No African leader worthy of our 2020 award – The Difference Newspaper
By Tasie Theodore
The pan-African newspaper, The Difference has announced that no African leader is worthy of its 2020 #AfricanLeaderoftheYear award. Accordingly, no award is being given this year.
In a statement from the organisation and signed by its Executive Editor, Mr. Tony Opara, the organisation also announced that on account of current leadership failings it was revoking its 2018 award that had been conferred on Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.
The statement from the rganisation, read, in part:
‘Having reviewed the state of the continent and the performance of different national leaders in the outgoing year, it is the considered view of the Board of Editors of The Difference Newspaper that no serving individual African leader meets our assigned criteria for the #AfricanLeaderoftheYear 2020 award.’
‘In reviewing developments across the continent also, we have also come to the conclusion that on account of contemporary failings, we can no longer sustain our award of the #AfricanLeaderoftheYear 2018 to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. It is accordingly withdrawn.”
‘The principal reason behind our decision to withdraw the 2018 award for which Prime Minister Ahmed was beneficiary is that The Difference Newspaper had instituted the awards series, to among other things, engender and promote best practices in the areas of good governance, peace, a culture of dialogue, consensus building, integration and development on the continent. At the time, Ahmed got the award in 2018, we had been encouraged by his inclinations to peace-building, accommodation and consensus-building in Ethiopia and the extended Horn of Africa region.
‘In now electing to militarily resolve a dispute whose origins are seemingly mired in an unhelpful push to forcibly subdue the voice and expression of the people of a region within the Ethiopian Federation smacks of bullying. We are further distressed by the fact that the government that Abiy Ahmed leads has continued to rebuff all well-meaning entreaties for dialogue by regional actors and the African Union. We cannot therefore, in all good conscience, permit for the award to remain with him.’
‘We restate our commitment to promoting, advancing and sustaining a culture of good governance, transparency and the enthronement of the best interests of the African people in all matters in the continent.’
The award series which began in 2017 with the first in the series going to President John Magafuli of Tanzania saw Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo as winner of the 2019 edition.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia