Thursday, February 9, 2012



1. Botswana
Ian Khama
Title: President of the Republic of Botswana since 2008
Personal history:
A former army commander and the son of Botswana first’s
president, Ian Khama rose quickly in politics from minister of
presidential affairs and public administration to vice president
(1999), and party chairman (2003). When president Festus
Mogae resigned in 2008, Khama succeeded to the presidency;
he was elected to a full term in 2009.
Successes of the year:
President Khama continues to be seen as the exception to the
rule in terms of Africa’s strongmen. He has openly criticised
African despots, flaunting his own golden credentials.
Failures of the year:
Botswana endured a long and widespread strike this year.
Lasting seven weeks, the public sector workers were
demanding pay rises. President Khama was viewed as the main
stumbling block in resolving the stand-off and his leadership
was questioned, particularly when the country’s normally
unarmed police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse
rioting secondary-school pupils.

For the first time since Independence, the budget is in deficit.
The World Bank urged the government to slash its bloated
public workforce by a quarter but President Khama is resisting

President Khama invited Malawi’s President Bingu Mutharika
to wine, dine and officiate at the opening of a new stadium.
Hosting Mutharika brought Khama a great deal of criticism by
the opposition because of the former’s poor human rights and
democratic record at home.
Moment of the year:
When Botswana offered relief to Japan, one of the main
markets for Botswana’s diamonds, to help cope with the effects
of March’s major earthquake

Mo Ibrahim Index: 76.1 (3/53)
Democracy Index: 7.63
Press Freedom Index: 40 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 5.8 (33/183)
Human Development Index: 0.633 (medium)
NMG Grade: 9/10
2010 Grade: A 2011: Grade: A

Name: John Evans Atta Mills
Title: President of the
Republic of Ghana since
January 7, 2009
Personal history:
Among the best-educated
leaders on the continent,
is known in Ghana
as ‘The Prof.’ He
is a development
economist and legal
expert. Served as
vice-president under
Jerry Rawlings from
1996-2000. Won the 2009
presidential elections, after
incumbent John Kufour
stepped down after two
terms in office.
Successes of the year:
A visiting International
Monetary Fund team
projected that Ghana’s
economy was expected
to be the fastest growing
in the world for 2011.
Like elsewhere in Africa,
China’s project funding
to the nation has been on
the rise – a $13 billion
infrastructure loan from
China was announced.
However, this hasn’t
affected the nation’s
integrity as it continues
to crack down on Chinese
individuals engaging in
illegal mining activities.
In an effort to improve
the socio-economic wellbeing
of the citizenry,
Ghana rolled out an ICT
training programme for
approximately 5,000 people
living with disabilities.
Failures of the year:
Despite high growth, there
was agitation for better pay
that swept the country in
the last few months of the
year. One of
the worst incidents was
the doctor’s strike, which
caused massive disruption
of health service delivery
and forced Mills to cancel a
trip to the Commonwealth
Heads of Governments
Meeting in Australia.
Moment of the year:
Self-proclaimed prophet
Peter Anamoah made
headlines when he stated
that the only safe place on
earth on November 11, 2011
would be a small village
near Bolgatanga in Ghana’s
Upper East region. His
prophecy didn’t come true.

Mo Ibrahim Index: 66.0
Democracy Index: 6.02
(upgraded from hybrid
regimes to the flawed
democracy category)
Press Freedom Index: 26
Corruption Index: 3.9
Human Development
Index: 0.541
NMG Grade: 9/10
2010 Grade: A
2011 Grade: A
Name: Jorge Carlos Fonseca
Title: President of the Republic of
Cape Verde since August 2011
Personal history:
Jorge Carlos Fonseca is a lawyer and
university professor who served as
minister of foreign affairs from 1991
to 1993. He stood unsuccessfully
as a presidential candidate in the
2001 election. In August 2011, he
again sought the presidency and
was successful, this time backed by
the main opposition Movement for
Democracy party.
Successes of the year:
Mr Fonseca was the candidate for
the main opposition Movement for
Democracy and won presidential
elections with a decisive secondround
victory in August 2011, beating
the ruling party candidate.
Cape Verde continues the battle
against the narcotics trade, with
success. One huge victory was when police seized 1.5 tonness of cocaine
with a street value of $100 million.
Failures of the year:
The government’s promise to employ
youth did not take effect, and with
more than 45,000 unemployed youths
Mr Fonseca’s programme on the
modernisation of the economy and of
the state was under pressure.
Moment of the year:
In December, the European Union
decided to apply its Generalised
System of Preferences, which offers
preferential Customs tariffs to
countries within the system, to Cape
Mo Ibrahim Index: 79.0 (2/53)
Democracy Index: 7.94
Press Freedom Index: 27 (free)
Corruption Index: 5.1 (45/183)
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 8/10
2010 Grade: A
2011 Grade: A
Name: Navinchandra
Title: Prime Minister of the
Republic of Mauritius since
July 5, 2005
Personal history:
Ramgoolam is the son of Sir
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam,
known as the “Father of the
Nation.” Served as prime
minister from 1995 to 2000,
before losing at the polls.
Retook the premiership in
2005 after out-campaigning
Mauritian Militant Movement
leader Paul Berenger.
Successes of the year:
Mauritius was full of
successes for the year!
It remained top among
African nations on the list
compiled by global watchdog
Transparency International,
which rates corruption; it
was ranked the best country
in which to give birth in sub-
Saharan Africa and still had
the most business friendly
climate in Africa even though
it has dropped two places
in the world rankings, in the
World Bank’s “Doing Business
Failures of the year:
Mauritius needs to deal
with the issue of being a
major transit point for drug
traffickers. Poverty and
inequality continued edging
up. Traffic congestion and
the high number of road
accidents also continued to
be a problem.
Moment of the year:
A herbal tea claimed to cure
HIV/Aids caused four deaths
in Mauritius. Local media
reported that the tea, from
Madagascar, was being sold
to people under the counter.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 47.1
Democracy Index: 8.04
Press Freedom Index: 28
Corruption Index: 5.4 (39/
Human Development
Index: 0.728
NMG Grade: 9/10
2010 Grade: A
2011 Grade: A+
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba
Title: President of the Republic of Namibia since
Personal history:
A former activist and political prisoner, Pohamba
was also the lands minister who sped up one of
Namibia’s most difficult schemes — the transfer of
land from white farmers to black citizens. He was a
founding member of the South West Africa People’s
Organisation (Swapo) and its presidential candidate in
2004. He won in what was described as a landslide.
Successes of the year:
A big story this year was the return of the remains of
Ovaherero and Nama leaders, who were massacred
by German colonial forces during Namibia’s pre-
Independence era. There was widespread discontent
amongst Namibians, who wanted the Europeans to
show “genuine remorse”, but Pohamba managed to
maintain peace and stability.
Pohamba also went about improving diplomatic ties
with his neighbours, visiting Angola and making deals
to supply energy to the nation, as well as abolishing
entry visas with Mozambique.
Failures of 2011:
The opposition was up in arms over what they termed
as the ruling Swapo party’s unfair rubberstamping of
laws without adequate deliberations in the country’s
legislative chambers. An example of this is a new
law which gives powers to the president to appoint
regional governors.
Despite being prone to flooding, the nation was, again,
unprepared for the floods early this year, which were
so bad that Pohamba was forced to declare a state of
Moment of the year:
Pohambo lashed out at his “Facebooking” Cabinet
ministers who, he said, were “washing their dirty
laundry in public.”
Mo Ibrahim Index: 69.7 (6/53)
Democracy Index: 6.23
Press Freedom Index: 34 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 4.4 (56/183)
Human Development Index: 0.625 (medium)
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: A-
2011 Grade: B
Name: Amadou Toumani
Title: President of the Republic
of Mali since June 8, 2002
Personal history:
A trained soldier, Touré
was in charge of parachute
commandos when longtime
Malian dictator Moussa Traoré
violently crushed protests
against his rule in 1991. Siding
with the protestors, Touré
participated in a successful
coup and ousted Traoré from
power. He then assumed
the duties of the head of
state, helping write a new
Constitution and holding
elections, before stepping aside
in 1992. For his services, he
earned the title “The Soldier
of Democracy.” He easily won
the presidency in the 2002 and
2007 presidential elections.
So it was that 2011 was
Touré’s final year as president
as he is not eligible for reelection
in 2012 when he
completes his final term.
Successes of the year:
Living up to his reputation as
the “Soldier of Democracy”,
he was a pillar of support
in the restoration of civilian
democratic rule in Niger.
Mali’s 51st Independence
Day was marked by Touré’s
inauguration of the third
bridge in Bamako, called The
China-Mali Friendship Bridge,
the biggest project of this
nature in West Africa.
Failures of the year:
Mali was in the limelight as
a drug peddlers’ and childtrafficking
haven. The nation
has however taken strong
measures to rein this in and
in November relocated 104
Nigerian citizens suspected of
being made to work as “sexual
Moment of the year:
Libya’s former leader,
Muammar Gaddafi had
strong support among ethnic
Tuaregs living in Mali. On the
announcement of Gaddafi’s
death, thousands of Muslims in
Mali’s capital, Bamako, held a
special prayer service for him
Mo Ibrahim Index: 53.6
Democracy Index: 6.01
(upgraded from hybrid regime
to the flawed democracy
Press Freedom Index: 24
Corruption Index: 2.7 (116/
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 8/10
2010 Grade:: B
2011 Grade: B
Name: Thomas Yayi Boni
Title: President of the
Republic of Benin, since
April 6, 2006
Personal history:
An international banker
who holds a PhD in
economics, Boni was a
high ranking officer in the
Central Bank of the States
of West Africa before
working on the staff of
former Beninese president
Nicephore Soglo, running
banking and monetary
policy. He then moved on
to become president of the
West African Development
Bank (BOAD). Took power
following a tough election
race in 2006, and survived
an assassination attempt in
2007. A convert from Islam
to Christianity.
