Celtel’s Founder on Building a Business on the World’s Poorest Continent
by Mo Ibrahim
Mo Ibrahim, the founder of Celtel, is the chairman of Satya Capital and of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which focuses on the governance of African countries.
Frustrated by Western ignorance about Africa, Ibrahim decided to take advantage of the continent’s enormous telecom opportunity himself. Among the challenges he faced was creating an infrastructure from scratch.
As a native of Sudan who has spent most of my adult life in the West, I’ve always been aware of just how ignorant Westerners can be about Africa. But every so often someone says something that manages to surprise me. One such conversation took place in 1998. I was running MSI, a software ...