Former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba says he will use the Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership to implement the aims of the Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation which is to support young Namibians to pursue training in agriculture and food production. He said this while accepting the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership in Accra, Ghana.
The prize was established in 2007 to award former African Head of States for their achievements in leadership saw Pohamba being announced as the winner of the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership in March 2015.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation every year selects a former African leader who governed well, raised living standards and then left office to receive the award.
It is an annual US$5 million (about N$69.8 million) award paid out over 10 years, as well as US$200 000 (N$2.7 million) annually for life thereafter.
In his speech sourced online, “Once again, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Dr Mo Ibrahim, the foundation and the Prize Committee for bestowing upon me this rare honour. It is a recognition for which I will remain forever grateful. I accept it with a sense of great humility, on behalf of the Namibian people, who entrusted me, through democratic processes, to lead our country as president for two consecutive terms of five years each,” he said.
Pohamba said the commitment of the Namibian people to uphold democracy and the rule of law made the modest achievements that were recorded during his time as president possible.
He further said genuine socio-economic development, in Africa or elsewhere, cannot be the exclusive preserve of governments and their agencies, thus sufficient space must be provided for all stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society organisations, free media, an independent and honest judiciary, as well as women and the youth, to make their contributions.
He also pleaded with European countries to ensure that, no matter how migrants leave their countries of origin, they are treated humanely and with dignity.
The former President urged African governments to assume their full responsibility in creating conditions at home so that people do not flee to other continents in search of better lives.
Pohamba said African countries need to invest in education and training, and at the same time reject the vices of division and corruption that have undermined Africa’s development for decades.
“This must be our mission as the African people. It must be the mission of all African leaders,” he said