Successes of the year:
Yayi Boni was re-elected in
2011 with 53 per cent of
the vote, though a number
of appeals were made to
the Constitutional Court
asking it to invalidate
votes in certain areas over
allegations of massive
Yayi Boni took some
positive steps in the year
that could potentially have
a positive impact on the
county’s future; following
an official trip to China he
secured $34 million in loans
and grants, part of which
will fund an anti-piracy
patrol and launched a major
campaign to arrest growing
drop-out rates
of the year:
President T. Yayi Boni
continues to keep tight
control over the state,
several demonstrations
were banned when trade
unions and civilians
sought to protest against
corruption and the rising
cost of essential goods
Moment of the year:
In November, Pope
Benedict XVI celebrated
mass at a stadium hosting
tens of thousands in
Cotonou, Benin
Mo Ibrahim Index: 59.9
Democracy Index: 6.17
Press Freedom Index: 33
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.8
Human Development
Index: 0.427
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: C
2011 Grade: C+
Name: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
Title: President of the Republic of South
Africa since 2009
Personal history:
A shrewd political operator, and sterling
intelligence officer for the Africa National
Congress during the struggle, Zuma has
had no formal schooling. He became
involved in politics at an early age and
has served a 10-year-jail sentence for
“conspiring to overthrow the apartheid
government.” In 2005, he was relieved
of his duties as deputy president by
Thabo Mbeki, in the wake of corruption
allegations. Was elected president of the
African National Congress in 2007 after
the ouster of Mbeki, and went on to win
the 2009 presidential elections.
Successes of the year:
Zuma joined Twitter in 2011 to become
one of the few African leaders who joined
the social network. An anti-graft activist
withdrew a multi-billion dollar military
contract suit that had haunted Jacob
Zuma’s administration for years.
He faced rising opposition championed
by African National Congress (ANC)
youth leader Julius Malema. However,
Mr. Malema was slapped with a fiveyear
suspension after he was accused of
provoking divisions within the ANC.
Failures of 2011:
Zuma’s meditation skills are certainly not
his forte. His talks with Gaddafi in May
failed to bring about progress towards an
end to Libya’s conflict, whilst his mediation
talks between Zimbabwe’s main rival
parties have once more ended with calls
for him to be relieved of this position.
Strong allegations were made against the
ANC in the year: Blade Nzimande, Minister
of Higher Education and head of the South
African Communist Party, said the ruling
party is plagued by perpetual leadership
battles funded by dirty money. The party
was also criticised for the controversial
“Protection of State Information Bill” (also
called the Secrecy Bill) that it pushed
though parliament - activists and editors
say will stifle investigative journalism.
Zuma’s government came in for strong
criticism, and protests, after it failed to
give the Dalai Lama a visa to attend the
80th birthday celebrations of Archbishop
Desmond Tutu.
Moment of the year:
When Zuma warned voters they risked
sparking their ancestor’s wrath unless they
chose the African National Congress party
in May’s elections.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 70.6 (5/53)
Democracy Index: 7.79
Press Freedom Index: 33 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 4.5 (54/183)
Human Development Index: 0.619
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: B+ 2011 Grade: B
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
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Name: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Title: President of the Republic of
Liberia since January 16, 2006
Personal history:
Known in Liberia as the “Iron
Lady”, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is
currently the only elected female
head of state in Africa. Educated
at Harvard University’s prestigious
Kennedy School of Government,
she served in Liberia’s Cabinet
in the 1970s. Lost the 1997
presidential elections to Charles
Taylor, before winning the 2006
Successes of the year:
Johnson-Sirleaf had a successful
year. She was one of three women
to be honoured with the Nobel
Peace prize in 2011 for “their nonviolent
struggle for the safety of
women and for women’s rights to
full participation in peace-building
work”. Despite the turbulence
surrounding this year’s presidential
elections, in which the election boss
resigned and the main opposition
boycotted the run-off, Johnson-
Sirleaf came out with victory and
though political tension continues,
there has been no violence.
President Johnson-Sirleaf wants to
establish a legitimate timber trade
to boost the Liberian economy. To
make that possible, every legally
harvestable tree and every cut log
would have to carry a barcode that
makes it traceable – environmental
Failures of the year:
One of Africa’s oldest radio
stations, the Monrovia-based
Eternal Love Winning Africa was
burnt down by unknown arsonists.
This occurred after several radio
stations had been closed down,
during the election period, due to
“inflammatory comments” aired
by them. Despite winning another
presidential term, low turnout and
no majority in parliament makes
Johnson-Sirleaf’s promises all the
more difficult to meet.
Moment of the year:
Johnson-Sirleaf had promised a
reform of the mining sector and
this year, after a 20-year break,
Liberia returned to the iron ore
Mo Ibrahim Index: 45.4 (38/53)
Democracy Index: 5.07
Press Freedom Index: 59 (partly
Corruption Index: 3.3 (87/183)
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 9/10
2010 Grade: B-
2011 Grade: C+
Name: Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili
Title: Prime Minister of the
Kingdom of Lesotho since 1998
Personal history:
A former academic and teacher,
Mosisili was elected to parliament
in 1993 where he served as
minister of education and
manpower development, deputy
prime minister, before being
elected the leader of the Lesotho
Congress for Democracy in 1998.
He was sworn in as prime minister
the same year.
Successes of the year:
Lesotho has been recognised for its
gender equality! The small nation
was ranked eighth in the world by
the World Economic Forum when it
comes to bridging the gap between
the sexes.
Failures of 2011:
Mosisili endured what was called
“the mother of all protests”. People
from all walks of life joined the
throng, demanding Mosisili fight
for the rights of the poor, and
stamp out corruption. There were
also loud calls for him to get out
of business and stop taking part in
business associations.
Moment of the year:
A Lesotho court ruled that six
South Africans charged with
plotting to kill the prime minister
in 2009 could stand trial in the
country after their extradition.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 62.8 (8/53)
Democracy Index: 6.02
Press Freedom Index: 48 (partly
Corruption Index: 3.5 (78/183)
Index: 0.450
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: C
2011 Grade:C
Name: Ernest Bai Koroma
Title: President of the Republic of
Sierra Leone since September 17,
Personal history:
Came to power in 2007 in elections
considered free and fair, and
is considered among the most
effective presidents in Africa.
Successes this year:
Sierra Leone made some real
progressive strides in 2011. An
undersea telecommunications cable
landed in the country, part of a
17,000-kilometre fibre optic line
that aims to connect countries along
the West African coast to Europe.
Koroma hailed it as a “momentous
and great communication
transformation” in a country where
Internet penetration is currently at
a mere six per cent.
The nation also officially announced
the formation of a new national
airline, over five years since its
last flag carrier was grounded by
Failures of the year:
The Sierra Leone government
has promised to “fully address”
issues raised by an Al Jazeera
TV investigative series that has
implicated a senior government
official in corruption and caused a
storm within the ruling APC party.
President Ernest Bai Koroma
instructed the police and the Anti-
Corruption Commission to mount
an immediate investigation into the
issues highlighted by the report,
which alleged the official was
involved in the illegal timber trade
and soliciting for bribes. Logging is
banned in Sierra Leone as a result of
severe forest depletion.
Moment of the year:
Sierra Leone’s second city, Bo, came
up with an unusual scholarship
scheme that rewards girls who
maintain their virginity up to level 3
of senior secondary school – causing
huge controversy in the country!
Mo Ibrahim Index: 48.2 (30/53)
Democracy Index: 4.51
Press Freedom Index: 53 (partly
Corruption Index: 2.4 (134/183)
Human Development Index: 0.336
NMG Grade: 8/10
2010 Grade: B
2011 Grade: C
Name: Mwai Kibaki
Title: President and Commander in Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya since
December 30, 2002
Personal history:
Kenya has had a new dawn, but still has the
same group of Independence leaders. Kibaki is
a veteran politician who helped push for Kenya’s
Independence in the 1960s, and has since served
as minister of finance, home affairs, and health.
Spent 10 years as vice president to former
president Daniel arap Moi. Came to power in
2002 in free and fair elections. Was accused by
Kenyan and international observers of rigging the
2007 elections, cheating rival Raila Odinga out of
the presidency. The flawed elections caused the
country to erupt in paroxysms of ethnic violence
that killed nearly 1,400 people and displaced
It ended when a power-sharing deal was struck.
Successes of the year:
Kibaki launched an open data portal
(, to allow citizens to track
the affairs of state. The first African country,
and one of the very few in the world to do so, it
ushers in a new age of transparency.
Since the coming into force of the country’s new
Consitution, Kenya’s politicians will be adding to
the national kitty! Kibaki tops the list of public
officers from whom the Kenya Revenue Authority
is demanding millions of shillings in unpaid taxes.
He could pay up to Ksh8 million ($88,105) to the
Failures of 2011:
There was a dramatic increase in Somali
refugees entering the country – at one point
around 1,500 a day. This resulted in a row
between the Kenyan government, international
aid agencies and the United Nations over the
opening of an extension camp for the refugees.
There has been widespread dissatisfaction
with the government this year, manifested in
numerous public protests. There have been
strikes by teaching staff, medical staff and
protests over the rising cost of living and in
security. Controversy erupted when a Kenyan
court ordered the arrest of President Omar al-
Bashir of Sudan, on account of an outstanding
International Criminal Court warrant, and the
government said it would appeal as it sought to
appease the Sudanese leader.
Moment of the year:
When Kenya declared war on Al Shabaab in
October and its forces entered Somalia.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 52.6 (23/53)
Democracy Index: 4.71
Press Freedom Index: 54 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.1 (154/183)
Human Development Index: 0.509
NMG Grade: 8/10
2010 Grade: C
2011 Grade: C
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Jakaya Kikwete
Title: President of United Republic
of Tanzania since December 21,
Personal history:
An intelligence and military officer
who rose to the rank of lieutenantcolonel
before turning to politics.
Served as Tanzania’s foreign
minister from 1995 to 2005, when
he won the presidency in elections
deemed largely free and fair.
Has won accolades (and
development dollars) from abroad
for investing in education. Played
a last-minute role in helping Kenya
return to peace after the 2008
post-election violence.
Successes of the year:
At the start of the year, Standard
Chartered bank stated that
Tanzania is one of East Africa’s
most consistent growth economies.
They commended the broad-based
nature of Tanzania’s growth, with
growth across sectors including
mining, construction, agriculture
and tourism.
After a visit with Mr Kikwete at
the State House in Dar es Salaam,
Bill and Melinda Gates announced
that their foundation will continue
to assist Tanzania in research on
health and agriculture sectors
Failures of the year:
Tanzania continued to sink into
deeper dependence on donor aid,
with the media reporting that in
2011 it became the world’s third
largest recipient of aid after Iraq
and Afghanistan.
In September a ferry accident off
the popular tourist archipelago of
Zanzibar claimed the lives of over
200 people.
Tanzania has been unsuccessfully
grappling with issues of drug
trafficking this year.
