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Namibia leader wins $5m Mo Ibrahim African leadership prize

Hifikepunye Pohamba (L) is only the fourth winner of the $5 million annual Mo Ibrahim prize, launched in 2007 with the aim of encouraging and rewarding good governance across AfricaNamibia’s outgoing president was on Monday named winner of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for “good governance” in Africa, the world’s richest award that has seen a dearth of worthy candidates. Hifikepunye Pohamba, 79, is only the fourth winner of the $5 million annual prize, launched in 2007 with the aim of encouraging and rewarding good governance across a continent where the likes of Nelson Mandela — who bowed out gracefully from office — remain the exception. While elections are now the rule in Africa, many leaders seek to force through constitutional changes in order to stay in power, sometimes well into old age, while others die in office or are forced to flee. “President Pohamba’s focus in forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia’s consolidation of democracy and social and economic development impressed the prize committee,” said Salim Ahmed Salim, chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Prize committee and a former prime minister of Tanzania, during the announcement of the award in Nairobi.

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