The London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced a $1 million award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in recognition of Tutu's lifelong commitment to "speaking truth to power."
To be presented at the Ibrahim Discussion Forum in Dakar later this year, the one-off award was "motivated by the desire to make an extraordinary grant to an outstanding African civil society champion," the foundation said in a statement posted online. "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."
The award is not a substitute for the $5 million Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which honors a former African head of state who has served their constitutionally mandated term, left office within the past three years, and demonstrated excellence while on duty. The winner of the 2012 Ibrahim Prize will be announced on October 15.
"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," said the foundation's founder, businessman, and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim. "His 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."