Moment of the year:
In 2011 Tanzania marked its 50th
Kikwete told
Tanzanians to
feel proud of
their nation’s
success since
and urged them
to work even
harder for
a better
and more
Mo Ibrahim
Index: 58.1 (13/53)
Democracy Index: 5.64
Press Freedom Index: 48 (partly
Corruption Index: 2.7 (116/183)
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: B- 2011 Grade: C
Name: Michael Sata
Title: President of the Republic of
Zambia since September 2011
Personal history:
Michael Sata, popularly known as
“King Cobra,” was a key opposition
leader in Zambia for 10 years. He
leads the Patriotic Front (PF), and
is known for his populist ideologies.
This was his fourth try at the
presidency, and he finally won.
Sata is well-known for formerly
being a governor of Lusaka. He
was described as being a “hands
on” man; cleaning up the streets,
patching roadways and building
bridges in the city.
Successes of the year:
Winning the presidency and
unseating a government that had
been in power for 20 years. He
went on a serious purge and got
rid of the anti-corruption chief,
reversed the previous government’s
sale of a privately-owned bank
to South Africa’s FirstRand,
dissolved several parastatal boards,
recalled 12 ambassadors and high
commissioners and revealed that the
nation, including State House, was
“stinking with corruption.” He has
also said that Chinese mining deals
must benefit Zambians, a statement
which led to a 100 per cent pay
rise for some workers who went on
Failures of the year:
Sata suspended copper exports
in a move to ensure that mining
firms accurately report their sales.
However he quickly realised that
new laws would take too long to
draw up and quickly lifted the ban
on the county’s main export. Sata
failed on his campaign promise to
overhaul the constitution within 90
days, saying that it would take a
“little longer.”
Moment of the year:
Kneeling to kiss Anglican
Archbishop Rowan Williams’ hand,
announcing that Guy Scott, a white
Zambian, would be vice-president
and stating that the country would
be governed by the 10 Biblical
Mo Ibrahim Index: 57.0 (17/53)
Democracy Index: 5.68
Press Freedom Index: 61 (not free)
Corruption Index: 3.0 (101/183)
Human Development Index: 0.430
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: C+ 2011 Grade: C
Name: Moncef Marzouki
Title: President of the Tunisian
Republic since December 2011
Personal history:
Mr Marzouki is a well-known
Tunisian activist. He studied
medicine in France before returning
to Tunisia where he founded the
Center for Community Medicine in
Sousse and the African Network
for Prevention of Child Abuse,
also joining Tunisian League
for Human Rights. Following
the Arab spring that ousted
former president Ben Ali, on 12
December 2011 he was elected
interim President of Tunisia by the
Constituent Assembly.
Successes of the year:
Mr Marzouki’s election as president
was seen a great victory. He is
widely respected for his opposition
to former president Ben Ali, and is
seen as a likely counterweight to
the moderate Islamist party that
became the country’s dominant
political force.
Failures of the year:
Mr Marzouki was elected with
155 votes for, 3 against, and 42
blank votes. The blank votes were
the result of a boycott from the
opposition parties, who considered
the new mini-constitution of the
country undemocratic.
Moment of the year:
Marzouki said he is prepared to
resign if life in the country has not
improved after six months.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 61.7 (rank
Democracy Index: 2.79
Press Freedom Index: 85 (not
Corruption Index: 4.3 (59/183)
Human Development Index:
0.698 (high)
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: D
2011 Grade: CNIGERIA
Name: Goodluck Jonathan
Title: President of Federal Republic of Nigeria
since May 2010, acting since February 2010
Personal history:
Jonathan was handpicked by former
president Umaru Yar’Adua to be vicepresident,
and succeeded him as president
following the latter’s death in February 2010.
He was re-elected in April 2011.
Successes of the year:
He won elections in April 2011, in polls
judged by analysts to be perhaps the
country’s fairest ever. However, they still
resulted in violence which saw an estimated 500
people killed and thousands displaced from their homes in northern
Nigeria after the main opposition Congress for Progressive Change
party denounced the result as fraudulent.
He was applauded for sacking the country’s anti-corruption chief, saying
it was long overdue after complaints were lodged over her handling of
high profile corruption cases.
Failures of the year:
Nigeria marked 51 years of Independence in 2011, but it was a terrible
year for terrorist attacks. There were waves of deadly killings blamed
on Islamist sect Boko Haram. They took responsibility for the August 26
deadly bombing of the UN headquarters.
Moment of the year:
Nigeria successfully launched two Earth observation satellites, to be
used to monitor weather in a region seasonally ravaged by disasters.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 41.1 (41/53)
Democracy Index: 3.47
Press Freedom Index: 52 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.4 (134/183)
Human Development Index: 0.459
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: D-
2011 Grade: D+
Name: Armando Emilio Guebuza
Title: President of the Republic of
Mozambique since 2005
Personal history:
A former leader of Frelimo (Frente
de Libertação de Moçambique
— Mozambique Liberation Front)
he served briefly as part of a 10-
member collective head of state
after the death of Mozambique’s
first president, Samora Machel, in
1986. He was chosen as Frelimo’s
presidential candidate in 2004 and
Successes of the year:
Guebuza has placed emphasis on
upgrading air travel to the nation,
opening a new cargo terminal at
Vilankulo airport and launching the
construction of a $102m airport
in the northern city of Nacala in
an effort to expand infrastructure
to attract tourists and investment.
He also opened a $1.7b coal mine,
an investment by Brazilian mining
giant Vale - the largest investment
in the nation to date, a project
aimed at adding $3b to the country’s
Failures of 2011:
Wikileaks ripped the cover off huge
allegations of corruption and that
tonnes of heroin and cocaine transit
the country for South Africa. The US
embassy warned that Mozambique
might now may be the second most
active narcotics transit point in
Africa after Guinea Bissau.
Moment of the year:
Guebuza inaugurated the 10th All
Africa Games which took place at
Mozambique’s national stadium, in
the Maputo suburb of Zimpeto.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 54.6 (21/53)
Democracy Index: 4.90
Press Freedom Index: 44 (partly
Corruption Index: 2.7 (116/183)
Human Development Index: 0.322
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: D+
2011 Grade: CThe
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
cove≥ sto≥y
Name: Paul Kagame
Title: President of the Republic of
Rwanda since April 22, 2000
Personal history:
Paul Kagame fled an ethnic massacre
in Rwanda at the age of two in 1959,
moving with many fellow Tutsis to
the Gahunge refugee camp in Uganda.
Began his military service at age
20, fighting with Yoweri Museveni’s
National Resistance Army. Led the
Rwanda Patriotic Army/Front to
victory in 1994, following a genocide
engineered by extremists, the
government and the army then, that
left nearly one million people dead.
Was named vice president and defence
minister in the Cabinet of Rwandan
president Pasteur Bizimungu. Took
power when Bizimungu was deposed in
2000. Won landslide electoral victories
in 2003 and 2010, securing over 93 per
cent of votes on both occasions.
Successes of the year:
In December, Rwanda joined the
thin ranks of African nations seen as
fairly free of graft by Transparency
International’s Corruption Index despite
still recovering from the horror of
the 1994 genocide. The nation was
acknowledged for making strides in
rebuilding its economy and promoting
itself as a regional business hub.
Rwanda was also acknowledged in
November at the UN’s Peace Building
Commission meeting on post-conflict
peace building in Kigali. Rwanda was
used as an example of a nation that
transitioned rapidly from being the
victim of one of the 20th century’s
worst conflicts to a living example of
how to overcome adversity. Kagame
continued to be popular with foreign
investors this year, this was helped
along by an Act that came into effect
which saw any investors doing business
in Rwanda and employing more than
200 Rwandan workers benefit from a
five per cent tax reduction on profit.
Failures of the year:
There have been several allegations
made against Kagame concerning
the silencing of opposition groups.
According to The Independent of
London, the Rwandan government
was linked to an assassination plot
in Britain against dissidents, who are
said to be critical of the country’s
increasingly authoritarian regime.
Rwanda protested furiously at the
charges. Furthermore, Peggy Hicks,
global advocacy director for Human
Rights Watch, said there had been “no
opposition and independent journalists
were silenced” ahead of the poll last
The killing of an online journalist, known
to be critical of Kagame’s regime,
in Uganda also fired up speculation.
Kagame denied any involvement by his
government in the death.
Moment of the year:
President Yoweri Museveni, once a
bosom ally and mentor to Kagame,
broke a 10-year drought of not making
a private visit to Rwanda. In a move
analysts saw as hailing a major change
in the relations between the two leaders,
Museveni visited with Kagame and
stayed in his country for four days.
Kagame returned the visit during
Mo Ibrahim Index: 51.7 (25/53)
Democracy Index: 3.25
Press Freedom Index: 84 (not free)
Corruption Index: 4.0 (66/183)
Human Development Index: 0.429
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: C-
2011 Grade: D
Name: Mahamadou Issoufou
Title: President of the Republic
of Niger since April 2011
Personal history:
Mr. Issoufou is no stranger
to politics. He has stood as a
candidate for each presidential
election since 1993, he was
prime minister from 1993 to
1994 and president of the
National Assembly from 1995
to 1996. The veteran opposition
leader was declared winner of
March 2011 presidential polls
held to end a year-long military
Successes of the year:
Mahamadou Issoufou was
declared the winner of the 2011
presidential polls with 58 per
cent of the vote. The election
marked a return to democracy
after president Mamadou
Tandja was ousted by the army
in February 2010.
The US reinstated Niger to the
Africa Growth and Opportunity
Act which means the country
will reap the benefits of
preferential trade deals.
Failures of the year:
Niger remains one of the
world’s poorest nations and is
grappling with the threat of
terrorism., made worse due to
the crisis in Libya that affected
the country’s trade, immigration
and security.
Moment of the year:
There are two moments that
deserve a mention: First when
President Mahamadou Issoufou
offered asylum to Col Gaddafi’s
son Saadi. He said he did so
for humanitarian reasons. The
second was the arrest of five
soldiers who were allegedly
plotting to assassinate him.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 44.2
Democracy Index: 3.38
Press Freedom Index: 59
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.5 (134/
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: D
2011 Grade: D
Name: Abdoulaye Wade
Title: President of the Republic of Senegal since April 1,
Personal history:
A long-time opposition leader, he ran for president four
times, beginning in 1978, before he was elected in 2000.
Spent time in exile in France after being arrested while
protesting the results of the 1998 election. Some fear he
will make a bid for re-election in 2012, which would be
illegal, as he will have completed the term of service allowed
by the constitution.
Successes of the year:
Mr. Wade got a step closer to his dream of encouraging
science and mathematics on the continent with the opening
of the African Institute of Mathematical Science-Senegal,
located about 80 kilometres from Senegalese capital Dakar.
