How Goodluck Jonathan Failed To Win $5m Mo Ibrahim Prize


The Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced Thursday that no former African leader had met the “very high bar” for the Mo Ibrahim Prize one of the world’s richest prizes.

The Ibrahim Prize has been awarded just four times in the decade since it was established.

Candidates are African heads of state or government who have left office in the past three years, been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated terms. They must also show “exceptional leadership.”


The award honors role models on a continent where many leaders have stayed in power for decades.

“If there is no worthy candidate, the committee chooses not to award,” the foundation’s head of communications, Sophie Masipa, said in a statement.

Although, Jonathan seems to have met the Prize criteria which includes Former African Executive Head of State or Government, left office in the last three years, democratically elected, served his or her constitutionally mandated term, demonstrated exceptional leadership; it is unclear why he wasn’t given. Allegations of massive corruption under his administration presently being investigated and prosecuted by the EFCC  may have cost Jonathan the prize.

Previous prize winners were Presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia in 2014, Pedro Pires of Cape Verde in 2011, Festus Mogae of Botswana in 2008 and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in 2007. Nelson Mandela was named the inaugural honorary laureate in 2007.