DR Mohamed Mo Ibrahim, the founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that instituted the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, has interacted with journalists in Accra as part of the foundation's activities to engage West Africa in good leadership and governance.
Dr Ibrahim, with other members of the Foundation and the Prize Committee, addressed varied issues that included how the foundation could use its influence to end conflicts on the continent and contribute to economic opportunities in Africa and the reason for rewarding past African leaders and not sitting ones.
Other members of the Foundation and Prize Committee were Ms Aicha Bah Diallo, Dr Mampheka Ramphele, Mrs Mary Robinson and Ms Nathalie Delapalme.
Touching on the index of African Governance, first published in September 2007, Dr Ibrahim said it was a gift to civil society organisations and the people of Africa to intelligently engage their governments on good governance.
He said the index was not static and would be updated with time to mirror changes in Africa.
Dr Ibrahim said the prize was directed at African leaders who had left office in the last three years, to ensure that they governed appropriately and handed over power.
Ms Delapalme, a special advisor to the Foundation, stressed that one of the aims of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance was to show that good governance was not only a conditionality for Africa to attract aid, but a condition of success.
"It is an African definition and an African concept," she added.
Mrs Robinson said the Foundation was also working with economists the world over to ensure good governance in the economy of African countries.
She said because the index on good governance was evolving, there was room to accommodate the criticism, contributions and objections that would become a body of knowledge for sustainable economic opportunity.
Dr Rampele, who spoke about former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, who became the first to win the prize, said he was an example of compromise on the continent.
She said Mr Chissano, therefore, as an Ibrahim laureate, demonstrated accommodation of different views and defended the rights of others to believe differently, which was important in good governance.
Ms Ba Diallo, for her part, said the Mo Ibrahim initiative was all about doing the right thing in governance and also in stepping down.
"Leaders must not only manage properly, but must manage their handing over in a democratic way," she pointed out.
The delegation will participate in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development XII Global Leaders' Investment Debate and deliver a lecture on governance and leadership at the University of Ghana, Legon tomorrow.
DAILY GRAPHIC, MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2008, PG 20