Failures of the year:
Several hundred Senegalese opposition supporters
demonstrated against 85-year-old President Abdoulaye
Wade’s bid for a third term in the 2012 elections. The
demonstrations came three months after riots, when
parliament was debating a bill proposing changes to
election laws, that left more than 100 injured.
Things were also made more difficult for potential
presidential candidates when fees were hiked. Senegalese
opposition parties are incensed with the approximately
$145,000 fee presidential candidates will be required to pay
in order to run.
Moment of the year:
Prominent Senegalese rapper Omar Toure was arrested. It
is said he had spoken at an opposition rally urging President
Abdoulaye Wade not to run for re-election in 2012, a
message that did not please Mr President and his cronies.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 57.5 (15/53)
Democracy Index: 5.27
Press Freedom Index: 54 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.9 (105/183)
Human Development Index: 0.459
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: C-
2011 Grade: FMALAWI
Name: Bingu wa Mutharika (Born Ryson Webster
Title: President of the Republic of Malawi since
Personal history:
After serving in the Malawi civil service, and
also for a period in the government of Zambia,
Dr Mutharika worked for the United Nations, the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
(Comesa) and the World Bank. He was one of
the founders of the United Democratic Front, the
party that won Malawi’s first multiparty elections
in 1994, and also founded his own Democratic
Progressive Party after a falling out with former
president Bakili Muluzi.
Successes of the year:
Bingu wa Mutharika took over the rotating
leadership of the Comesa trade bloc.
Failures of the year:
He become increasingly unpopular due to his
intolerance of criticism. Police attacked protestors
on July 20 – violence that led to the death of
19. Activists in the country went into hiding
fearing for their lives after receiving threats, and
lobbyist offices were also set ablaze. He ignored
international objections and invited the indicted
Sudanese leader for Comesa summit. US-based
campaign group the Hunger Project embarrassingly
withdrew an award to Bingu wa Mutharika for
leadership in food security citing his poor human
rights record
Moment of the year:
Mr Mutharika went “missing” for three weeks in
late 2011. There was massive speculation over his
whereabouts, and when he eventually resurfaced
he said he deserved a good holiday after working
hard for two years.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 56.5 (17/53)
Democracy Index: 5.84
Press Freedom Index: 55 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 3.4 (85/183)
Human Development Index: 0.400
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: C 2011 Grade: DThe
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi,
Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
Title: Minister of Defence, and Chairman of the
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the de facto
head of state of Egypt since February 11, 2011.
Personal history:
A military man, Tantawi has served in the infantry and
worked his way up to Minister of Defence and Military
Production and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian
Armed Forces. As the Chairman of the Supreme
Council, Tantawi became Egypt’s ruler when President
Hosni Mubarak resigned.
Successes this year:
Tantawi has kept a relatively low profile since taking
over. Nevertheless, with the help of Farouk Ahmed
Sultan, Chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court
of Egypt, the highest judicial court in Egypt, there have
been significant developments. Egypt’s parliament was
dissolved, referendums over temporary constitutional
amendments have taken place and Mubarak and many
of the former regime’s top figures have been taken to
Failures of the year:
New protests erupted in Egypt in November,
thousands have since been injured and many have
died. The people are not happy with the slow pace
of reforms and fear that the military rulers may be
getting a little too comfortable. Tantawi had to appear
on Egyptian national television to pledge the speeding
up of presidential elections and reassure the populace
that the military will hand over power.
Moment of the year:
The image of Mubarak on a bed, in court.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 60.7 (10/53)
Democracy Index: 3.07
Press Freedom Index: 65 (not free)
Corruption Index: 3.1 (98/183)
Human Development Index: 0.644 (medium)
NMG grade: 5/10
2010 Grade: F- 2011 Grade: F
Name: Ikililou Dhoinine
Title: President of the
Union of the Comoros since
December 2010
Personal history:
A pharmacist by training and
previously a vice-president of
Comoros, Dhoinine is the first
president from the island
of Moheli, an opposition
stronghold whose residents
have complained of exclusion.
Dhoinine served for five
years as deputy to outgoing
president Ahmed Abdallah
Mohamed Sambi and was
his chosen candidate in the
December 2010 poll which
he won with 61 per cent of
the vote.
Successes of the year:
Political stability in Comoros
improved following the
smooth transfer of power to
the new president.
The European Union
approved a new fisheries
agreement with Comoros
which provides key funds for
infrastructure, an investment
the nation desperately needs.
They did however say that
parliament must be more
involved in the process of
monitoring the EU-Comoros
fisheries agreement. The
new arrangements redefine
fishing opportunities for
EU vessels and provide
additional funding of
€300,000 annually for the
Comoros to build essential
Failures of the year:
Comoros is one of the
poorest countries in the
world with an economy that
is barely growing. A big part
of the problem is the lack of
an effective transportation
network. It also suffers
from rising sea levels, overfishing,
water shortages
and inadequate sanitation
services, waste is fast
becoming a key problem. In
the Comoros, collection and
disposal of waste is virtually
Moment of the year:
Ikililou Dhoinine, faced
widespread protests over
fuel prices and supplies
in October, following oil
shortages, bringing to an
end the new president’s
honeymoon period.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 47.4
Democracy Index: 3.41
Press Freedom Index: 48
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.1 (154/
Human Development
Index: 0.433
NMG Grade: 5/10
2010 Grade: ICU
201I Grade: F
Name: Blaise Compaore
Title: President of Burkina
Faso since October 1987
Personal history:
Made his early career
in the Burkinabe armed
forces, receiving military
training from France. With
French-backing Compaore,
then minister for justice,
mounted a coup d’etat in
1987 against his close friend,
former president Thomas
Sankara. The charismatic
and popular revolutionary
was dismembered and
buried in an unmarked grave,
apparently under orders
from Compaore. He seized
power, and has now held it
for 23 years, holding periodic
elections denounced by
many as shams. A classic
African “Big Man,” he is
known for his ostentatious
wealth, which offends many,
considering he rules one of
the poorest countries in the
Successes of the year:
In response to widespread
protests and a mutiny
which lasted approximately
three months, Compaore
promised soldiers a range of
benefits and formed a new
government in a bid to quell
the unrest.
Failures of the year:
In 2001, demonstrations
by trade unions and civil
society groups against the
escalating cost of living,
were seen as the biggest
challenge to Compaore’s
rule since he took power.
Tens of thousands of people
across the landlocked
African country marched in
protest against his regime
and disgruntled soldiers have
been protested violently for
higher wages.
Moment of the year:
President Compaore was
forced to leave the capital
Ouagadougou in April and
hide out in a secret place, in
the face of a mutiny by his
personal guard and other
Mo Ibrahim Index: 55.1
Democracy Index: 3.59
Press Freedom Index: 41
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 3.1 (98/
Human Development
Index: 0.331
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: F
Name: Yoweri Kaguta
Title: President of Uganda
since January 26, 1986
Personal history:
Long-time ruler and veteran
guerilla commander. Began
his career as an intelligence
officer in 1970, but soon
became a guerrilla fighter,
fighting to depose the tyrant
Idi Amin from 1972 to 1979.
Museveni continued to fight
in a rebellion to depose
Milton Obote — the first
leader elected after Amin in
flawed polls in 1980. In 1986,
Museveni seized power. He
won the elections in 1996,
2001 and 2006, the latter
two being widely criticised
as rigged. Has removed
presidential term limits to
hold on to power. He was
deeply involved in the First
and Second Congo Wars.
Successes of the year:
Museveni was re-elected with
a 68.38 per cent of the vote.
The opposition described the
elections as a “sham.”
Uganda continues to have a
leading role in the Somalia
peacekeeping force under
African Union command.
Failures of the year:
2011 shall be remembered
as the year of constant
public discontent. Most
notable mention goes to the
“Walk-to-Work” protests,
anti-government demos led
by the Activists for Change.
They were made popular by
opposition FDC president
Kizza Besigye earlier in the
year as a way to protest
the rising cost of living. The
climax was the unusually
violent arrest of Besigye.
There were also strong
protests against the planned
giveaway of Mabira Forest
Reserve to sugar miller
Sugar Corporation of Uganda
Limited, SCOUL; and the
president came under severe
scrutiny over graft allegations
which he dismissed as
“absolute rubbish”
Moment of the year:
In June, attempts to hold a
birthday party at Constitution
Square celebrating what
Free Uganda Now group
claim would be President
Yoweri Museveni’s 73rd
birthday flopped after police
Mo Ibrahim Index: 55.0
Democracy Index: 5.05
Press Freedom Index: 54
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.5 (127/
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: F
Name: Alpha Conde
Title: President of the
Republic of Guinea
Personal history:
Alpha Condé, who has spent
the past decades as Guinea’s
prime opposition politician,
at last won the presidency
in November 2010. The
elections were considered the
first free and credible polls in
the country’s history. Suffers
from acute diabetes and, it’s
said, he can no longer walk
Successes of the year:
The US government
announced the reinstatement
of the benefits of a
preferential trade deal,
known as the Africa Growth
and Opportunity Act, to
Guinea. This was as a
reward for what the US
sees as “continual progress”
made in good governance
and democracy. Guinea
launched a new mining code.
The country has improved
relationship with Sierra
Leone. The leaders of the two
nations are poised to settle
an almost decade long border
Failures of the year:
The opposition accused
Condé’s government of
leaving them out of national
governance issues and of
practising tribalism. When
the opposition protested
this, the government banned
the demonstration, which
resulted in the killing of four
protestors in Conakry by
soldiers. Alpha Condé agreed
to postpone legislative
elections earlier set for
December 29, with the
opposition accusing President
Condé of unilaterally deciding
the date, thus opening the
door for political dialogue
with the opposition.
Moment of the year:
All eyes were on a Guinean
maid who accused former
IMF boss, Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, of sexually
assaulting her. The case
crumbled over questions
about her credibility and
“DSK” was acquitted.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 37.8
Democracy Index: 2.79
Press Freedom Index: 59
(partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.0 (164/
Human Development
Index: 0.344
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: F
2011 Grade: F
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
cove≥ sto≥y
Name: Mustafa Abdul Jalil
Title: Chairman of the National
Transitional Council since March 5,
Personal history:
Mustafa Abdul Jalil graduated from
the department of Shari’a and Law
in the Arabic Language and Islamic
Studies Faculty of the University of
Libya in 1975, and was eventually
appointed a judge. From 2007 to
2011, Abdul Jalil was minister of
justice under Gaddafi’s regime.
He is known for his strong stance
against arbitrary arrests and
prolonged detention without trial,
even in defiance of the previous
regime. He resigned from Gaddafi’s
government in protest at its actions
during the 2011 Libyan civil war.
