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.
The Award will be presented personally to Archbishop Tutu later this year in Dakar 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.
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
- 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. It 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."