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$5M prize for African leaders withheld

Oct. 15, 2012 at 2:10 PM

LONDON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A charity intent on fostering better leadership in Africa said Monday it will not, for the third time in four years, award its $5 million prize to any leader.

The Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership offers that amount annually to an African leader who is democratically elected, served his or her country with honor and leaves office within the bounds of the nation's constitution.

The charity, founded by telecommunications mogul and Sudan native Mo Ibrahim, said it did not find anyone who met the criteria this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"If we said we're going to have a prize for exceptional leadership, we have to stick to that. We're not going to compromise," Ibrahim told reporters in London.

This year, three men were under consideration: Zambia's former President Rupiah Banda, Senegal's former President Abdoulaye Wade and Lesotho's former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Last year, the prize was awarded to former Cape Verde President Pedro Pires, who led the coastal nation from colonial rule to a stable democracy with 6 percent GDP growth during his 10 years in office.

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