Mo Ibrahim

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Dr. Mohamed Mo Ibrahim is a British businessman who was born in Sudan. He is known as the telecommunications giant of Africa. Ibrahim went to school to become an electrical engineer. After he graduated, he went right into the world of mobile communications. After he learned how the field worked, he started his own company, Mobile Systems International, which made mobile networks. When he started Celtel International, that was his best work. The company became one of the biggest providers of mobile communication services in Africa, serving more than a dozen countries and millions of customers. Celtel changed the way people lived by making mobile phones an important part of life. After he sold Celtel to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunication Company, he turned his attention to helping other people. He started the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is a way for the foundation to recognize and reward good leadership in Africa.

Early years and childhood

In 1946, Mo Ibrahim was born in Sudan. His father worked as a clerk for a living. When Ibrahim was young, his family moved to Egypt.

After he finished his prerequisites, he went to Alexandria University to study electrical engineering. After getting his Bachelor’s degree in science, he went back to Sudan and got a job as an engineer at Sudan Telecom, which is run by the government.

He moved to England in 1974 and got into the University of Bradford there. After getting his master’s in electronics and electrical engineering, he went to the University of Birmingham to get his Ph.D. in mobile communications. His academic work was one of the first to do things like reusing radio frequencies. He taught at the University of Birmingham at the same time.

Mo Ibrahim’s Career

In the early 1980s, he became a professor at Thames Polytechnic, which later changed its name to the University of Greenwich. He taught students in their first year of college about telecommunications.

In 1983, he gave up his job as a professor to become a technical director at Cellnet. Cellnet was a company owned by the British telecom giant British Telecom (BT). It was in charge of BT’s wireless operations.

He left his job at BT in 1989 to start his own company, Mobile Systems International, because he had enough experience in the field of communications (MSI). MSI was a company that did consult and made software. Its main job was to design mobile networks.

In the late 1990s, he realized that there wasn’t a mobile phone network that covered all of Africa. In 1998, he started MSI Cellular Investments, which was later renamed Celtel International. He did this to meet a need. Celtel was an operator, not a design firm like his other businesses.

Celtel was different from other companies because it didn’t pay bribes. Ibrahim decided that neither he nor the other co-founders would take or give bribes. The approach was one of a kind since almost all African businesses paid bribes to get things done.

Celtel was a huge success, and it really changed the way mobile phone services work. It went on to become the biggest service provider in Africa, with coverage in more than a dozen countries. Since cell phones first came out, the number of people using them in Africa has grown from 7.5 million in 1999 to 76.8 million in 2004.

He sold MSI to Macroni for about $900 million in the year 2000. At that time, the business had 17 branches and about 800 employees. About 30% of the company shares were owned by the people who worked there.

In 2005, Ibrahim sold Celtel for a huge $3.4 billion to Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company. Even though Ibrahim didn’t want to make the deal, he gave in to the shareholders’ demands.

After selling Celtel, he put his energy and vision into investing and doing good things for other people. In 2006, he started the Mo Ibrahim foundation with the goal of making African countries better places to run the government.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was started in London. The Ibrahim Index is a rating system for governing bodies. This encourages African companies to be more accountable.

In 2007, the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership was started by the foundation. The award is given every year to African leaders who meet the foundation’s standards. Its first recipient was former Mozambique president, Joaquim Chissano.

The prize money for the Mo Ibrahim Prize is $5 million. A stipend of $200,000 per year is also given to the person for life. As a whole, the prize has grown to be the biggest single prize in the world.

He has been a strong backer of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development since 2010. The commission is a UN project that aims to bring the benefits of broadband services to people who don’t have them yet.

Works of note

Ibrahim started Celtel International with the goal of making mobile phone services available in Africa. It quickly grew to be one of the biggest companies in Africa, with coverage in more than a dozen countries and millions of customers. It started something like a mobile revolution, and the number of users went from a small 7.5 million to a huge 76.5 million.

Ibrahim’s good deeds led him to start the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, whose goal is to honor great leadership in Africa. It gives out the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership every year to someone who meets the criteria set by the foundation. This is the most prestigious and largest cash prize in the world.

Awards & Achievements

Ibrahim has been given an honorary Doctorate in Economics by the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
In 2011, the University of Pennsylvania gave him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He has won a number of awards, including the GSM Association’s Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, the BNP Paribas Prize for Philanthropy in 2008, and the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2010.

In 2012, he was given two awards: the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award and the Millennium Excellence Award for Actions in Africa. He won the Africare Leadership Award and the Kiel Institute Global Economy Prize in 2011.

He was given the Eisenhower Medal for Distinguished Leadership and Service in May of 2014. The next month, the Foreign Policy Association Medal was given to him.

Personal History and Legacies

Ibrahim and Hania became husband and wife. Together, they have two children: a daughter named Hadeel Ibrahim, who runs the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and a son named Hosh Ibrahim, who is an actor.

Estimated Net worth

Mo Ibrahim has an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.


People say that he is the most powerful black person in Britain and that he changed a continent.