Home | News    Sunday 16 November 2008

Former Botswana president awarded by Sudanese-born billionaire

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November 15, 2008 (ALEXANDRIA) – Festus Gontebanye Mogae, who stepped down as president of Botswana this year, tonight accepted a
multi-million dollar prize awarded by the foundation of Sudanese
billionaire Mo Ibrahim.

Festus Gontebanye Mogae

At the awards ceremony in the Bibliotheca Alexandria in Egypt, Ibrahim
called Festus Mogae "a worthy winner."

Ibrahim was born in Sudan but is now a British national. He earned a
US$5 billion fortune in the mobile phone industry and established the
Mo Ibrahim Foundation in October 2006.

"Our continent is a place of immense potential and daunting
challenges. By governing honestly and effectively in the interests of
all their citizens, good leaders create the conditions to overcome the
challenges and realise this potential. I believe that Festus Mogae,
this year’s Ibrahim Laureate, has consistently demonstrated this,"
explained Ibrahim.

The prize is worth US$5 million over 10 years and $200,000 annually
for life thereafter. It is awarded to elected African heads of
government who step down from office.

Mogae is the second African leader to receive the Ibrahim Prize for
Achievement in African Leadership, after Joaquim Chissano, the former
president of Mozambique.

Mogae, who served as the third president of Botswana between 1998 and
2008, won praise from the foundation’s prize committee, chaired by
former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The committee
cited Mogae’s achievements in managing Botswana’s economy, holding
down inflation, attracting foreign investment and maintaining a tough
stance against corruption.

When presenting the award, Kofi Annan said, "Botswana demonstrates how

a country with natural resources can promote sustainable development
with good governance, in a continent where too often mineral wealth
has become a curse."

"I hope that the prize will enable him to continue to apply his
experience and expertise to the challenges facing our continent, as he
is already doing through the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation
initiative," said Ibrahim.

Former President Mogae was born in Serowe, Botswana, in 1939. He was
educated for the most part in the United Kingdom, where he studied
economics, first at the University of
Sussex and then at University College, Oxford.

Mogae worked for more than a decade as a civil servant before becoming
Botswana’s finance and development minister in 1989. From 1992 to 1998
he served as vice president of Botswana under President Masire.

He was then twice elected president of Botswana as leader of the
Botswana Democratic Party. In April 2008, in accordance with
Botswana’s constitution, he stepped down from the office of president.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

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  • 16 November 2008 16:50, by Yaadasaa Dafaa

    Meles Zenaw of Ethiopia, Omar Bashir of Sudan, and Robert Mogabe of Zimbabue will be the next winners of this prise. Bess his name!!!!
    Yaadasaa@gmail.com

    repondre message

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