Abdul Jalil was proclaimed to be
the head of the National Transitional
Council in the Council’s founding
statement of March 5 2011.
Successes of the year:
During the unrest in Libya, Abdul-
Jalil led the process of forming
an interim government, based in
Failures of the year:
Jalil proclaimed that Islamic Sharia
law will be the “basic source” of
legislation in free Libya, to the shock
of millions.
Moment of the year:
The brutal death of Libya’s former
leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
at the hands of rebels near his
hometown of Sirte.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 49.9 (28/53)
Democracy Index: 1.94
Press Freedom Index: 94 (not
Corruption Index: 2.2 (146/183)
Human Development Index: 0.760
NMG grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: F+
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Mohammed
Title: King of the
Kingdom of Morocco
since July 30, 1999
Personal history:
Groomed for kingship,
as his late father
King Hassan
II referred to
his upbringing,
Mohammed VI
became monarch
in 1999. Mohammed
is estimated by Forbes to be worth $2 billion,
and the Moroccan Royal Family has one of the
largest fortunes in the world.
Successes of the year:
King Mohammed bowed to the pressure of
protesting civil society, making a break with
the notion of monarchy as an executive power
and introducing reforms that provide for a
balanced monarchy, where power is divided
between the king and a government based on
parliament. He was able to withstand the full
tide of the Arab Spring and continues to reign
over the Kingdom.
Failures of the year:
Though constitutional reforms have been
undertaken, many critics want constitutional
changes drawn up by a democratically elected
committee instead and have greater changes
to the country’s political system.
The lack of reforms has resulted in sporadic
protests which continue to threaten the
stability of the nation.
Moment of the year:
One of the worst attacks in Morocco took
place in April this year when a suicide bomber
attacked a cafe in Marrakesh, leaving 14 people
Mo Ibrahim Index: 57.8 (14/53)
Democracy Index: 3.79
Press Freedom Index: 68 (not free)
Corruption Index: 3.4 (85/183)
Human Development Index: 0.582 (medium)
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: C
2011 Grade: F
Name: Alassane Dramane Ouattara
Title: President of the Republic of
Côte d’Ivoire since December 2010
Personal history:
An economist by profession, President
Ouattara has for decades been a
major player in international financial
institutions. His rise to Presidency was
a turbulent one. He faced incumbent
president Laurent Gbagbo and both
Ouattara and Gbagbo claimed victory.
It was widely accepted internationally
that Ouattara had won and a political
crisis ensued. This ended with
Gbagbo’s capture and arrest on April
11 2011.
Successes of the year:
Following the end of Cote d’Ivoire’s
political crisis, Ouattara has been
working hard at trying to reconcile the
country. In recognition “of “continual
progress” made in good governance
and democracy” the US government
announced the reinstatement of the
benefits of a preferential trade deal,
known as the Africa Growth and
Opportunity Act.
Failures of the year:
The situation has remained tense in
Cote d’Ivoire despite the end of the
political crisis. Allies of Gbagbo were
clearly still intimidated and with
reason. Video clips have circulated on
the Internet showing people alleged to
be Gbagbo associates being ‘insulted
and mistreated’ by their jailers. 18,000
Ivorian refugees are still living in
Ghana since March of 2011.
Moment of the year:
President Ouattara sacked the boss of
the national broadcaster who failed to
ensure coverage of the Ivorian leader’s
return from the United States.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 36.3 (46/53)
Democracy Index: 3.02
Press Freedom Index: 68 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.2 (146/183)
Human Development Index: 0.400
NMG Grade: 5/10 2010 Grade: D+
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Title: President of the People’s Democratic Republic
of Algeria since April 28, 1999
Personal history:
Was involved with Algeria’s liberation process from
a young age and became an influential member of
the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). He became
a minister in the post-Independence government
and won the presidency in the 1999 polls with the
backing of the army.
Successes of the year:
For the first time in post-independence Algeria,
Bouteflika announced sweeping media reforms that
would allow private radio and television stations
to exist. The country also welcomed a new metro
system this year. The project was started 28 years
Failures of the year:
Thousands demanded Bouteflika’s exit and the
government battled to contain popular protests
against the lack of freedoms, high unemployment and
corruption in the country. Bouteflika promised deep
reforms to strengthen democracy but he did not give
an indication of when these would happen. Delays
have been blamed on the continued presence of the
emergency law enforced since the cancelled 1991
Moment of the year:
Bouteflika’s highly anticipated televised speech where
he promised national reforms.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 55.3 (rank 18/53)
Democracy Index: 3.44
Press Freedom Index: 62 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.9 (105/183)
Human Development Index: 0.644 (medium)
NMG Grade: 3/10
2010 Grade: F 2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Denis Sassou-Nguesso
Title: President of the Republic of Congo
since 1997 and he was previously President
from 1979 to 1992
Personal history:
Sassou-Nguesso was installed as president
by the military in 1979 but lost his position
in the country’s first multi-party elections in
1992. He returned to power in 1997 after
a brief civil war in which he was backed
by Angolan troops. His personal spending
habits are the source of heavy criticism
and he is being investigated by the French
police on claims that he has used millions
of pounds of embezzled public funds to
acquire lavish properties in France.
Successes of the year:
The Republic of Congo has embarked on
a vast tree-planting programme to guard
against the twin scourges of deforestation
and soil degradation that plague many
African states. Mr. Sassou-Nguesso has
also been strengthening ties with Rwanda.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited
capital Brazzaville in November 2010 and
Sassou-Nguesso reciprocated in 2011.
Failures of the year:
An illustration of how rife corruption is in
the poor nation, it emerged that Sassou
Nguesso owns 16 of the most luxurious
houses and flats in Paris.
Moment of the year:
A dispute erupted between DRC and
Congo-Brazzaville about an alleged attack
on the former. Kinshasa had blamed Congo-
Brazzaville for an attack on the city of
Lukolela by a rebel troops. The attack was
suspected to have been executed by forces
close to General Faustin Munene, who is
in exile in the latter – it was all amicably
resolved in the end.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 42.4 (40/53)
Democracy Index: 2.89
Press Freedom Index: 54 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.1 (154/183)
Human Development Index: 0.533
NMG Grade: 4/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz
Title: President of the Islamic Republic
of Mauritania since August 5, 2009
Personal history:
The general has led two coups in five
years, coming to power after ousting
his democratically-elected predecessor
in a 2009 coup. Prior to this, he was a
soldier with the Presidential Guard, and
helped suppress a coup in 2003 and
a military insurrection in 2004. Was
elected president in 2009, in elections
initially boycotted by the opposition, but
later deemed somewhat free and fair by
Successes of the year:
Ould Abdelaziz has been warming up to
a few potential “partners”, particularly
outspoken Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad. Having cut diplomatic
ties with Israel, Mauritania has now
signed two co-operation agreements
in mining and infrastructure with Iran.
Despite having been a former military
coup leader himself, the AU’s Peace
and Security Council appointed the
Mauritanian leader and present “elected
civilian” president, as head of a special
committee to try to mediate a solution
to the Cote d’Ivoirian electoral crisis
Failures of the year:
There were mass protests, including
a “day of rage”, against Abdelaziz’s
government, spilling over from
neighbouring Arab Spring countries,
which demanded political and social
reforms. Mauritania continues to suffer
from terrorist attacks, and it is alleged
it has a growing presence of Al Qaedalinked
militants. The poor nation also
suffers from severe tensions between
the Arab and black populations. There
have been protests by ethnic black
Mauritanians who have rallied to
denounce a census they feel aims at
depriving them of their citizenship,
but which the government called false
Moment of the year:
Ould Abdelaziz is lucky to have escaped
an attack on his life. Mauritania’s army
blew up a car packed with explosives
in February, foiling an attack which Al
Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed
was aimed at assassinating him.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 47.3
Democracy Index: 3.86
Press Freedom Index: 53 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.3 (143/183)
Human Development Index: 0.453
NMG Grade: 3/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Meles Zenawi Asres
Title: Prime Minister of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia since
August 1995
Personal history:
Named Legesse at birth, this former
guerilla took the nom de guerre “Meles”
in tribute to a student revolutionary
killed in 1975 by Ethiopian dictator
Mengistu Haile Mariam. Was named
transitional head of state when his rebels
overthrew the Mengistu regime in 1991,
and helped forge the 1994 constitution.
Won elections and became prime
minister in 1995 and 2001 with little
opposition. Opposition resistance was
stronger in the 2005 elections, and
widespread allegations of electoral fraud
led to riots and instability. Dozens were
killed and hundreds jailed.
Successes of the year:
Economically, Ethiopia is doing well.
According to the Economist’s “The World
in 2011” publication, Ethiopia, along with
Eritrea, was expected to be the third
economy in 2011. The paper said,
Ethiopia was expected to grow by 10 per
This growth will be spurred by an
increase in trade with its neighbours
within the next five years thanks to a
railway project to connect its capital
Addis Ababa to neighbouring Djibouti in
a new infrastructure-building phase.
Failures of the year:
Zenawi continues to rule the country
with an iron fist. He was forced to defend
his government against claims of human
rights abuses and the restriction of basic
freedoms after his trips to Norway and
Denmark were hit by protests.
Also, in November an Ethiopian man set
himself on fire in a protest against the
government following mass arrests of
youths from his area.
Moment of the year:
On October 20, Zenawi stunned
Ethiopians when he launched into a
tirade against perceived enemies, that
seemed to have been inspired by the
capture of Col Muammar Gaddafi just an
hour before the Ethiopian premier was
scheduled to address parliament.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 45.8 (34/53)
Democracy Index: 3.68
Press Freedom Index: 78 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.7 (116/183)
Human Development Index: 0.363
NMG Grade: 3/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Faure Gnassingbe
President of
the Togolese
Republic since
May 4, 2005
Personal history:
The Gnassingbe clan
have ruled Togo as their
personal fiefdom since 1967. The current president is
the son of the later president Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who
took power upon Togo’s independence in 1967 and held it
for 38 years. Upon his death in 2005, his son Faure was
immediately installed as president by military authorities.
Sham elections were held soon thereafter, and resulted in
protests that were violently crushed, leaving 790 people
dead and 4,345 injured.
Successes of the year:
Togo has taken significant steps towards poverty reduction
and economic reforms. As a result, the Paris Club cancelled
all of Togo’s debt, amounting to some $143.1 million, to
encourage the West African nation to pursue economic
Countries also indicated they intended to provide debt
relief on a bilateral basis to Togo amounting to $404
Failures of the year:
Despite steps taken towards political reform and fiscal
transparency, with Faure Gnassingbé still in power many
are not certain about whether these changes are just part
of a ploy by the ruling party to maintain its hold on power.
