Mahamadou Issoufou, the outgoing president of Niger, is the recipient of the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
The US$5 million prize, paid over 10 years through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, is awarded to leaders who demonstrate a commitment to human development and democratic principles. Successful candidates are always former African heads of state who have left office in the previous three years, and have included Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Festus Mogae of Botswana.
“In the face of the most severe political and economic issues, including violent extremism and increasing desertification, President Mahamadou Issoufou has led his people on a path of progress,” said Mogae, who served as chairman of the prize committee
“Today, the number of Nigeriens living below the poverty line has fallen to 40 percent, from 48 percent a decade ago. While challenges remain, Issoufou has kept his promises to the Nigerien people and paved the way for a better future.”
Issoufou was the first democratically elected president in 2011 after years of Nigerien military rule. The Sahel nation held elections last month as Issoufou stepped down following his constitutionally mandated second term.
“He is an outstanding leader who has worked tirelessly for the people of Niger, meeting some of the region’s toughest challenges with determination and respect,” said Ibrahim.
“I am proud to see Issoufou recognized as an example of exceptional leadership and I hope his legacy will inspire generations of African leaders.”