More scientists and engineers becoming African presidents

Guest post by Kenyan Harvard Professor Calestous Juma
at Forbes.

Africa’s Leadership Fails Billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s Test, But Technocrats Rise

Calestous JumaThis is a guest post by Harvard professor Calestous Juma

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced that it could not find a winner for its US$5 million prize for good governance in Africa. The selection panel said no candidate had met all of the criteria, as was the case in 2009 and 2010.

The foundation has set high and commendable standards for performance, which African leaders should aspire to achieve as the continent works to strengthen other democratic institutions. Two decades ago Africa’s leadership was dominated by autocrats, many of whom had risen to power through military coups. (For an opinionated take and some bacon the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Award, see this post).

But it appears that the road to democracy is being bridged by a rising technocracy.

While the Mo Ibrahim Foundation was announcing the “no winner” in London, the African Union was installing a South African medic, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as its new chairperson in Addis Ababa. In 2012 alone, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tunisia and Somalia elected engineers to top political offices. Eritrea and Nigeria are headed by an engineer and a fisheries scientist, respectively.

Read the rest at Forbes.

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