JOAQUIM CHISSANO, a former president of Mozambique, has got a nice top-up to his pension by winning the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. In fact, it may be the largest prize in the world, worth an initial $5m over ten years, then $200,000 a year thereafter. And Mr Chissano won it as much for what he didn't do as for what he did.
The prize, dreamed up by Mr Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born British businessman who sold his mobile-phone company, Celtel, to a Kuwait-based firm, MTC, two years ago for $3.4 billion (£1.8 billion), is to encourage good leadership and governance in a continent that he thinks has been blighted by dictators and crooks for too long. The prize's magnitude may reflect the depth of the problem. The judges, who include Mary Robinson, a former Irish president, and Kofi Annan, a former UN chief, do not expect to award it every year.
MTC (Zain) does good, indirectly, through their purchase of Celtel. I suggest Zain sponsors similar award here in Kuwait for ideal politicians.. or maybe ideal is a stretch and should settle for minimum decency!