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Learning English - Words in the News
24 October, 2007 - Published 16:33 GMT
Chissano wins prize for good African leadership
Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Chissano

The former president of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, has been announced as the winner of a five million dollar prize for good African leadership. This report from Mark Doyle:

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The five million dollar prize financed by the African businessman Mo Ibrahim is designed to encourage better leadership on a continent where until recently dictators were almost the norm.

The former leader of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, won the award because he steered his country out of civil war and oversaw the introduction of multi-party democracy. Mozambique, which is sandwiched between South Africa and the Indian Ocean, also played a key role in the downfall of the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa.

Mr Chissano wasn't at the ceremony in London where the prize was announced, but I met him in Mozambique a few weeks ago. When I asked him what he would do with five million dollars, he laughed and said, "I wouldn't be shy, I would live better and also help those around me."

Listen to the words

designed to encourage
made in a way that persuades or makes people more likely to do something

a continent
one of the seven large land masses on Earth, surrounded, or mainly surrounded, by water and usually consisting of various countries (Africa is a continent)

political leaders who have absolute or complete power and who have not been elected by the people

the norm
normal or usual

The former leader
The previous leader, someone who is no longer the president or prime minister

steered his country
took or led the people of Mozambique

was in charge of and made certain something was done correctly

is sandwiched between
lies or is situated between

a key role in the downfall of
a central part in removing the power of

white supremacist apartheid regime
law and government system which believes that white people are superior to or better than black people and which makes it illegal for people of different races to live together equally

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