Fighting corruption and preparing for an orderly transfer of power are two of the elements of providing good public service which were discussed at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Governance Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
Fighting corruption can be a dangerous business, according to a new book by former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal. It’s one of the most important issues affecting delivery of public service to the people, which was the focus of the 2018 Ibrahim Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who received the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Outstanding Achievement in African Leadership, said that her winning had given hope to girls all over Africa that they can work hard, play by the rules, and can achieve their dreams.
Hailemariam Desalegn, who recently resigned as prime minister of Ethiopia, said he had done so to accelerate the process of reform in his country. As a new democracy, he said Ethiopia had to make big changes to be able to involve more people in its civic life.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the essential question confronting African governments is why public finance is unable to properly provide public service. Speaking of his own succession, he said that whoever comes after him will have their own challenges and shouldn’t seek “to fill his shoes.” He also spoke about the Rwandan approach to public service, which involves every citizen playing a part in giving back to the nation.
The Ibrahim Forum, the Leadership Ceremony and a popular music concert are all part of the annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend, the flagship event of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which takes place in a different African country each year.
Notes to Editors
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.
The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through four main initiatives:
• Ibrahim Index of African Governance
• Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
• Ibrahim Forum
• Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships
Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Forum is an annual high-level discussion forum tackling issues of critical importance to Africa. The Forum convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to identify specific policy challenges and priorities for action. Previous Forums have dealt with: Africa at the Tipping Point (2017) Urbanisation (2015), Africa in the next 50 years (2013), African Youth (2012), African Agriculture (2011) and African Regional Economic Integration (2010). Data and research on Forum issues are compiled by the Foundation as the basis for informed and constructive debate.
The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee. Previous Laureates: Hifikipunye Pohamba (2014, Namibia), Presidents Joaquim Chissano (2007, Mozambique), Festus Mogae (2008, Botswana) and Pedro Pires (2011, Cabo Verde), as well as the 2007 Honorary Ibrahim Laureate - President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
- For more information, please visit: www.moibrahimfoundation.org
- You can also follow the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr:
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Shotlist: Kigali, Rwanda (28 April 2017)
- Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal signing her book, “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines”
- Ngozi speaking about the danger of fighting corruption, saying: When you have vested interests that have captured an area, a sector, a country – what have you – and they feel threatened because you are trying to make things work properly, then it’s very dangerous because they will take action because you are touching their livelihood.
- Former Liberian president and Ibrahim Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the audience of the conference hall
- Sirleaf speaking about the importance of winning the Ibrahim Price for Outstanding African Leadership, saying: Women, not only in Liberia and Africa, but in the world, know that if you strive to meet your goals, when you succeed, and when you follow what is the law of the land, and you’ve met all the international standards, the world can be yours. And I tell you, as a result of this prize thousands of your girls, thousands of young women, all over Africa, now dream big.
- Former Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn walking on to the stage
- Desalegn speaking about why he left office, saying: I have to set aside my self in order to force these deep reforms. Otherwise the reforms are going very slow and sluggish, which will ultimately yield to a disintegration of my country if we don’t go fast in reforming in a genuine way and in a robust way.
- Desalegn speaking about his future, saying: I hope I can contribute to my country and also to the continent in the years and months to come.
- Rwandan President Paul Kagame walking on to the stage
- Kagame speaking about economic management, saying: Leaders across Africa, whether they are presidents or prime ministers—these are important leaders— even others at different levels, the fact that we cannot manage our wealth to deal with our poverty is a defining issue as far as I know it for Africa
- Audience wide shot
- Kagame speaking about succession, saying: Everyone has their shoes. I didn’t have to fill anybody’s shoes. I am sure there are people out there who will fill their shoes who will do service to this country differently. They don’t have to fill my shoes. They have to do what they have to do for the country, and starting from where the country is. I started from a different place.
- Kagame speaking about public service, saying: It’s about making sure that you mobilize people’s involvement. It’s work to be done. You go to the people. You tell them there are things to do by everyone. Even by those who are going to be served, are going to do something for themselves for connecting with those who are going to serve them. So everybody has responsibility towards this service: those who are expecting it and those who are expecting to deliver it.
- Kenya band Sauti Sol sound check
- Sauti Sol member Delvin Sahara Mudigi speaking about playing at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation concert, saying: Looking at this country, looking at where Africa is, looking at our governance, looking at the kind of leadership that we have and where we want to translate from and to, it’s time that we give importance to this kind of message. So I think being here and for Moto do this is quite amazing for the African people.
- Sauti Sol performing
- Rwandan band The Ben performing
- Nigerian singer Peter P-square speaking about playing at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation concert, saying: We young people – it’s our time to take over. We are going to get there soon. We have a role to play in politics, whether we like it or not. So I think it’s a wonderful initiative and good to have people like us to talk to the people, to gather the people, to deliver our message to them.
- Peter P-square performing