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Fifty years after independence, Africa still conjures the image of bad governance in the minds of many. Events in and out of the continent seem to point clearly in this direction. The US President Barack Obama recently did not hide his disapproval for African “strong men” when he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Africa’s independence in Washington without inviting any past or present leader to join him.

Barely two months ago, had the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for governance announced that it had not selected a winner for the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Good Governance in Africa in 2010. This will be the two years since the prestigious prize has not found a worthy winner on the continent. For close observers of Africa, this is quite unsettling but not surprising. It leaves manyunanswered questions on the progress of good governance and so‐called dividends of democracy in the Africa continent.   


About the Author

Uche Igwe

Civil Society Liaison Officer, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more