Recognizing that improving governance takes political leadership, Mo Ibrahim, the founder of Celtel, created the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership to be awarded to a former African head of state or government who has demonstrated excellence in African leadership. Consisting of a $5 million award to be paid out over 10 years and a $200,000 annual stipend after that, the prize has grabbed the attention of the governance community for its vision and initiative. The winner, announced on October 22 in Alexandria, Egypt, was chosen based on a new African governance quality index designed by Robert Rotberg of Harvard University.
On October 25, Brookings hosted Professor Rotberg who discussed the creation of the new index and the implications of the African Leadership Prize for the improvement of governance in Africa. He was joined by Chris Fomuyoh, director for Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Aart Kraay, lead economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank.