By Adva Saldinger* [caption id="attachment_21782" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mo Ibrahim[/caption] Mo Ibrahim is up front and straightforward — with a no-nonsense attitude that may come from the security of being a billionaire. He’s also a man who is passionate about Africa and what needs to be done to tackle some of its greatest challenges, including addressing corruption and ensuring good governance. And he’s not afraid to share his opinions with others, even at the risk of proving unpopular. While most would characterize him as a philanthropist these days — in addition to being a very successful businessman — Ibrahim doesn’t quite identify with the term. That’s in part because he’s skeptical of the impact that his money can have on truly moving the needle on African development, Ibrahim told Devex in a recent interview in Washington, D.C. before he accepted the International Republican Institute’s Freedom Award. “The [gross domestic product] of African countries is $1.5 trillion, how much can philanthropy give?” he said. “We need to focus on the $1.5 trillion. What are those people doing with that? How much of that money is stolen? What sort of hanky panky is taking place?” Good governance depends on sound policies, but the conversation can’t even get started if there isn’t peace. With armed conflict present, Ibrahim said, there cannot be development, adding that securing peace and then combining that with governance and strong institutions the real priority. If that is achieved, he said, there will be no need for charity or philanthropy.