The government’s case isn’t helped by allegations that
journalists were threatened after they reported on a
human rights report that exposed torture in the country.
Moment of the year:
Leading Togolese football players were among at least six
people killed when a bus plunged into a ravine and caught
fire in November. Gnassingbe personally ordered those
injured to be taken to a military hospital in the capital,
Mo Ibrahim Index: 45.6 (35/53)
Democracy Index: 3.45
Press Freedom Index: 73 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.4 (134/183)
Human Development Index: 0.435
NMG Grade: 3/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba
Title: President of the Gabonese Republic since
October 16, 2009
Personal history:
Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba is the son of Omar Bongo, who
ruled Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. Served
as minister of defence and foreign affairs under his
father, joining the ministry in 1988. Won elections in
2009 that were rejected by the opposition.
Successes of the year:
Gabon qualified for the Olympic Games football
tournament for the first time after beating Senegal 1-0
in the African Under-23 Championship
Bongo headed the United Nations Security Council
for June. He was also given a formal invite by Barack
Obama to the White House, where they were to
discuss the progress of the partnership between their
two countries. Barack Obama came under fire for
extending the invite to an African dictator who has
plundered billions of dollars from his own country.
Failures of the year:
Bongo was shamed in an ABC News investigation
airing on World News with Diane Sawyer and
Nightline which showed him as a ruler over a family
empire, estimated by US investigators to be worth
hundreds of millions of dollars. His family is said to
have literally dozens of luxury homes worth millions of
dollars everywhere.
When protests erupted in Egypt a silent struggle also
emerged in Gabon, though these were over-shadowed.
These protests were violently suppressed by the
government, and it was alleged that opposition leaders
were kidnapped.
Moment of the year:
Father of Bongo, Gabon’s late President Omar Bongo,
was allegedly said by Wikileaks to have funded Nicolas
Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 50.7 (27/53)
Democracy Index: 3.29
Press Freedom Index: 69 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.8 (110/183)
Human Development Index: 0.674 (medium)
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
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Name: Andry Rajoelina
Title: President of the High Transitional Authority of
the Republic of Madagascar since March 18, 2009
Personal history:
Born to a middle class family, Andry Rajoelina
began his career as a disc jockey at clubs and
bars in Madagascar’s capital before moving to the
airwaves and gaining a national profile. He married
into a wealthy family and went on to own his own
radio station, Viva Radio. Launched the Determined
Malagasy Youth opposition movement and was elected
mayor of Antananarivo in 2007. Was handed the
presidency in March 2009 by a cabal of generals who
took power after democratically elected president
Marc Ravalomanana stepped down in the face of mass
protests. Nicknamed “TGV”, after the French highspeed
train Tres Grand Vitesse.
Successes of the year:
Rajoelina and Premier Jean Omer Beriziky finally
unveiled their new unity government Cabinet late
November. President Rajoelina stated that the next
step was for the people to choose whom they wanted
to lead the country. The new formation has five allies
of the toppled president Marc Ravalomanana, and
seven right-hand men of former president Albert Zafy,
a radical opposition leader.
Failures of the year:
Getting Rajoelina to commit to key political reforms
was tough and despite having a new Cabinet, cracks
began to emerge with resignations becoming the order
of the day. As the transitional government strove for
international recognition following the implementation
of the political roadmap championed by SADC, the new
officials did not seem able to deal with the crisis. Local
analysts believe that President Andry Rajoelina’s tough
stance towards exiled politicians was the cause of the
Cabinet exodus.
Madagascar’s opposition continued to demand the
immediate release of all people jailed following the
2009 coup that propelled Andry Rajoelina to power.
They were also calling for the reopening of all media
forcibly closed down after his take over.
The economy continued to falter and one consequence
of this is the rise of sex tourism and child prostitution.
Moment of the year:
Former president Didier Iganace Ratsiraka put in a
colourful performance as he stepped back on Malagasy
soil after a nine-year self-imposed absence in a return
that further raised hopes that the island’s longrunning
political crisis can be resolved. He said it was
necessary that a high-level forum involving himself,
Mr Ravalomanana, Mr Zafy and current leader Andriy
Rajoelina be held as a condition for his support of the
political road map to end the crisis.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 47.1
Democracy Index: 3.94
Press Freedom Index: 64 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.6 (123/183)
Human Development Index: 0.480
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 Grade: Morgue 2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Malam Bacai Sanha
Title: President of the Republic of Guinea-
Bissau, since September 8, 2009 (died in
Paris January 2012)
Personal history:
He took power in the presidential
elections of 2009. Was a member of the
African Party for the Independence of
Guinea and Cape Verde, and a former
aide to the “Father of Independence”
Amilcar Cabral. Served as President of
the National People’s Assembly from
1994 to 1999. Ran unsuccessfully for
president in 2000 and 2005. Took the
helm in 2009.
Successes of the year:
Malam Bacai Sanha was largely absent
from the scene due to health related
issues, but the fragile economy was
seen as improving. Guinea-Bissau was
commended by the IMF’s executive board
for “their satisfactory performance under
the Extended Credit Facility-supported
programme. Economic growth has been
buoyant, benefitting from
a good cashew harvest and strong
terms of trade, and backed by continued
prudent macroeconomic policies and
implementation of structural reforms.”
The outlook for 2012 is also positive.
Failures of the year:
A great deal of talk concerning Sanha
revolved around the state of his health
– he was in and out of various hospitals
throughout the year.
One major act he did carry out was a
major Cabinet reshuffle as a measure
for economic and security reforms. He
however came under fire for keeping
controversial Prime Minister Carlos
Gomes Jr. Mr Gomes has been in the
centre of a huge scandal linking him
to several high-profile assassinations,
culminating in a series of strikes.
Moment of the year:
In December, the leader was flown to
Paris for treatment where rumours
emerged that he had died (he died some
days later).
Mo Ibrahim Index: 37.2 (44/53)
Democracy Index: 1.99
Press Freedom Index: 57 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 2.1 (154/183)
Human Development Index: 0.353
NMG Grade: 3/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Paul Biya
Title: President of the
Republic of Cameroon since
November 6, 1982
Personal history:
Has held the presidency,
and indeed the whole
country, under his tight
grip since 1982. Became
prime minister in 1975, and
was chosen by president
Ahmadou Ahidjo as his
successor. Holds elections
from time to time, but these
have no credibility. Routinely
ranked amongst Africa’s
worst dictators.
Successes of the year:
Biya was re-elected for the
sixth time in 2011 with 77.9
percent of the vote. The
elections were however
marked by apathy and
The country welcomed the
news of the discovery of
about two billion tonnes
of iron ore deposits in the
south, but how much this
will benefit the citizens is
After suffering from
crippling power deficits,
the World Bank and the
International Finance
Corporation made an
agreement to finance and
guarantee a power project
at an estimated cost of
$168 million, which when
completed would provide
electricity to over 160,000
Cameroonian homes.
Failures of the year:
Poverty in Cameroon
remained endemic and
this does not look likely
to ease anytime soon as
Cameroon’s public debt
increased by 10.5 per cent in
the year.
The main opposition party
accepted and “took note” of
the result of the presidential
elections that extended
Biya’s rule, but added that
the election had not reflected
the will of the Cameroonian
people. The opposition were
also quick to point out that
no foreign leader attended
Biya’s inauguration.
Moment of the year:
When Biya ordered an
investigation into the failure
of the Cameroonian national
football team to honour a
November 15 friendly match
with Algeria.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 45.0
Democracy Index: 3.41
Press Freedom Index: 67
(not free)
Corruption Index: 2.2
Human Development
Index: 0.482
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 Grade: Morgue
2011 Grade: ICU
Name: Pierre Nkurunziza
Title: President of the
Republic of Burundi since
August 26, 2005
Personal history:
A university lecturer until
the Burundian civil war
in 1993, when he
joined the Forces for
the Defence of Democracy
as a soldier after the army
attacked his campus. Later
turned this rebel group
into a political party. Took
power in the 2005 presidential
Successes of the year:
Burundi’s tax revenue has grown by 35.7 per cent, three
years after it opened its borders to goods from the East
Africa Community. While revenue still trails those of
its regional partners — Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and
Tanzania — it represents a major breakthrough for the
tiny landlocked nation that gets 50 per cent of its national
budget from donors.
Failures of 2011:
Key Burundi opposition figures went undercover or fled the
country after President Nkurunziza was re-elected last year
in polls they said were rigged.
36 people were killed after unknown gunmen opened fire
in a crowded bar near the Burundi capital, Bujumbura in
September. Several grenade and gun attacks have taken
place in the country during the year, and though the
government has blamed attacks on bandits some fear a new
rebel group has emerged.
Moment of the year:
Burundi’s state media regulator suspended a popular radio
talk show because of accusations made by a caller about the
Mo Ibrahim Index: 45.1 (37/53)
Democracy Index: 4.01
Press Freedom Index: 74 (not free)
Corruption Index: 1.8 (170/183)
Human Development Index: 0.316
NMG Grade: 5/10 2010 Grade: D-
2011 Grade: Morgue
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: José Eduardo dos Santos
Title: President of the Republic of
Angola since 1979
Personal history:
An officer of the Popular Movement
for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)
who rose to the top ranks of the
organisation before being appointed
minister of foreign affairs in Angola’s
first government by president
Agostinho Neto. Following the death
of Neto in 1979, the ruling Central
Committee unanimously approved
the appointment of José Eduardo
dos Santos as the country’s second
Successes this year:
During its 36th Independence
anniversary, US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton congratulated the
country and said it was on the right
economic growth path.
Failures of the year:
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos
is one of Africa’s longest-serving
leaders, having been in power for
32 years. Last year he said he was
ready to go on as the country’s
leader. This has led to rising tensions
in the country ahead of elections due
next year, with opposition groups
calling for dos Santos to step down.
There have also been reports of
media intimidation this year. Global
media lobby Committee to Protect
Journalists has called on authorities
in Angola to ensure the safety of
journalists who have been critical of
the government.
Another lobby group, the Human
Rights Watch also appealed to the
Angolan government to desist from
use of unnecessary force to quell
protests. They cited December 3
as one of the occasions police and
other state security agents violently
dispersed a peaceful rally of about
100 youth in Luanda, the capital.
