with the FT: Mo Ibrahim. Financial Times

A powerful voice for Africa. Kofi Annan. Joaquim Chissano's role in leading Mozambique from conflict to peace and democracy made him a very worthy winner of the Mo Ibrahim prize.

$5 mln prize may improve African leadership - Annan.  (Kofi Annan, Chair of the  Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Prize Committee)

What Africa Really Needs is Visionary Leadership. Henry Ekwuruke (member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Prize Committee)

Continent will reap reward of leadership. Mamphela Ramphele (member of the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation)

 

 

Governance Index Is a Work in Progress, Rotberg Says. allAfrica.com interview.

 


Governance for Development in Africa Initiative	GDAI - PhD scholarships	GDAI - Visiting Fellowships 

...increasing knowledge and debate in Africa on the economic, political and legal dimensions of governance and development. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s £1.375 million gift will fund four dedicated programmes at SOAS: Leadership Development Fellowships; Residential Schools in Africa; Governance Lectures; and PhD Scholarships.

	SOAS commemorates generous gift from Mo Ibrahim Foundation. 27 March 2008

 

 

Commentaries & Critiques

 


Trophy leaders are not enough. Calestous Juma. The Guardian (UK). "...The $5m prize intended to help improve Africa's leadership risks diverting attention from more critical institutional issues. ...Much of Africa currently holds multi-party elections. But parliaments are poorly supported. Elected leaders can hardly be effective representatives of their people. For example, many parliaments debate national budgets but they cannot influence their contents. They merely rubber-stamp proposals for the executive branch, many of which are discussed in advance with development partners. Similarly, judicial offices remain under-funded and lack the administrative infrastructure to render justice in a fair and efficient way. They need to digitise their records but can hardly get the support to do so. The lack of administrative infrastructure reduces transparency, breeding corruption and other malpractices. All of this will reflect badly on leaders in power. The prize serves a useful purpose in focusing attention on the need to improve governance in general and leadership in particular, but more needs to be done to help Africa build the institutional infrastructure needed to deepen democracy."


If political culture is unsound, no prize will improve governance. Xolela Mangcu. BusinessDay (South Africa). "...It is in civil society that the deliberation about good governance and good leadership must be located. Ultimately, the defining legacy of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation initiative will be the extent to which instruments such as prizes and indexes are leveraged to liberate the political cultures of our societies...."


How to Rank Good Governance: The Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Brookings Institution Panel Discussion. October 25, 2007. Brookings hosted Professor Rotberg who discussed the creation of the new index and the implications of the African Leadership Prize for the improvement of governance in Africa. He was joined by Chris Fomuyoh, director for Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Aart Kraay, lead economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.  Transcript of Panel Discussion


The Mo Ibrahim Prize: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul. Issa Shivji

        A Comment on Issa Shivji's Critique of Mo Ibrahim's Prize. African Path Blog

Mo Ibrahim Index in Spotlight: Is Zimbabwe Better Governed Than Nigeria? Freedom House Blog

Assessing governance: No easy task. Marta Foresti. Overseas Development Institute (UK) Blog

Mo Ibrahim's Big African Joke. Richard Dowden. Royal African Society (UK)

Bribing African leaders to leave power on time.  Richard Dowden. New Vision (Uganda)

Lawrence Haddad on the Mo Ibrahim Prize. Lawrence Haddad, Institute of Development Studies, UK 

In Africa, it's death by leadership.

The prize for achievement in African leadership: Juicy carrot or red herring? Olivier Jarda


African leaders: index the streets!. G. Pascal Zachary. Africa Works

....Unwilling to criticize actual African leaders, these global actors promote safe, sanitary “benchmarks” for leadership. These benchmarks, always debateable and grounded in mushy statistics, are psuedo-scientific, misleading and ultimately corrosive. Defenders say these indices are better than nothing. Yet metrics for leadership can only grow out of the societies in which leaders themselves grow....The trouble with leadership in Africa is not a lack of great leaders or an ignorance about what constitutes great leadership. I meet great leaders all the time in Africa. They lack power, not a moral compass. Their honesty and integrity are a handicap. They are smothered, pressured, and sometimes even extinguished by rivalrous bad leaders who in an endless display of Gresham’s Law prove time again that “bad (leaders) drive out good.” The academic indices for African leadership don’t calculate the one ultimate source of leadership: people power...


