It would seem that there are no worthwhile (past) African leaders in the entirety of Africa.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, established on the premise of improving the quality of governance across the continent, has for the past several years awarded the African Leadership Prize to previous leaders who have done well to support the cause of good governance in their respective countries. This year no such prize was awarded. While Ibrahim claims that there are "no issues of disrespect" surrounding the decision, it nevertheless comes as quite a low blow, especially to the likes of Mbeki and Kufour who - while no doubt boasting highly dubious governance records - were the likely contenders.
Aside from a nice pat on the back, however, the effectiveness of the prize (if the conferring of a prize can indeed be effective) is questionable. The general idea underpinning the award is that by singling out previous statesmen who supported democracy, the rule of law, and all other such things that have come to be lumped under the general notion of 'governance,' sitting leaders will be encouraged to act similarly. Yet, as the BBC rightly points out, this doesn't at all seem to be the case:
Uganda, Chad and Cameroon have all changed their constitutions so their leaders can retain their positions.
There have been coups in Guinea, Mauritania and Madagascar, as well as several elections that fell well short of international standards. And the countries that have received most praise from Mo Ibrahim's foundation this year - Mauritius, Cape Verde and Seychelles - are far from the continent's centres of power.