Johannesburg - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has won the ``one-off’’ Extraordinary award of Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Mo Ibrahim, the chairman of the Foundation, told newsmen on Thursday in Johannesburg that the body gave Tutu the award for his lifelong commitment to speaking the truth.
He said the award which is accompanied by a grant of one million dollars (about N 160 million) will be presented to Tutu personally in Dakar, Senegal, during the annual Ibrahim Discussion Forum, which focuses on the youth.
``This Special Award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu is motivated by the desire to make an extraordinary grant to an outstanding African civil society champion.
``Archbishop Desmond Tutu is and has throughout his life been one of Africa’s great voices for justice, freedom, democracy and responsible, responsive government.
``In everything he stands for, says, and does, he displays a consistent determination to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak the uncomfortable truth.
``Whether one always agrees with Archbishop Tutu or not, his contribution to dialogue, to accountability, and to the debate on Africa’s future has been unparalleled,’’ Ibrahim said.
He said Tutu’s integrity and moral authority deserve recognition.
``We hope this Award will inspire the next generation to follow Archbishop Tutu’s example and speak truth to power,’’ Ibrahim said.
He, however, said that the Award does not replace the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement to a democratically elected former
African Executive Head of State or Government who has served only their constitution mandated term.
``Tutu award is a special one, it does not replace the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which is awarded to
a democratically elected former African Executive Head of State or Government.
``It Is one-off award, but it’s added to the African leadership achievement award,’’ Ibrahim said.
He said the 2012 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has not yet been adjudicated, saying that ``It will be announced in London on Oct. 15th''.
The Leadership award was established in 2007, and previous winners include Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Joaquim Chissano
of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana, and Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires of Cape Verde.