President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, has won the $5 million 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced today.
The announcement followed a meeting of its independent Prize Committee.
President Mahamadou Issoufou served two five-year terms as President of Niger from 2011 to 2020
He is the sixth recipient of the Ibrahim Prize, which recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership.
The Ibrahim Prize aims to distinguish exceptional leaders who, during their time in office, have developed their countries, strengthened democracy and protected rule of law for the shared benefit of their people.
In its citation, the Prize Committee praised President Issoufou’s exceptional leadership after inheriting one of the world’s poorest economies, facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Throughout his time in office, he has fostered economic growth, shown unwavering commitment to regional stability and to the constitution, and championed African democracy.
Announcing the decision, Festus Mogae, Chair of the Prize Committee and former President of Botswana said:
“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. After careful consideration, the Committee finds President Issoufou a worthy winner of the Ibrahim Prize.”
President Issoufou was first democratically elected President in 2011, following many years of military rule in Niger.