Ordinary – The New Extraordinary. Hennie van Vuuren. Institute for Security Studies, South Africa

The extent to which the positive values of African leadership have been debased found expression in the inaugural Mo-Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. ...Africa, therefore, seemingly demands a different set of governance standards. Could it be that there are two objective measures of governance – that which is ‘African’ and that which is ‘good’ (the rest of the world)? What follows is an implicit assumption that African leaders are so corrupt and money hungry that the only way to ensure that they do the right thing is to dangle the lure of more money...A real concern is that this reinforces a colonial stereotype of the African ethical compass, one guided only by a shiny silver dollar. If anything leaders like Chissano and his peers should vocally reject initiatives such as this which serve only to patronise. The tacit acceptance of such awards send a subtle message to aspirant African politicians, businessmen and the millions of bureaucrats across the continent: ‘doing the right thing’ – doing what one is elected and/or paid to do - is not part of the African ‘condition’ but is instead something special’. We therefore run the risk of elevating what should be ordinary behaviour to the level of the extraordinary...


What is good governance? Kwaku Asante-Darko. Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

Bribing Africa’s Leaders to Stop Corruption. Gathara’s World

Celebrating miserable African leaders. Dennis Matanda. Sub-Saharan African Roundtable Blog

Africans can find solutions for Africa. Editorial. Mail & Guardian Online (South Africa)

In a good cause: Mo Ibrahim’s first-ever bribe. business.iafrica.com

The Ibrahim Index on African governance. African Business (Cover Story). November 2007

Ibrahim Index on governance: classroom theories, not fact. Nikhil Jaisinghani. (Letter to the editor, African Business)

Can a prize for good governance make a difference? clickafrique.com

The Ultimate Golden Handshake. Moyiga Nduru

Mo Ibrahim's Prize for African achievers.  Kipkoech Komugor. Kenya Times.

Is $5m the cost of good governance in Africa? Ethan Zuckerman

Africa's new $5 million prize for top leaders. Christian Science Monitor

Mo Ibrahim prize: A case of misplaced priorities? Cameron Duodu. New African

The Mo Ibrahim Prize. Gwynne Dyer.

In support of good governance in Africa. Anja Merret.

Let Freedom Ring (Prepaid). Quentin Hardy. Forbes.


London: African Leadership Achievement Prize for Good Governance Announced. Jewels in the Jungle Blog

"...Patrick Smith, noted editor of Africa Confidential writes in his weekly newsletter:

....Some African leaders cause problems but so do its weak institutions that allow personal rule. The $5 mn. incentive would only be of interest to a narrow group, somewhere between those effective leaders who stick to their countries' constitutional term limits and those venal, oppressive leaders for whom $5 mn. is less than a contract kickback.

More questions still are being asked about Professor Rotberg's index of good governance. Will the Professor and his team of two researchers at Harvard complete their full governance rankings for 48 African states by the middle of next year as promised? How much will they rely on the notoriously inaccurate statistics of the World Bank, IMF and UN agencies? How much field work will they do in Africa? How many African institutions and academics will they involve?

All these issues are under consideration, Dr Mo and Professor Rotberg assured me. Clearly, there is much preparatory work to be done and big decisions to be taken if the 'Ibrahim index', as they call the African governance rankings, are going to have the hoped-for impact. In one respect, the Foundation is already succeeding: more people than ever are talking about standards of government in Africa, its institutions and leaders. 'Governance has come out of the closet in Africa,' as Dr Mo says."

Prize offered to Africa's leaders. BBC News"...Patrick Smith, of specialist publication Africa Confidential, said: "The people who know what to do and have done well are already doing it....And the people who are doing badly and are killing their own people or stealing state resources are going to carry on doing that."


Can a $5m political prize save Africa?  thefirstpost.co.uk.

Index to judge African leadership. Financial Times

Leading article: Money alone will not change Africa's ways. The Independent (UK). 27 October 2006

Prize of $5m awaits honest African rulers. The Guardian (UK). October 25, 2006

Virtue Has Its Own Rewards. Wall Street Journal Online. October 26, 2006. .

A cure for corruption? The scourge of Africa's kleptocrats. The Independent (UK). 27 October 2006

Sudanese tycoon hopes $5m prize will stop leaders clinging to officeFinancial Times, Oct 26, 2006

Carrots for kleptocrats (Letter to the Editor). Financial Times. Oct 28, 2006

Award for Africa’s best leader.

Buying Out Dictatorships. thomasfortenberry.net

Africa leaders offered prize for ruling well. The New York Times. October 26, 2006

Record-Breaking Governance Prize Launched. allAfrica.com. October 26, 2006

Mo Ibrahim Foundation Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Globalab Blog

Thumbs up or down for African prize? AlertNet.org


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