"Africa's Leadership Fails Billionaire Mo Ibrahim's Test, But Technocrats Rise"
October 15, 2012
Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced that it could not find a winner for its US$5 million prize for good governance in Africa. The selection panel said no candidate had met all of the criteria, as was the case in 2009 and 2010.
The foundation has set high and commendable standards for performance, which African leaders should aspire to achieve as the continent works to strengthen other democratic institutions. Two decades ago Africa's leadership was dominated by autocrats, many of whom had risen to power through military coups. (For an opinionated take and some bacon the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Award, see this post).
But it appears that the road to democracy is being bridged by a rising technocracy.
While the Mo Ibrahim Foundation was announcing the "no winner" in London, the African Union was installing a South African medic, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as its new chairperson in Addis Ababa. In 2012 alone, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tunisia and Senegal elected engineers to top political offices. Eritrea and Nigeria are headed by an engineer and a fisheries scientist, respectively....
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