H.E. Ex-President Pedro Pires was a leader in the independence struggle for the Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde. He became the founding Prime Minister after Cabo Verde’s independence and served three mandates from 1975 until 1991. He ushered in multi-party democracy in Cabo Verde in 1991 and he became President in 2001 after winning closely contested presidential polls and was reelected in 2006. He won the Ibrahim Prize for African leadership in 2011 and in 2014, he launched the Pedro Pires Leadership Institute which focusses on fostering innovative approaches to the challenges faced by political and leadership institutions in Cabo Verde and in Africa. Activities include research, strategic dialogue and capacity-building, focussing on issues of governance, rule of law as well as political and social leadership in Cabo Verde and in Africa. He also chairs the Amilcar Cabral Foundation. President Pires is a member of the Africa Forum, UN Ambassador of Drylands, Member of the Committee on Combating Drugs in West Africa of the Ko Annan Foundation, Member of the Advisory Council of Honour of the African Foundation for Leadership and Governance, Member of the Jury of the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize and Member of the Prize Jose Marti Cuba/ UNESCO.