No former African leader has claimed the $5m (£4m) Mo Ibrahim prize this year – the sixth time in 10 years that it has not been awarded.
The prize is supposed to be awarded each year to an elected leader who governed well, raised living standards and then left office.
It was launched by Sudan-born telecoms entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim in an attempt to encourage African leaders to leave power peacefully.
But for the second consecutive time no African leader has managed to win the prize.
Mo Ibrahim said: “As I emphasise each year, a very high bar was deliberately set when the prize was launched in 2006. We recognise and applaud the important contributions that many African leaders have made to change their countries for the better
“But the prize is intended to highlight and celebrate truly exceptional leadership, which is uncommon by its very definition.”
The candidates the Mo Ibrahim Foundation considered for the 2016 prize were all former heads of state or who had left office between 2014-2016 “having been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated term”.
During this time, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan left office in May 2015 after losing elections, Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete handed over power in November 2015 after two terms in office and Malawi’s Joyce Banda left office in May 2014 after defeat in elections.
The prize was last awarded for two years’ ago:
Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba – 2014
Cape Verde’s Pedro Pires – 2011
Botswana’s Festus Mogae – 2008
Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano – 2007
South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, inaugural honorary laureate in 2007
Their $5m prize is spread over 10 years, with a further $200,000 a year for life.