This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim believes there is nothing more important for
Africa than good leadership. Mr. Ibrahim has created the world's richest prize,
worth five million dollars over ten years. The winner also will
receive 200,000 dollars every year for life. An additional 200,000
dollars a year will be made available for good causes supported by the winner.
The Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership will be awarded
for the first time in October. Former heads of state and government from African
countries south of the Sahara Desert will be considered. Candidates must have
left office in the past three years and have shown good political leadership.
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan will lead the committee
that will choose the winner. The committee will examine research from a special
rating system. The Ibrahim Index for African Governance will measure national
progress in several areas. They include economic and social development, peace
and security, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The index was
developed at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in
Kofi Annan says good governance is the single most important way to end
poverty and support development. He says the idea behind the Mo Ibrahim prize is
to produce better leadership and governance in Africa. In a similar way, the
Nobel Prize has supported scientists to excel in medicine, physics, chemistry
and other areas.
Mr. Ibrahim says the prize is not meant to reform dishonest leaders, nor will
it end corruption in Africa. And, he says the prize may not be given every year.
If no excellent candidate is identified, Mr. Ibrahim says the money will be used
for other important causes. These include leadership programs or financial
assistance for African students.
Mo Ibrahim says he can think of no better way to spend his money than to
invest in Africa's future. The Sudanese billionaire started a mobile phone
business, Celtel International, nine years ago. It is now one of Africa's most
And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss.
You can read scripts and download audio of Special English programs at our Web
site, www.unsv.com. I'm Bob Doughty.