Moment of the year:
Jose Eduardo dos Santos announced
that his country was ready to
help bail-out former colonial ruler
Mo Ibrahim Index: 40.8 (42/53)
Democracy Index: 3.32
Press Freedom Index: 64 (not free)
Corruption Index: 1.9 (168/183)
Human Development Index: 0.486
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Yahya Jammeh
Title: President of the Republic of
the Gambia, since October 18, 1996
Personal history:
A 29-year-old army captain,
Jammeh returned with Gambian
forces from Liberia in 1994 and
staged a bloodless coup against the
longtime ruler, Sir Dawda Kairaba
Jawara. Has since won three
controversial rounds of elections.
Among Africa’s most bizarre and
colourful leaders, he claims mystic
powers, such as the ability to cure
Aids and asthma with single dose
herbal treatments and a bananarich
diet. His ability to read at
a functional level is doubted by
some. He has expressed ambitions
of territorial expansion. Carries a
sword at all times.
Successes of the year:
Mr. Jammeh secured his fourth
term in office as he was re-elected
this year with a landslide win, the
contest however was condemned
both by his main challenger and
African observers.
For 2011 Jammeh should
however be congratulated on the
appointment of the first female
army general in the West African
Failures of the year:
The presidential elections were only
just short of a comedy. Observers
from the main west African bloc
boycotted the polls, saying Mr
Jammeh’s control of the media
and intimidation of voters meant
the election could not be free, fair
and transparent. Meanwhile, Mr.
Jammeh was coming out with some
ridiculous sound-bites such as; “Do
I look like a loser? There is no way
that I can lose unless you tell me
that Gambians are mad”.
Moment of the year:
In May, President Yahya Jammeh
presented 114 tractors to all
the district chiefs to boost food
Mo Ibrahim Index: 51.8 (24/53)
Democracy Index: 3.38
Press Freedom Index: 81 (Not
Corruption Index: 3.2 (91/183)
Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Ismail Omar Guelleh
Title: President of Djibouti since
May 8, 1999
Personal history:
Born in Ethiopia, Guelleh was
groomed to succeed his uncle
Hassan Gouled Aptidon as president
and did so in 1999. He had a
previous career in the police, and
was trained by the French Secret
Service. He won the 2005 elections
with 100 per cent of the vote. He
was the only candidate in the race.
Successes of the year:
Guelleh secured a third term in
office after a landslide election
victory, despite protests against
his rule. He won 80 per cent of
the votes cast, according to the
country’s electoral commission. The
opposition had urged a boycott of
the polls, alleging irregularities.
Failures of the year:
Guelleh managed to thwart antigovernment
protestors demanding
his resignation. On February, an
estimated 30,000 Djiboutians
staged a protest in the centre of
Djibouti city that security forces
quelled. Since then arbitrary
arrests were carried out which the
Djiboutian human rights group,
ORDHD, has expressed concern over.
Moment of the year:
US Secretary of Defence Leon
Panetta visited Djibouti and
thanked Guelleh for his support and
Mo Ibrahim Index: 48.7 (29/53)
Democracy Index: 2.20
Press Freedom Index: 73 (not free)
Corruption Index: 3.2 (91/183)
Human Development Index: 0.430
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Mswati III (born
Makhosetive Dlamini)
Title: His Majesty the Ngwenyama
(King) of Swaziland since 1986
Personal history:
One of the many sons of King
Sobhuza II, the Great Council of
State (the Liqoqo) selected the 14-
year-old prince Makhosetive to be
the next king following Sobhuza’s
death in 1982. He was crowned
king on April 25, 1986.
Successes of the year:
King Mswati had few successes
this year. One “success” he could
count is that the anti-government
pro-democracy protests which took
place in the year did not unseat
Failures of the year:
King Mswati is widely accused of
leading a lavish lifestyle with his
13 wives, showing little concern
for the plight of his subjects.
Swaziland has been in the grip of
a financial crisis which forced the
government to ask neighbouring
South Africa for a bailout of $330
million to pay its bills. South Africa
did offer the bail-out, of which King
Mswati demanded a $57 million
cut for his efforts in securing it.
The International Monetary Fund
rejected the King’s loan requests.
The financial crisis saw the
threat of renewed protests as
the government scrambled to pull
together enough loans from local
banks and private businesses to pay
civil servants in November.
Moment of the year:
King Mswati allegedly evicted his
12th wife, Nothando Dube – the
one who had an affair with one
of the king’s ministers - from the
palace after she pepper-sprayed a
guard. However, the royal governor,
Timothy Velabo Mtetwa told the
Times of Swaziland she was away
visiting her grandmother.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 51.4 (26/53)
Democracy Index: 2.90
Press Freedom Index: 76
Corruption Index: 3.2 (91/183)
Human Development Index:
0.522 (low)
NMG Grade: 0/10
2010 Grade: F-
2011 Grade:
Name: Isaias Afewerki
Title: President of the State of
Eritrea since June 8, 1993
Personal history:
Descended from a line of Ethiopian
kings, Afewerki took leadership of
Eritrea after leading the country
to Independence in 1991. A cofounder
of the Eritrean People’s
Liberation Front, he successfully
ended 30 years of secessionist
warfare. Called off promised
elections in 1997, and governs a
one-party state. In 2008, he called
off elections.
Successes of the year:
Labelled the “bad boy” of the
Horn of Africa, Eritrea silently
works away at her own model
of development which keeps the
donors and dependency at bay.
Following a trip to the nation,
Gordon Peters, a member of the
World Democratic Movement,
observed a situation where
“people are poor but nobody is
really starving” and a countrywide
philosophy and practice of
self-sustainability. Afewerki also
seemed to be trying out a policy of
rapprochement with a “peace trip”
to Uganda and the submission of
an application to rejoin the regional
Inter-Governmental Authority on
Development bloc after four years’
Failures of the year:
Widespread human rights
violations continue and a “shoot
to kill” policy against anyone
attempting to flee across the
border remains in place.
Kenya and Eritrea had a huge
falling out, which could result in
more UN sanctions on the small
state, over the latter’s alleged
support for Al Shabaab insurgents
in Somalia.
Moment of the year:
The Eritrean government
announced a plan to send food
aid to hunger-hit Somalia, despite
having been classified by the UN as
also needing help.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 34.8 (47/53)
Democracy Index: 2.31
Press Freedom Index: 94 (not
free) Corruption Index: 2.6 (123/
183) Human Development Index:
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 Grade: Morgue
2011 Grade: Morgue
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Omar Hassan Al-Bashir
Title: President of the Republic of Sudan
since October 16, 1993
Personal history:
Al-Bashir came to power in a military coup in
1989, following which he dissolved parliament
and banned political parties. He faces two
international arrest warrants — issued by the
International Criminal Court in The Hague
— on charges of genocide, war crimes and
crimes against humanity. He has dismissed
the allegations and continues to travel to
countries that oppose the indictment.
Successes of the year:
Bashir accepted the outcome of a referendum
in which South Sudan voted overwhelmingly
for Independence. Bashir announced that he
will not stand in the next presidential election
due in four years.
Failures of the year:
Despite the partition of Sudan, there continue
to be tensions and military engagement over
the oil-rich Abyei region, both sides bitterly
claiming ownership of the fertile area. In
September, tensions reappeared between the
North and South as fighting broke out in the
Blue Nile State.
In November, Bashir threatened the South
with war over rebel attacks in bordering
Moment of the year:
When the government of Sudan gave its
blessing for an independent South Sudan.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 33.1
Democracy Index: 2.42
Press Freedom Index: 78 (not free)
Corruption Index: 1.6 (172/183)
Human Development Index: 0.408 (high)
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: Morgue 2011 Grade:
Name: François Bozizé
Title: President of
the Central African
Republic since
March 15, 2003
Personal history:
President Bozize seized
power in a coup in 2003,
before winning an election two years later.
Successes of the year:
Bozize was sworn in for a second five-year term
after winning re-election in January.
Failures of the year:
Bozize’s re-election was marred by vast
irregularities and the results were dismissed by
the opposition. One of the aspiring candidates
was former president Ange-Felix Patasse, who
after a long and chequered career was ousted
in a 2003 coup. Patasse died shortly after his
presidential bid in Cameroon while on his way
to Equatorial Guinea for medical treatment. He
had been earlier been barred from leaving the
country for health check-ups.
Moment of the year:
A US cable,leaked by Wikileaks, suggested
that President Francois Bozize had sought to
personally profit from money set aside for a
USAid-funded project that would have been an
integral part of an east-west road. According
to the cable, a frenzy of meetings with Bozize
and his cronies ahead of the scheduled
October 26, 2009 launch of the road works
left the US ambassador with the impression
that the president was “personally interested
in the monetary benefits that international
development money brings”.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 32.6 (49/53)
Democracy Index: 1.82
Press Freedom Index: 61 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.1 (154/183)
Human Development Index: 0.343
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: Morgue
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Joseph Kabila Kabange
Title: President of the Democratic
Republic of Congo since January 2001
Personal history:
He was a guerilla fighter alongside
his father, Joseph Kabila, to oust the
Mobutu regime. Once his father was
in power, he rose through the ranks
of government and became chief of
staff of the Land Forces, a position he
held until the elder president Kabila’s
assassination in January 2001. He
took office in January 2001, 10 days
after the murder of his father.
Successes of the year:
The governments of Kenya and
the Democratic Republic of Congo
established a joint team to investigate
the alleged trade in illegal gold.
Failures of the year:
In February, there was a mass attack
on the president’s residence. A
government spokesman described the
raid as an attempted coup.
Kabila’s “victory” in the 2011
presidential elections cannot be
described as a success. The polls
emerged amidst fears of violence,
rigging and deaths of opposition
protestors. Both Kabila and
international observers said the
poll was flawed, but the president
defended his re-election.
Moment of the year:
Kabila’s mother created a stir when
she called on Rev Ambilikile Masapila
(a former pastor behind a herbal
concoction believed to be able to
cure all diseases including HIV/ Aids
cancer, paralysis and diabetes) for a
dose of the mugariga concoction.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 32.4 (50/53)
Democracy Index: 2.15
Press Freedom Index: 81 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.0 (164/183)
Human Development Index: 0.286
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: ICU
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Teodoro
Obiang Nguema
Title: President of
the Republic of
Guinea since
August 1979
President Obiang is
one of Africa’s few totalitarians. Teodoro
is the nephew of founding president and
dictator Francisco Macías Nguema, whom
he deposed in a coup. A brutal dictator, he
has once claimed through state radio to
be a “god.” Has siphoned off profits from
the tiny country’s recently discovered oil
reserves and stashed it in overseas accounts
and is listed by Forbes magazine as one of
the wealthiest heads of state in the world,
having amassed a fortune of $600 million
or more.
