The need to reconsider Africa’s place in the world has never been greater – says Mo Ibrahim

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 July 2023:

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has released the 2023 Forum Report, Global Africa: Africa in the world and the world in Africa. The Report outlines the key takeaways from the 2023 Ibrahim Governance Forum, alongside the latest available data around the theme of ‘Global Africa’.

The Forum was held in Nairobi as part of the Foundation’s annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend, which took place between 28-30 April. The event brought together African leaders, politicians and thought leaders to discuss the ‘Global Africa’ theme across three sessions, with participants considering Africa’s weight in the current world, the world’s presence in Africa, as well as the continent’s place within the multilateral architecture.

Each of these sessions was informed by analysis of the Facts & Figures, released ahead of the Forum and now combined with the key takeaways from the discussions and written expert perspectives from the participants to form the final Forum Report.

This year’s Forum helped to shape and feed discussions around Africa’s place in the current global architecture (with a special focus on the multilateral financial system) during a critical period, with the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact held in Paris shortly after the Forum (22-23 June 2023); and the BRICs Summit chaired by South Africa,  the Africa Climate Action Summit chaired by Kenya, the G20 summit chaired by India, the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, and the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF (all scheduled between August and October).

In Nairobi, participants called for a move away from depictions of the continent as a basket case to be sorted out, and the need to re-set the global agenda for a stronger equality and efficiency of the multilateral system built post World War 2.

Commenting on the release of the report, Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “The need to reconsider Africa’s place in the world has never been greater. For too long Africa’s interests have been marginalised within the multilateral architecture, with our continent seen as a problem to solve rather than a part of the solution.

This year’s Ibrahim Governance Weekend was an important step towards addressing these misconceptions and we must now continue to build on this momentum to bring about the urgent reform needed.”

The Report also outlines the 5 key takeaways from the discussions at this year’s Forum. The key takeaways include:  

Africa: get the narrative right

Global perceptions of Africa must be updated to consider its diverse assets and enormous potential. Rather than perpetuate ideas of the continent as a basket case, the global narrative must consider the ways the Africa is well positioned to contribute solutions to the global problems we currently face.

Partnership: give it its full meaning

For too long partnerships with Africa have been one-sided, with nations offering support to the continent without consideration of its real needs. Partnerships must be based on shared interests and win-win deals.

Multilateralism: the best way to defend its value is to reform the system

Shifts in global power balances are not represented in the current multilateral institutions, built following WW2. The current lack of representativity of the system leads to a lack of both legitimacy and efficiency. This must be properly addressed, if we intend to defend the key value of multilateralism.

Africa’s potential: it still needs to be leveraged 

Africa’s immense potential spans a wide range of resources from a burgeoning youth population to significant natural resources. But these resources still need to be properly leveraged.

Africa’s voice: it still needs to be articulated in a united and coherent way 

Increased pan-African communication and collaboration is essential for the continent to better utilise and leverage its own economic and political potential. An empowered African Union and agreed Common African Positions will be needed to develop a strong African voice that is able to advocate for common priorities in the multiple global fora.

In addition, the Report also includes written contributions from Forum participants, which provide expert insight and analysis to accompany the data and expand further on the ‘Global Africa’ theme.

Contributors include Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist at UNECA, Amadou Hott, Special Envoy of the President of the AfDB for the Alliance of Green Infrastructure in Africa, Mark Malloch-Brown, President of the Open Society Foundations, Amr Moussa, Chair of Interpeace and former Secretary General of Arab League, Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, and Jendayi Frazer, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

The Forum Report is available to download here.  


  1. I completely agree with Mo Ibrahim. Africa has always been a great continent, but it has never had the same importance as it does now. The world needs to pay more attention to Africa and its problems.

  2. Folks, its always the same things, same problems that never seem to actually go away; same annoying challenges that keep on persisting for lack of innovative, sustainable decision-making; Same lackadaisical attitudes towards mediocrity and failure; Since the year 2006 when the Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established their achievements have been quite insignificant…African continues to facing the same conundrums, like trickling streams that never found the momentum to transform themselves into mighty rushing rivers; Yes, consistently, they keep on celebrating awards for excellence in leadership…a thing that I am finding totally ridiculous and laughable; Scholarly articles on corruption in Africa, clearly indicate that corruption in our continent is now shockingly worse than ever before…and Mr. billionaire Mo Ibrahim, instead of providing concrete solutions that will alleviate the suffering of poor africans…is still out there offering superficial theories, stratagems and strategies…that have never worked, and will never work…because they simply don’t understand the needs of the poor, diverse, struggling people of Africa.

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