President Pires accepts 2011 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

African Update – 30/12/11

Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires, the former President of Cape Verde, this evening accepted the 2011 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership at a gala ceremony in Tunis hosted by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The Ibrahim Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is an annual award worth US$5 million over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.

Presenting the award, Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Prize Committee, said: "In reaching our decision, we considered President Pires's role in transforming his country into a model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity. His stewardship won Cape Verde international recognition as one of Africa's most stable democracies."

He continued: "President Pires dismissed outright any suggestions that the constitution might be altered so he could run again. This is exactly what would have been expected from a leader whose long career has been dedicated to the service of his people and country and marked by personal humility and integrity."

Accepting the award, President Pires said: "Cape Verde began with close to nothing, but step by step, with the efforts of all Cape Verdeans, we have reached a place where we have deserved the Prize Committee's recognition. I believe that behind the noble and visionary initiative of the Prize lies a clear passion for African causes. It expresses concern about the future, and confidence in the African people and their children to rebuild the future based on their own will."

Concluding his speech, President Pires said: "I would like to express my solidarity with the Tunisian people for the way in which they were able to remove an authoritarian regime. I would like to pay a warm tribute to the sacrifice of the young Mohamed Bouazizi. I wish the new legitimate political institutions that have been established in Tunisia every success."

Referring to the events in North Africa this year, Mo Ibrahim said: "The 'African Spring' really is here to stay - there is no way back. The message to our leaders is loud and clear. Reform, democratise, develop, create jobs - otherwise you better collect your pensions before it is too late."

To mark the extraordinary events in Tunisia earlier this year that inspired the Arab Spring, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation hosted a special concert in Tunis on the eve of the ceremony. 'Africa Celebrates Democracy' showcased the very best artists from Tunisia and across Africa and was attended by over 4,500 Tunisians. All proceeds from the event are being donated to the youth programmes of the Tunisian Red Crescent.

photos on flicker

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New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

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  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
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