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Meet the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

September 30, 2011
Mo Ibrahim

Mo Ibrahim created his foundation to support good governance in Africa.

The Common Ground Awards are coming up (October 27) and if you’d like to come get your tickets now!

Leading up to the event we’ll be showcasing one of our exceptional 2011 awardees each week and today the spotlight is on the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

In 2006, Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British philanthropist founded the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. He established his own corporation, Celtel, a major mobile phone operator in Africa and became a successful entrepreneur. His heart’s passion, however, has been social uplift in his continent of origin. Ibrahim has continuously championed social change through the alleviation of poverty and good governance from African leaders. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation supports and nurtures strong leadership in Africa.

The Foundation works to:

  • Provide a framework and tools by which citizens and governments can assess and measure progress in governance
  • Recognize excellence in African leadership and provide a practical way in which leaders can build positive legacies on the continent when they have left national office
  • Stimulate debate on the quality of governance and major governance issues in Africa
  • Develop leadership and governance capacity in Africa

These aims are achieved through the Foundation’s four major program areas:

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

This prize, which celebrates excellence in African leadership, is awarded to a former Executive Head of State by a Prize Committee composed of eminent figures, including three Nobel Laureates. Previous recipients include Mozambique’s President Joaquim Chissano (2007), Botswana’s President Festus Mogae (2008) and former South African President Nelson Mandela (Honorary). The prize is worth $5m over 10 years and $200,000 for life annually thereafter. It was not awarded in 2009 or 2010 for the lack of suitable candidates. The winner of this year will be announced on October 10, 2011.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance

In conjunction with the award, the foundation publishes an annual index on the quality of governance in every African country, designed to promote and stimulate debate around the world. The index informs and empowers citizens, civil society and governments to measure progress and hold their leaders accountable.

The Ibrahim Discussion Forum

The forum is an annual high level discussion forum where participants discuss the African agenda articulated by the Foundation in collaboration with key members of African civil society. This year it will be held in Tunisia.

Capacity Building Programs

The Ibrahim Scholarship Programs support aspiring African leaders at a number of distinguished academic institutions. The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships is a program designed to identify and prepare the next generation of outstanding African leaders by providing them with mentoring opportunities in key multilateral institutions.

By supporting good governance the Mo Ibrahim Foundation contributes significantly to peacebuilding as demonstrated by the winners of the Ibrahim Prize. President Joaquim Chissano led Mozambique from conflict to peace by speaking with the opposition and to bringing them to the table.

President Mogae’s outstanding leadership has ensured Botswana’s continued stability and prosperity in the face of an HIV/Aids pandemic which threatened the future of his country and people. Mogae consolidated the democracy and deepened it by practiced, accountable governance, respect of the rule of law, independence of the courts, respect for human rights, including women’s rights.

The support of such leaders as well as the Ibrahim Index and the Forum provide the peoples of Africa with role models and inspiration to continue their efforts for peace and prosperity.

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