The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, the first of its kind in our contemporary world at this level, depth and width. It makes no distinction of race or country and knows of no borders. It will only be solved with collective and coordinated efforts. This is a matter of shared interest.
Africa is facing a severe challenge. In most countries, it will prove difficult at best to implement the measures adopted by more developed countries, such as social distancing, public health campaigns, and generous financial support offered to people and businesses. Many economies, whether mostly driven by commodity exports or sustained by high debt levels, will be highly disrupted. For most of the continent and its people, the economic crisis will hit hard and long. This will destroy recent progress, and worsen already existing fragilities, with all its consequences.
We thus fully share, endorse and support the 'call for action' from African and European leaders published in the Financial Times, their view that “only a global victory that fully includes Africa can bring this pandemic to an end”, and their call for strong collective leadership, able to tackle the multiple, interconnected and cumulative aspects of this crisis. We must indeed address, together and at the same time, and the sooner the better, the need to strengthen Africa’s emergency health response capacity; the need to share scientific knowledge and expertise; the need to ensure the relevant humanitarian supply for the most affected communities - namely food security - lest people die from hunger before COVID-19; and the need to deploy a “massive economic stimulus package” - beginning with immediate debt relief.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation also wishes to welcome the recent appointment by the African Union of the four COVID-19 Special Envoys, Donald Kaberuka, Trevor Manuel, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Tidjane Thiam. These great African brothers and sisters are close friends of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, with Donald Kaberuka one of MIF’s Board members, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala a member of MIF’s inaugural Prize Committee. They can rely on our full and committed support.
Ibrahim Laureates: President Joaquim Chissano, President Festus Mogae, President Pedro Pires, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Board members: Valerie Amos, Jing-Yong Cai, Nathalie Delapalme, Jendayi Frazer, Hadeel Ibrahim, Hosh Ibrahim, Mo Ibrahim, Abdoulie Janneh, Donald Kaberuka, Pascal Lamy, Keith Luxon, Graça Machel, Jay Naidoo, President Mary Robinson, Ngaire Woods.
Prize Committee members: Aïcha Bah Diallo, Mohamed ElBaradei, President Horst Köhler, Graça Machel, President Festus Mogae, President Mary Robinson.
About the Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of political leadership and public 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, focusses on defining, assessing and enhancing public governance and political leadership in Africa.
About the signatories
President Festus Mogae | Former President of Botswana; 2008 Ibrahim Prize Laureate and Chair of the Prize Committee since 1 January 2020
President Joaquim Chissano | Former President of Mozambique; 2007 Ibrahim Laureate
President Pedro Pires | Former President of Cabo Verde; 2011 Ibrahim Laureate
President Hifikepunye Pohamba | Former President of Namibia; 2014 Ibrahim Laureate
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf | Former President of Liberia; 2017 Ibrahim Laureate
Valerie Amos | Director of SOAS; former Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator at the United Nations
Jing-Yong Cai | Partner at Global Infrastructure Partners; former Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Nathalie Delapalme | Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Jendayi Frazer | President and CEO of 50 Ventures, LLC; former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Hadeel Ibrahim | Board director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Africa Center
Hosh Ibrahim | Board director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Mo Ibrahim | Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Abdoulie Janneh | Executive Director, Liaison with Governments and Institutions in Africa for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Donald Kaberuka | former President of the African Development Bank
Pascal Lamy | Président émérite of the Institut Jacques Delors; former General Director of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Keith Luxon | Director of Finance at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Jay Naidoo | Former Chairperson of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); Former Minister in Mandela Cabinet; General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions
Ngaire Woods | Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at the University of Oxford
Prize Committee members
Aïcha Bah Diallo | President, Network for Education for All in Africa; Former Minister of Education in Guinea
Mohamed ElBaradei | Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency; Nobel Laureate
President Horst Köhler | Former UNSG Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Former President of Germany
Graça Machel | President, Foundation for Community Development; Former Minister of Education in Mozambique; Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board Member
Mary Robinson | Chair of The Elders; UN Special Envoy for El Nino and Climate; Former UN Special Envoy on the Great Lakes Region of Africa; Former President of Ireland; Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board Member