Suffice to say that the prize goes with a $5 million prize, but the award is not so much about the money. It stands much more than the cash. The aims of the award truly mirror the virtues that we see in Mogae's deeds.
The award recognises the sterling work by the former president during his 10-year reign.
In particular, it is testimony to the solid foundation that Mogae laid for good governance and most importantly the fact that when his term came to an end, he did not do what other African leaders do - trying to change the constitution to over-extend his stay in office.
The former president will particularly be remembered for his tireless efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS in the country. There was a time when the epidemic seemed set to decimate the population of this country and this eventuality would have come to pass if Mogae had not been equal to the task.
Today AIDS is still a huge problem, but before he retired, Mogae managed to arrest the high infection rate reduced the stigma associated with People Living and with HIV/AIDS.
He brought hope to people that had given up hope by introducing Anti-Retrovirals and the Prevention-of-Mother-to-Child-Transmission of HIV/AIDS programme. In a
nutshell, Mogae left a solid foundation in the fight against HIV/AIDS. His is a record to be emulated by other leaders in Africa and the world.
Outside the health sector, Mogae left a good economic foundation for his country.
Botswana has a sound infrastructure for good governance. There are very few people in Africa - even in the world - who qualify for the Mo Ibrahim Award than Mogae. We congratulate Rre Mogae for getting what he richly deserves.
On a sombre note, we join the people of Mahalapye who lost their deputy chief, Samuel Maherero who was buried over the weekend. To many who know him, Mahereo was not only a community leader but a cultural activist and a unifier. He had been involved in many community development projects besides dabbling in politics during his formative years. Maherero carried the torch of Baherero community in Mahalapye. He was a true epitome of the principle of unity in diversity and continuity in variety. At every instance, he advanced the culture of his people and respected the cultures of other people. Rest in peace son of Africa.
In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.
- Thurgood Marshall