NIAMEY, 8 March 2021 – Niger’s outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the 2020 winner of the five million dollar Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership.
Issoufou is the sixth recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Prize and in a tweet Monday, he said the award honors the people of Niger.
“I consider this award an encouragement to continue to think and act in such a way that promotes democratic values and good governance, not only in Niger, but in Africa and around the world,” Issoufou said.
Issoufou is presiding over Niger’s first democratic transition of power since the country won independence from France.
The flag bearer of Issoufou’s ruling party, Mohamed Bazoum, was elected Niger’s next president, winning 55.7 percent of the votes cast during the second round of polls.
The runner-up was former President Mohamane Ousmane, who was credited with winning 45.25 percent of the votes cast.
In agreeing Issoufou as its winner, the committee launded his efforts in advancing democracy and economic progress in a country that remains one of the poorest in the world.
During his tenure, former Nigerien leader, ssoufou “fostered economic growth, shown unwavering commitment to regional stability and to the constitution, and championed African democracy,” the Committee said in a statement Monday.
Issoufou is stepping down after serving two terms in office, from 2011 to 2020.
Former Nigerien minister of interior, Mohamed Bazoum, who won the presidential election runoff last month.
Previous recipients of the award include Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2017), the former president of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba (2014), the Cabo Verde President Pedro Pires (2011), the former President of Botswana Festus Mogae (2008) and the former leader of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano (2007).