SUDANESE-BORN British billionaire and mobile communications tycoon Mo Ibrahim, the man who rewards African presidents for good governance, has praised South Africa for hosting a memorable Fifa World Cup.
The respected Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which has been running for three years, has been won by former presidents Nelson Mandela, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Festus Mogae of Botswana.
The winner gets US5million (about R37,7m) over 10 years and US200000 (R1550294) for life.
Through his Mo Ibrahim Index he also measures and ranks good governance in all 53 African countries.
Sowetan caught up with him at the One & Only hotel in Cape Town this week.
"I feel proud for South Africa. This is a huge undertaking. I thank South Africans for doing us proud," he said.
Ibrahim said for Africa to stage such a successful tournament at its first try showed that the continent was ready to take on the world.
"I'm sorry you (Bafana-Bafana) exited early, but you knocked out France," he said.
Ibrahim said Ghana, the only African team to reach the quarterfinals, "has a huge responsibility now" because it represents the hopes of the continent.
Last year his prize committee snubbed African leaders. Former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Ghana's John Kufour were contenders for the Mo Ibrahim Prize, but none received it.
This year the committee did it again. It announced last month that there was no winner for 2010.
Ibrahim said "I don't give the prize", saying the committee acted independently, and its decisions had to be respected.
"This is a prize for excellence," he said, pointing out that Africa had success stories and leaders who had done well.
Among others he singled out Botswana as one of the countries that had managed to utilise its resources to help its own people.
In terms of good governance, he said, Africa was on the right track but needed to use its resources to benefit its people.
"We are not stupid," he said. "We are not weak. Why should we wait for the world to give us some charity here, some charity there?
"It hurts me to see this continent, which is rich and resourceful, yet our people are suffering. I can't find an explanation for that other than good governance and leadership."
Ibrahim called on political parties in South Africa to demonstrate good leadership and deal effectively with the threats of xenophobia as the country's future economic expansion was in Africa.
"How can that be done if Zimbabweans and Congolese in South Africa are harassed?"
The police or security action alone would not end the threats, he said.
Ibrahim said the recent unity governments in Zimbabwe and Kenya were the "best of a bad situation".
He said "there is no need for a bloodbath and all that nonsense," and hoped that those countries would call for free and fair elections.