Former Liberian President and first ever female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf emerges 2018 winner of the coveted Mo Ibrahim $5m prize for leadership in Africa.
The award of $5m is paid out over 10 years and then $200,000 would be given each year for the rest of the winner’s life.
The prize committee reiterates that Ms. Sirleaf was well deserving of the prize due to her exceptional leadership skills and commitment to rebuilding Liberia right after it was destroyed by the civil war.
Salim Ahmed Salim, the head of the prize committee, said: “Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focussed on building a nation and its democratic institutions.
It added that Liberia was the only country out of 54 to improve in every category and sub-category of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
She is the fifth recipient of the prize since 2007, which celebrates African leaders who governed well, raised living standards and then left office.
The previous laureates are president Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), president Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde (2011), president Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), and president Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007). Nelson Mandela was the inaugural honorary laureate in 2007.