Billionaire Mo Ibrahim Defies African 'Basket Case' Clichés

Mo Ibrahim, who started a foundation that bears his name, says his Index of African Governance gives investors the facts to make smart choices among diverse countries. Photograph by Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer

Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born billionaire philanthropist, says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has once again painted the entire continent as a disaster zone.

It’s a perception he’s been working to dispel since selling his African mobile-phone network for $3.4 billion in 2005 and founding the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to promote honest and accountable government. His primary tool: data.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance measures how well nations are developing their economies, safeguarding rights and guaranteeing the rule of law. Researchers synthesize information from 34 sources, including the International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank. Atop the 2014 list: Mauritius. On the bottom: Somalia.

“The Ibrahim indices have become benchmarks of governance in Africa and important tools for investors and risk managers,” says Hendrik du Toit, chief executive officer of Investec Asset Management, a firm that originated in South Africa and is now based in London.

Read more: Billionaire Ibrahim Defies African ‘Basket Case’ Cliches – Bloomberg Business.