(Agence Ecofin) – After three years without a winner, the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Leadership and Excellence in Africa is awarded to Nigerien Head of State Issoufou Mahamadou. The President of the Republic of Niger thus becomes the 7e African Head of State to be honored with this prestigious distinction, after Joaquim Chissano from Mozambique and Nelson Mandela from South Africa in 2007, Festus Mogae from Botswana in 2008, Pedro Pires from Cape Verde in 2011, Hifikipunye Pohamba from Namibia in 2014, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in 2017.
The Mo Ibrahim Prize, awarded to President Issoufou, “ recognizes and celebrates African heads of state who, under difficult circumstances, have developed their countries and strengthened democracy and human rights for the common good of their people, paving the way for lasting and equitable prosperity “. In addition, this award, which highlights outstanding role models for Africa, ensures that the continent continues to benefit from the experience and wisdom of these (award-winning) leaders, once they have left office. national, allowing them to continue to occupy other public functions on the continent.
Elected at the head of Niger in 2011 after twenty years in the opposition, Issoufou Mahamadou was re-elected to the supreme office at the end of his first term with more than 92% of the vote.
During the ten years spent at the head of Niger, Issoufou Mahamadou has particularly distinguished himself in the strengthening and consolidation of the institutions of the country which is about to experience its first peaceful alternation. At the African level, the Nigerien head of state has marked his leadership through a remarkable contribution to the integration of the continent, and the fight against terrorism. He led the file of the implementation of the continental free trade area (Zlecaf) the largest economic project on the continent with the congratulations of his peers.
The attribution of this prize which, beyond the person of Issoufou Mahamadou, honors Niger, takes place in a particular context, marked by post-electoral tensions. Unrest has erupted in the country following the proclamation of the provisional overall results of the presidential election 2e tour held on February 21. These results give Mohamed Bazoum, dolphin of President Issoufou, winner with 55, 75% of the vote against the opposition candidate Mahamane Ousmane who disputes the scores.