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Niger’s President Receives Good Governance Award

President Mahamadou Issoufou has won the 2020 Mo Ibrahim prize for African political leadership by fostering economic progress while joining in regional efforts to tackle the Islamist militant threat. He is the sixth head of state in Africa to win the $5 million award, to be paid out over 10 years, and the first since Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2017. The prize, founded by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, was not awarded between 2018 and 2020 due to a lack of suitable candidates. Issoufou, who was first elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2016, has distinguished himself by stepping aside after two terms, unlike a handful of African leaders such as Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara and Guinea’s Alpha Conde, who changed constitutional term limits to run a third time. Data from the 2020 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) underline President Issoufou’s achievements. During his ten years as President, Niger has made progress in multiple areas, including improving in all four subcategories of Human Development. At the end of the decade, Niger ranked 28 out of 54 countries in the IIAG. It is among the ten most improved African countries in strengthening socioeconomic opportunities for women.