Successes of the year:
In 2011, Obiang’s government called for a
referendum over a new constitution that
seeks to introduce a presidential term
limit and a vice presidency position. The
opposition however described the process
as a sham. Thanks to copious oil, Equatorial
Guinea has one of the highest per capita
incomes on the entire continent.
Failures of the year:
In February 2011, the government imposed
a news blackout on the political protests
in North Africa, and later denied its
own citizens the right to hold peaceful
demonstrations. As for the constitutional
changes, critics say they will allow Obiang to
hand-pick his successor, most definitely his
son. Archbishop Desmond Tutu published a
powerful op-ed against the Unesco-Obiang
prize’s $3 million endowment which he
said “should be used to benefit the people
of Equatorial Guinea — from whom these
funds have been taken — rather than to
glorify their president.” The prize was
suspended for the second year running.
Moment of the year:
France seized 11 high-end vehicles in Paris
belonging to the president and his son in
compliance with an action initiated by
anti corruption organisation Transparency
International. Transparency International is
pursuing President Obiang for theft of public
Mo Ibrahim Index: 36.5 (45/53)
Democracy Index: 1.84
Press Freedom Index: 90 (not free)
Corruption Index: 1.9 (172/183)
Human Development Index: 0.537
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: Morgue 2011 Grade:
Name: Idriss Deby Itno
Title: President of the Republic of Chad since
December 1990
Personal history:
A military man who came to power in 1990 after
toppling president Hissene Habre, his former
mentor, with the help of the French secret service.
Successes of the year:
Being re-elected for a fourth term with 89 per cent
of the April vote. Despite repressive laws, a meeting
of media editors from the Central Africa region
opened in July in the Chad capital, N’Djamena.
A step towards peace — the rebel group Popular
Front for Reconstruction signed a peace accord
with the government, paving the way for it to
return home after setting up in the Central African
Republic around three years ago.
Failures of the year:
The main opposition parties accused Deby’s
Patriotic Salvation Movement of rigging February’s
parliamentary elections and pulled out of the
presidential poll. They said they would refuse to
recognise the results and handed Deby an easy
victory. The Libyan civil war had a huge negative
impact on Chad. The International Crisis Group
warned of a massive flight home of migrants, the
possible resurgence of militant Islamism and the
proliferation of fighters and weapons.
Moment of the year:
The government of Chad and Chinese engineering
firm CAMC signed a $1 billion deal to build a new
international airport north of the capital N’Djamena.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 30.6 (52/53)
Democracy Index: 1.52
Press Freedom Index: 75 (not free)
Corruption Index: 1.7 (171/183)
Human Development Index: 0.328
NMG Grade: 1/10
2010 Grade: Morgue 2011 Grade:
cove≥ sto≥y
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012
Name: Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Title: President of the Republic of
Zimbabwe since 1987
Personal history:
Mugabe rose to prominence in the
1960s as the secretary general of
the Zimbabwe African National
Union (ZANU) during the liberation
war against the white minority rule
government of Ian Smith. He was a
political prisoner in Rhodesia for more
than 10 years, a freedom fighter on his
release, and the prime minister following
Zimbabwe’s first all-race elections. In
1987, the position of prime minister
was abolished and Mugabe assumed
the new office of executive President of
Successes of the year:
China’s good relations with Mugabe’s
government led to the construction of
an orphanage for 1,000 children.
Zimbabwe’s finance minister projected
a 9 per cent growth in the economy in
2012 “driven by stronger farm output
and mine exports”.
Failures of the year:
There has been an ongoing political
crisis between the main parties in the
unity government: President Mugabe’s
party, Zanu PF, and the Movement
for Democratic Change led by Prime
Minister Morgn Tsvangirai.
Mugabe’s decision to invoke an equity
law which would transfer majority
stakes to local blacks has caused
anxiety among foreign investors.
Zimbabwe continues to struggle to feed
its population.
Moment of the year:
There are a few “must mentions”:
Mugabe called British Prime Minister
David Cameron “satanic” for considering
withholding aid from countries that do
not respect gay rights; he donated three
elephants to China, but most surprising
of all, Mugabe known for his anti-British
outbursts and seizing white-owned
farms, showered praises on newly
appointed Zambia Vice-President Guy
Scott, who is of British origin, and called
him “my brother and one of us.”
Mo Ibrahim Index: 30.9 (51/53)
Democracy Index: 2.64
Press Freedom Index: 81 (not free)
Corruption Index: 2.4 (134/186)
Human Development Index: 0.376
NMG Grade: 0/10
2010 Grade: Morgue
2011 Grade: Morgue
Name: Sheikh Sharif Sheikh
Title: Transitional Federal
President of Somalia since
January 31, 2009
Personal history:
Memorised the Koran as
a child, and succeeded his
father as spiritual leader of
Somalia’s Idriseeyah sect
of Sufi Islam. Was elected
chairman of the Islamic
Courts Union in 2004
after one of his students
was kidnapped by bandits.
Fought against warlords and
disorder and took power in
2006, before being chased
from power by the Ethiopian
army. Lived in exile in Kenya
and Yemen before winning
the presidential elections of
January 31, 2009.
Successes of the year:
Due to perceptions of
improved security, in
December, Italy and
the United Nations both
announced they are
reopening their missions
in Mogadishu after two
decades’ absence. The
implementation of a
roadmap to transform the
transitional government into
a permanent one was on
Failures of the year:
The government’s inability
to plan for water storage,
irrigation, strategic food
stocks, and investment
in food distribution
infrastructure has seen
Somalia face “the worst
drought in north-east Africa
for 60 years” without
More than 800,000 Somalis
crossed into Kenya and
turned already crowded
refugee camps into disaster
In October, President
Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
continued to maintain his
opposition to the presence
of Kenyan troops in Somalia.
Sharif repeated that Kenya
was wrong in sending troops
into Somalia, hinting that
Nairobi’s action amounted
to a breach of Somalia’s
Moment of the year:
When UN Secretary-
General Ban Ki-Moon made
an unexpected visit to
Mo Ibrahim Index: 7.9
Democracy Index: n/a
Press Freedom Index: 84
(not free)
Corruption Index: 1.1 (178/
183) Human Development
Index: 0.284
NMG Grade: 2/10
2010 grade: Morgue
2011 Grade:
Name: Salva Kiir Mayardit
Title: President of the
Republic of South Sudan
Personal history:
Kiir is a military man. He was
part of the first Sudanese
civil war in the late 1960s
and joined the Sudan People’s
Liberation Movement in the
second civil war where he
eventually rose to head the
Sudan People’s Liberation
Army. The former rebel
commander has guided his
homeland of South Sudan
through multiple challenges
since a 2005 peace deal
ended two decades of war
with the north.
Successes of the year:
Celebrated Independence in
The oil ministry estimated
that from July 9, 2011 to
December 31, 2011, South
Sudan sold 33.4 million
barrels of oil to international
buyers at an estimated value
of $3.2 billion, despite a
deadlock in negotiations with
the North on the industry.
An anti-dumping law forming
a statutory regulatory body
was established to fight
Failures of the year:
Persisting violence in the
new state due to both border
tension and internal rebel
conflict. Most recently, South
Sudan says provocations
by Sudan, particularly the
occupation of her border
areas, were “too much” and
that it has ordered its army
to expel Sudan forces from
Jau area in the oil-rich Unity
state. President Salva Kiir did
take initiatives to normalise
relations between the two
countries with a visit to the
North but relations remain
Moment of the year:
In July the President Salva
Kiir, told his war-weary
citizens that the new nation,
which was home to a conflict
that claimed the highest
number of civilian casualties
since the Second World War,
would now be a maker of
peace and never a wager of
Mo Ibrahim Index: n/a
Democracy Index: n/a
Press Freedom Index: n/a
Corruption Index: n/a
Human Development
Index: n/a
NMG Grade: 6/10
2010 Grade: n/a
2011 Grade: n/a
Name: Manuel Pinto da
Title: President of the
Democratic Republic of
Sao Tome and Principe
since August 2011
Personal history:
Pinto da Costa is an
economist and politician
served as the first President
of São Tomé and Príncipe
from 1975 to 1991. He
ruled with an iron fist and
observers warned that his
return to power in 2011
could herald a slide towards
Successes of the year:
Pinto da Costa returned to
power after again being
elected head of state by
winning 52.8 per cent of a
run-off poll in August.
Failures of the year:
There was been an uneasy
political cohabitation
between the new head of
state and the administration
of Prime Minister Patrice
Trovoada, of the ruling
party, Acção Democrática
Independente. The
main challenge for the
government was managing
the increase in foreign direct
investment in the oil sector
and rising inflows of donor
Moment of the year:
São Tomé and Príncipe
has two higher education
institutes, but does not
yet have its own public
university. Funding higher
education overseas for
almost 1,000 students costs
the government more than
$3m a year. The government
was embarrassed when
hundreds of Saotoméan
students studying overseas
had their funding frozen for
six months.
Mo Ibrahim Index: 58.4
Democracy Index: n/a
Press Freedom Index: 29
Corruption Index: 3.0
Human Development
Index: 0.509
NMG Grade: 7/10
2010 Grade: n/a
2011 Grade: N/A
Name: James Alix Michel
Title: President of the Republic of Seychelles
since April 14, 2004
Personal history:
A former teacher and army colonel, Michel
became active in politics in 1974. He served
alongside former president France-Albert
René after he came to power in a bloodless
coup in 1977 which secured the island’s
Independence. He served as the country’s vice
president from 1996 to 2004, and succeeded
René as president.
Successes of the year:
Michel was peacefully re-elected in May this
year with a promise to revamp the country’s
economy battered by the 2008 global
economic slump. He has delivered - extensive
and continuing reform.
Failures of the year:
Piracy has been a real headache for Michel
this year. It is estimated to have cost the
nation $17 million but that doesn’t include the
added cost of patrols within their territorial
waters. Fisheries is a major sector and
employer in Seychelles and pirate attacks on
local and foreign fishing vessels are said to
have cost at least $4 million over the year.
Moment of the year:
In December Michel sent letters to world
leaders telling them that there is a ‘silver
bullet’ to put an end to the skyrocketing
scourge of piracy, especially in the Indian
Ocean. The president has urged the 25
world leaders and organisations such as the
European Union, United Nations and NATO
to act without delay with an intervention in
Mo Ibrahim Index: 73.5
Democracy Index: n/a
Press Freedom Index: 56 (partly free)
Corruption Index: 4.8 (49/183)
Human Development Index: 0.773
NMG Grade: 9/10
2010 Grade: B
2011 Grade: Incomplete
The EastAfrican
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2012