The president of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, has been awarded the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for his outstanding contributions to Niger’s economic growth, regional stability, and the country’s democracy.
The leadership of the Ibrahim prize committee, Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana while announcing the decision said that “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.
“Today, the number of Nigeriens living below the poverty line has fallen to 40%, from 48% a decade ago. While challenges remain, Issoufou has kept his promises to the Nigerien people and paved the way for a better future,” he said.
President Mahamadou Issoufou who has served two five-year terms as President of Niger from 2011 to 2020 is the sixth recipient of the Ibrahim Prize, which recognizes and celebrates excellence in African leadership.
The Ibrahim Prize award which was introduced in 2006 aims to distinguish exceptional leaders who, during their time in office, have developed their countries, strengthened democracy, and protected the rule of law for the shared benefit of their people.
Winners receive $5 million spread over 10 years, and then a life endowment of $200,000 for the rest of their lives.
President Issoufou joins the list of African leaders who were former recipients of the coveted award. They include; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (2017), Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), Pedro Pires of Cape Verde (2011), Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008), and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007). Nelson Mandela was made the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007.
While expressing appreciation for the award, the Nigerien President in a statement said that the recognition now serves as an “encouragement to continue to think and act to promote democratic values and good governance, not only in Niger but also in Africa and throughout the world”.