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Dr Mo Ibrahim is a pioneer in promoting governance issues in Africa. In 2006, he founded the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the continent.
Each year, the Foundation publishes the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which assesses governance provision within four distinct conceptual categories: Sustainable Economic Opportunity, Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, and Human Development.
Below, is a top 10 list of Mo’s best quotes about doing business and development in Africa.
- ‘Governance is everything. Without governance we have nothing.’
- ‘It’s interesting to see some of our top performers in Africa are countries that are not resource rich, because that forces countries really to look at where they can grow their economy instead of just being laid back and dependent on oil or another resource. I hate to use that term ‘resource curse’, but when you are resource rich you tend to be lazy.’
- ‘There is another way of doing business. Yes, business is about profits, that is the first objective of business. But it also should be about people and about the planet.’
- ‘When people talk about infrastructure [in Africa] they think of highways and bridges… But the internet really is an essential part of that infrastructure. We need it.’
- ‘What kind of education are we giving young people [in Africa]? Only two per cent of university graduates study agriculture; 27 per cent study humanities. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Where are the jobs of tomorrow going to come from? What skills should we give to our kids?’
- ‘To strengthen statistical offices in Africa is not as sexy as opening a hospital. But if there is a statistical office and if people have data, we will be able to open more hospitals more efficiently in the best places to meet the right needs. So we need to really think about how we are going to deal with that.’
- ‘It always amazes me how, when we talk about corruption, we only speak about corrupt politicians. And it was interesting to see that until the year 2000, bribery was legal in Europe. It was under business expenses and tax deductible… We need to deal with it on both sides in order, really, to move forward.’
- ‘What we need to do is look at numbers and not wonderful leaders’ speeches. I want to know what leaders did in the last 12 months. We need to measure this every year and we need to produce a scorecard. This is how the Ibrahim Index of African Governance came about.’
- ‘Africa has 53 countries. And you find that three or four countries in these 53 are dominating the news.’
- ‘I believe, in the end, business is a force for good because business creates jobs, creates prospects. Government doesn’t create jobs. Business brings prosperity and better prospects for us.’
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