Dr. Mo Ibrahim: …Africa’s Most Influential Person

Of all the millionaires and billionaires in Africa and beyond, absolutely no one has been more bold, selfless, determined, passionate and practical in trying to help Africa by influencing what millions agree has been Africa’s No.1 stumbling block to development and progress…dictatorships and bad governments, like Dr. Mo Ibrahim.

When talk has not helped, cries and complaints haven’t either and Coup D’états just outright bloody and outdated and democracy not easily forthcoming, Dr. Mo Ibrahim came unto the scene with a most sincere, straightforward and selfless approach…to give away millions of his money to any leader who practiced good governance towards his/her people and helps in the development of his/her country. With no easy answers, a one man’s mission to help is an unforgettable gesture by a kind, good and humble African.

Who else in the worldwide world would give away $5million over 10 years and then $200,000 every year for life after, just to encourage African leaders to be good to their own people? This is the most valuable individual annual award in the world and despite doubts and reservations; only Dr. Mo Ibrahim amongst Africa’s billionaires has been the boldest and most selfless to sacrifice his money, job and time to fight for Africans by trying to encourage their leaders to be good to them. Even Jesus who was a messiah did much good but yet did not erase evil. Judging from his intentions, we see Dr. Mo Ibrahim as Africa’s Messiah.  It is not whether his approach is effective or not. It is his vision for Africa that is interesting for others will fund rebellions. He isn’t one of those.

Dr. Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese born British business man. He is an expert in mobile communications and founder and Chairman of one of Africa’s most successful companies, Celtel International. Founded in 1998, Celtel International has brought the benefits of mobile communications to millions of people across the African continent. The company operates in 15 African countries, covering more than a third of the continent’s population, and has invested more than US$750 million in Africa. In 2005, Celtel International was sold to MTC Kuwait for $3.4 billion.

In October 2006, Dr. Ibrahim launched the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to support good governance and great leadership in Africa. In 2007, Dr. Ibrahim stepped down as Chairman of Celtel International to concentrate on this initiative.

He argues that the prize is needed because many African leaders come from poor backgrounds and are tempted to hang on to power for fear that poverty is what awaits them when they give up the levers of power.

What is the Mo Ibrahim Prize about?

The Mo Ibrahim prize is a $5 million dollars incentive awarded to an African leader chosen by a panel of jurors, who have consistently worked to improve good governance in his country and for his people, and have helped to develop his nation and most importantly, has voluntarily stepped down from power without forced either through resignation or accepting defeat by an election. (Leaders in office are not eligible).

The prize is paid as follows:

5 Million US Dollars for 10 years plus US$200,000 annually for life thereafter.

Kofi Annan is head of the jury of the Mo Ibrahim prize for African Leadership awarded annually to a chosen African leader with a good record.