Kigali, 27 April 2018


  • Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
  • Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of the Republic of Liberia
  • Excellency, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, my friend and brother Hailemariam Desalegn
  • Excellencies, Former Heads of State and Government
  • Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen


A good evening to you, and welcome to Rwanda.

The Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend is an important event, and we are honoured that you chose to meet in Kigali. We thank you.

We all share the conviction that accountable governance and service delivery are the core responsibilities of government.

Tonight is about underscoring that shared commitment.

I would like to congratulate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for her selection as the 2017 Ibrahim Prize Laureate.

The committee’s choice recognises her achievements in leading Liberia through a particularly consequential period of its history.

We salute President Johnson Sirleaf, and wish the people of Liberia all the best in the years ahead, as they build on the good foundation laid during her tenure in office.

Leadership is both a privilege and a duty.

It is best measured in terms of concrete results that citizens can feel in their everyday lives, as well as in the level of trust that they have in public institutions.

During our time in office, we must work as hard as we can, to do the right things for our people’s future, no matter how difficult.

The focus of the Ibrahim Forum tomorrow, on public service in Africa and the civic contract, is therefore entirely on target.

This is where our energies should be directed, and I am very much looking forward to participating in the discussions, together with many of you.

Congratulations once again to this year’s honouree, and also to the Board and staff of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, for your important work on behalf of our continent.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to end here by thanking you for your kind attention, and please enjoy this very special evening.