Former finance minister, Tendai Biti has lost out to former US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who was voted the winner of the Chatham House Prize 2013.
Biti had been nominated for stabilising and de-politicising the Zimbabwean economy and being instrumental in the re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community.
Biti has developed a reputation within the government of national unity for engaging constructively with all parties while driving a hard bargain on economic reform. He ended the period of hyper-inflation that had crippled the country, and his budget for 2013 has been praised for assisting the poor and empowering young people and women.
Biti has been instrumental in the re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community. In recognition of this and his economic policies, in 2009 the executive board of the International Monetary Fund approved the provision of technical assistance to the country, and in 2010 he negotiated the restoration of Zimbabwe’s voting rights and access to resources.
The annual Chatham House Prize is awarded to the statesperson who is deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.
The selection process draws on the expertise of Chatham House’s research teams and three presidents, who nominate candidates. Members are then invited to vote for the winner in a ballot.