The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has hosted its annual Governance Weekend in Accra, Ghana with a number of events which saw Hifikepunye Pohamba, the former President of Namibia, receiving the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The Ibrahim Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is an annual US$5 million award paid over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.
Presenting the award to President Pohamba on Friday, November 20, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the independent Prize Committee reiterated that President Pohamba's focus in forging national cohesion and reconciliation at a key stage of Namibia's consolidation of democracy and social and economic development impressed the Prize Committee. adding that, his ability to command the confidence and the trust of his people is exemplary.
Accepting the Award, President Pohamba said:
Mo Ibrahim, the founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: "We need to change the narrative about African leadership. The world knows everything about our bad leaders, but nothing about our heroes, especially those who are doing wonderful things for their people. We need role models – we need heroes – to inspire and motivate our young people. President Pohamba is one of the unsung heroes of Africa."
The Governance Weekend included a series of events and debates organised by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. On Saturday 21 November, the Ibrahim Forum brought together experts from across Africa and the world to discuss African urban dynamics. It was followed by a free concert in Accra's Independence Square involving Angelique Kidjo, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Youssou N'Dour and others.
Angelique Kidjo delivered a memorable 45 minutes live performance with her band, deploying an impeccable craft that got the crowd singing along and dancing to her tunes. The Grammy Award winning singer dedicated one of her songs to all victims of terror attacks worldwide. She also emphasized the fact that music remains a powerful tool to sell the African continent. “We have the power to transform what the world thinks about our continent through music” , she said.
Mo Ibrahim was also present at the concert. Opeining acts for the night included Ohemma Dadaw and Kankam. YFM Ghana’s DJ Mic Smith and Eddy Blay coordinated the memorable show as DJ and MC respectively.
On Sunday 22 November, TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo will compete against Ghana Dream Team for the Ibrahim Cup in a special football match at Accra Stadium.