SOMALIA: Hassan Sheik Mohamud President of Somalia, 57

Emerging from the presidential contest of September 2012, Somalia’s Hassan Sheik Mohamud is discarding destructive clan-based politics in favor of anticorruption measures and national reconciliation as well as embracing vital security-sector and economic reforms.

A 17,000-strong African Union force finally helped to restore security in Somalia, but there should be no illusions about the challenges that come with governing a nation torn apart by two decades of civil war.

Almost 20 years of rebuilding in Rwanda has taught us that there is no definitive manual for leading nations through and beyond debilitating conflict. President Mohamud is faced with the difficult task of balancing much needed international assistance with asserting Somalia’s right to govern itself.

The leader of Somalia’s first constitutional government in 20 years, President Mohamud symbolizes an increasingly confident Africa that is shedding its long history of strife and moving toward greater stability and prosperity.

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