Results of the Mo Ibrahim Index for 2012 have now been released. Which political leader was announced the winner of the Mo Ibrahim Prize? Not one. No single leader within the continent of Africa was found to fit the prize’s qualifications and expectations.
What exactly are the qualifications? The political leader must have been democratically elected, have left office within three years of the prize, and has not exceeded the position’s constitutionally defined limits. The outcome of this year’s prize has caused many to criticize the index’s criteria. Some see the result as another negative statement about Africa and believe that the award is too narrowly defined. It has been proposed that the prize should be extended to civil society to include other forms as leaders such as leaders of opposition. None the less, the organization has refused to change its restrictions, explaining that the purpose of the prize is to award actual achievement, not to raise hope. But the organization also claims that its index is more important than the prize itself. In this year’s index, a rise of economic prosperity was displayed, but there still remained a downward trend in governance. This has lead critics to suggest that perhaps the prize should be awarded to countries instead of specific leaders. This way African country could still receive recognition for the progress they have made.
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