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The Interview

Mo Ibrahim: 'We should move away from Afro-pessimism and Afro-optimism'

During the third edition of the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, Mo Ibrahim spoke to FRANCE 24's Stéphanie Antoine. Born in Sudan, he founded the telecommunications giant Celtel, which he sold in 2005 for 3.4 billion dollars. He then created his own foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, to improve governance and leadership in Africa.


Mo Ibrahim insisted on the diversity of African countries and of their opportunities and challenges. "We should move away from Afro-pessimism and Afro-optimism to Afro-realism”, he said. “Africa is not one country, it is 54 countries [and] it is very difficult to stick a label on 54 countries”.

He also discussed the recent decision of his foundation to award the Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership to Namibia's president. It was the first time since 2011 that the prize found a deserving recipient.

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