The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee.
The 2017 Prize was awarded to former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who becomes the first woman to receive the award.
The Prize Committee found that, confronted with unprecedented and renewed challenges, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf demonstrated exceptional and transformative leadership.
Over the last decade, Liberia was the only country, out of 54, to improve in every category and sub-category of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
She courageously embraced opponents and fought for generational change, and paved the way for her successor to follow.
Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was also president at the event, shared on her Twitter page:
“A wonderful day in Kigali at the Mo Ibrahim Fdn weekend as Pres Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf becomes the 5th African & first female leader to receive the Mo Ibrahim Governance Prize. She’ll utilize the $5m award to set up a fdn to train and empower female leaders on the continent.”
She added that Sirleaf gave an “elegant, powerful & impactful speech in which she talks about building and developing a fragile state from scratch, the imperative of empowering girls and women and the necessity of confronting corruption.”
While receiving the award, Sirleaf was surrounded by Presidents Kagame and Ouattara, former President Horst Kohler, former Prime Ministers Desalegn of Ethiopia and Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, Mo Ibrahim among others.
See video below: