The retired Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has won a special award from the prestigious Mo Ibrahim Foundation in recognition of his Lifelong Commitment to Speaking Truth to Power.
“The Mo Ibrahim Foundation today announces a one-off extraordinary award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in recognition of his lifelong commitment to speaking truth to power, statement from its Johannesburg office released yesterday announced.
The Award will be presented personally to Archbishop Tutu later this year in Dakar, Senegal during the annual Ibrahim Discussion Forum, which focuses this year on youth, a topic close to the Archbishop’s heart. The Award is accompanied by a grant of US$ 1 million.
The Archbishop is also the patron of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme, run by the prestigious African Leadership Institute, whose 2012 fellows have been specially invited to attend the Dakar event.
Archbishop Tutu Fellows comprise dynamic young African professionals awarded the fellowship in recognition of their leadership qualities and the role they are currently playing in contributing towards the continent’s development. The Tutu Fellows are practitioners spread across various social, political, economic, environmental and activist sectors throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last six years the Tutu fellows have formed a strong alumnus of leaders communicating across country borders with the aim of realising the potential and power of a truly pan-African continent
In making the Award, the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said:
“This Special Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu is motivated by the desire to make an extraordinary grant to an outstanding African civil society champion. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is and has throughout his life been one of Africa’s great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government. In everything he stands for, says, and does, he displays a consistent determination to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak the uncomfortable truth.”
The Award does not replace but is instead additional to the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which is awarded to a democratically elected former African Executive Head of State or Government who has served only their constitutionally mandated term, left office in the previous three years and demonstrated excellence in office.
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership was established in 2007. Previous Laureates include Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana, and Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires of Cape Verde.
The Prize for 2012 has not yet been adjudicated but will be announced in London on October 15th.
“Whether one always agrees with Archbishop Tutu or not, his contribution to dialogue, to accountability, and to the debate on Africa’s future has been unparalleled,” said Mo Ibrahim. His integrity and moral authority deserve recognition. We hope this Award will inspire the next generation to follow Archbishop Tutu’s example and speak truth to power,” the statement signed by Trevor Chueu from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Media Relations office in South Africa added.
Facts about the Mo Ibrahim Foundation:
Established in 2006, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation supports good governance and great leadership in Africa. The Foundation works to: Provide a framework and tools by which citizens and governments can assess and measure progress in governance, recognize excellence in African leadership and provide a practical way in which leaders can build positive legacies on the continent when they have left national office, Stimulate debate on the quality of governance and major governance issues in Africa and Develop leadership and governance capacity on the continent.
These aims are achieved through the Foundation’s four major programme areas: The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, The Ibrahim Discussion Forum and Capacity Building Programmes.