Mo Ibrahim was born in Sudan and started Celtel, a company that led the way in introducing mobile telecommunications to Africa. When the company was sold in 2005, Celtel had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries.
Since then, Mo has become an incredible philanthropist dedicated to helping improve governance and government transparency in Africa. His foundation publishes the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) that evaluates the performance of African governments based on many objective metrics. The foundation also sponsors the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, an award given to African leaders who have developed their countries, lifted people out of poverty, moved their countries forward.
Part of what’s held back Africa’s development is a lack of what good governance can provide – schools, health clinics, roads and other infrastructure. As an African himself, Mo is very effective at drawing attention to the need for improvement in this area.
I really enjoyed meeting with Mo. It got me even more energized about the opportunities for our foundation to help Africa develop and become self-sustaining.