A global expert in mobile communications with a distinguished academic and business career and an inspiring philanthropist, Dr Mo Ibrahim was awarded an Honorary DSc(Econ) from SOAS in 2007.
In 2006 Dr Ibrahim established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to support great African leadership. The Foundation focuses on two major initiatives to stimulate debate around, and improve the quality of, governance in Africa. The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership recognises and celebrates excellence; and the Ibrahim Index of African Governance provides civil society with a comprehensive and quantifiable tool to promote government accountability. In 2007 the Foundation and SOAS established the Governance for Development in Africa initiative at the School. The project will run over five years and aims to build skills, develop talent and enable Africans to improve the quality of governance in their countries.
Sudanese by birth, Dr Ibrahim founded Celtel International, one of Africa's most successful companies. The company operates in 15 African countries, covering more than a third of the continent's population. The company has invested more than $750 million (USD) in Africa helping to bring the benefits of mobile communications to millions of people throughout the continent. In 2007, Dr Ibrahim was awarded the GSM Association Chairman's award, the telecommunications industry's highest accolade, for helping the world to hear Africa's voice". In 2008 Dr Ibrahim was presented with the BNP Paribas Prize for Philanthropy, and also listed by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.