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 Mozambique ex-leader wins prize

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Nombre de messages : 8092
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

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MessageMozambique ex-leader wins prize

Mozambique ex-leader wins prize
Former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano has won the first Mo Ibrahim prize rewarding a retired African head of state for excellence in leadership.

Mr Chissano, who is credited with bringing peace to Mozambique, had been seen as a frontrunner for the prize.

The prize, announced by former UN head Kofi Annan, is worth $5m (£2.5m) over 10 years, and then $200,000 a year.

Mobile phone millionaire Mo Ibrahim is funding the project in the hope it will help improve governments' performance.

The Sudanese businessman also hopes it will increase Africa's self-sufficiency and bring a day when the continent's people no longer need to live on aid.

His decision not to seek a third presidential term reinforced Mozambique's democratic maturity
Kofi Annan on Joaquim Chissano

Mr Annan chaired the panel that awarded the prize, billed as the largest of its kind.

Mr Annan praised Mr Chissano for "his most outstanding contribution" to peace and democracy.

"This remarkable reconciliation between opponents provides a shining example to the rest of the world and is testament to both his strength of character and his leadership," Mr Annan said.

Wider role

After winning independence from Portugal in 1975 Mozambique suffered a civil war that lasted until 1992.

Mr Chissano was president from 1986 to 2005. He also served as chairman of the African Union in 2003 and 2004, and has worked as a UN envoy.

Mr Annan praised Mr Chissano's role at home and more widely in Africa.

"His decision not to seek a third presidential term reinforced Mozambique's democratic maturity and demonstrated that institutions and the democratic process were more important than personalities," he said.

"He was a powerful voice for Africa on the international stage and played an important role in pushing debt relief up the agenda."

Mr Chissano is something as a rarity in Africa as a leader who has left office with his reputation intact, says BBC southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles.

His son, however, faced allegations - strongly denied by him - that he was linked to the murder of a Mozambican journalist, Carlos Cardoso. The BBC's Martin Plaut asked Mr Annan if this had given the judges pause for thought.

"We discussed all that. There was a judicial process and Chissano said himself that justice must be done. And there was no evidence that he had tried to block it," Mr Annan said.

"You cannot blame him for something his son is alleged to have done - his mature son."

The panel of judges also included former Irish President, Mary Robinson, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and the head of the Organisation of African Unity, Salim Ahmed Sali.

They assessed the relative merits of 13 African former heads of state, all of whom left power in the past three years.

Among these at least six took power by staging coups.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/22 14:36:24 GMT


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Profile: Joaquim Chissano
Message Lun 22 Oct - 9:48 par mihou
Profile: Joaquim Chissano
One of the founding members of the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) that fought Portuguese colonial rule, Joaquim Chissano has long been at the forefront of Mozambican political life.

He played a fundamental role in negotiating the 1974 Lusaka Accord that ended colonial rule.

He was prime minister of the transitional government that led up to independence in 1975, and thereafter was foreign minister under independent Mozambique's first president, Samora Machel.

Today, in his retirement, he cuts an "elder statesman" image and is often called upon by bodies like the United Nations to be an envoy or negotiator.

Currently, he chairs the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and the Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.

Thrust to the forefront

Mozambique was in the grip of a civil war when President Machel died in a mysterious air crash in 1986.

Diplomats said his ability to compromise and negotiate was a great strength which helped Mozambique become a stable, modernising, democratic country.
Mr Chissano succeeded him as leader and devoted himself to restoring peace and stability to his country.

He is credited with initiating the constitutional and economic reforms which culminated with the adoption of the 1990 constitution that led Mozambique to the multi-party system and to an open market.

He built bridges with South Africa, which at the time was the principal sponsor - along with Rhodesia - of the rebel Mozambican National Resistance.

Mr Chissano then led negotiations with Renamo, which in October 1992 succeded in ending 16 years of destabilising internal conflict.

Diplomats said his ability to compromise and negotiate was a great strength which helped Mozambique become a stable, modernising, democratic country.

In 1994 he won the first multiparty elections in the history of the country, and was re-elected President of the Republic in 1999.

Despite the fact that the Mozambican constitution allowed him to stand in the 2004 presidential elections, Joaquim Chissano decided voluntarily not to do so.

Early life

Joaquim Alberto Chissano was born on 22 October 1939 in the remote village of Malehice, in the district of Chibuto in Gaza province.

He became the first black student enrolled at Liceu Salazar, and while completing his secondary education, became a member and then leader of the African Secondary School Students' Organisation in Mozambique (NESAM).

He went on to study medicine in Portugal but fled to Dar es Salaam, via Paris, when his political activism made further study impossible.

He is married to Marcelina Rafael Chissano and they have four children.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/22 13:42:27 GMT

No surprise at Chissano award
Message Lun 22 Oct - 9:50 par mihou
No surprise at Chissano award
By Jose Tembe
BBC News, Maputo

Mozambicans interviewed on the streets of Maputo on Monday expressed no surprise that former President Joaquim Chissano had won the Mo Ibrahim prize for good governance in Africa.

They said he deserves it because he played a very important role in achieving peace in Mozambique, and is now serving as a voice for peace elsewhere in the continent through his work in the African Union and the United Nations.

"He deserves the prize for his good work since taking office after the death of Mozambique's first president Samora Machel," said Telma Cumbe, a student.

Gaddafi and Mugabe should take the example of Mr Chissano who stepped down even though he had one mandate to run
Sam Gudo
"He helped boost the country's economy after the chaos of war," she said.

Sam Gudo said Mr Chissano, who stood down as president at the end of 2004, could serve as an example to long-serving leaders.

"Other African leaders like (Libya's) Muammar Gaddafi and (Zimbabwe's) Robert Mugabe should take the example of Mr Chissano who stepped down even though he had one mandate to run," Mr Gudo said.

There were differing views on what Mr Chissano should do with the considerable prize money: a total of $5m over 10 years, followed by an additional $200,000 per year.

"He should use the money in his foundation to strengthen peace and democracy in Africa," said journalist Lionel Muchano.

Economist Evaristo Cumbana said Mr Chissano should use the prize money for social development projects in Mozambique.

"The prize is a prestige award for Mozambique and a good example for good governance," he said.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/22 13:37:00 GMT

Was right African statesman honoured?

The Mo Ibrahim Prize has been presented to former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano for the excellence of his leadership.

Mr Chissano brought Mozambique from a murderous civil war to peace and progress during his 19 years in office.

The prize is the brain-child of the mobile-phone millionaire, Mo Ibrahim and is the world's richest - it is worth $5m (£2.5m) over 10 years, and then $200,000 a year.

Did the right African statesman win? Will this prize bring good governance to the continent? Send us your views.
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