“Food is going to be a very expensive commodity because other countries cannot produce anymore food,”
African business magnate, Dr. Mo Ibrahim has charged African governments to invest in agriculture instead of oil exploration.
"Food, shelter, and clothing are basic necessities and are crucial to primary and economic survival.", he says.
“You can live without oil, you cannot live without food. So agriculture should be sexy. It should be nice, interesting – not boring,” Mo Ibrahim said in as address to the gathering at the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation 4 Global Development Lecture Series at the University of Ghana, Legon on Thursday.
Mo Ibrahim further stressed that the value of food and agricultural produce will increasing soar due to growing world populations and their need to fee.
"Food will eventually become more important than oil or gas or anything else.”
Africa must position itself to take advantage of that demand, given the vast amounts of arable land available
“Food is going to be a very expensive commodity because other countries cannot produce anymore food,” he said to buttress his call for increased investment in agriculture.
Dr. Mo Ibrahim also urged African countries to exercise their democratic rights to vote out corrupt governments.
“Vote them out. You have the votes, go the polls and vote them out. Use your democratic right,” he said.
The Global Development Lecture Series is a platform for thought leaders to share their views on governance issues and future events. The foundation is partnering institutions in Ghana and around the world to promote agriculture.
Dr Ibrahim is the founder of Celtel International, one of Africa's most successful companies.
In 1998, Dr Ibrahim founded MSI Cellular Investments, which was later renamed Celtel International.
In 2005, Celtel International was sold to MTC Kuwait for $3.4 billion, making it one of Africa's most successful commercial ventures. At the time of sale, the company operated in 15 African countries, under licenses that covered more than a third of the continent's population.
It had invested more than US$ 750 million in Africa, helping to bring the benefits of mobile communications to millions of people across the continent.
As well as his work with Satya, Dr Ibrahim is founder and board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an Africa focused governance organisation.