Post Views: 197 Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc and founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu says Africa requires massive private cap...
Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc and founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu says Africa requires massive private capital investment and increased support for youth development to drive the much-needed economic growth on the continent.
Speaking as part of a panel at the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, in London, he stressed the need for investments in critical economic sectors like electricity and human resources.
This, he noted, will galvanise the continent, considering the huge population it currently boasts of, stressing that “access to electricity is very critical if we are to develop our continent.
“We have a huge youth population in Africa, and I think that is our biggest resource as a continent. So, in order to talk about the development of our continent, we must prioritise this segment and focus on how to empower them.
“Empowering the youths will help us create jobs and alleviate poverty and I think that this empowerment must start from creating an enabling environment, from making sure we have roads, mass transportation systems and most importantly, fixing the problem of shortage of electricity on the continent.”
For him also, “if we do all of this, we will unleash the enormous potential that resides in Africa and in these young people.”
Through his foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, (TEF), in the past five years, over 9,600 youths have been empowered across the continent with seed capital, mentoring and networking to grow their businesses and enable them to contribute to economic development.
Stressing the achievements of TEF over the period, he recalled that “during lunch, I interacted with some alumni of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme who said they were beneficiaries of $5,000 support in 2015 from the TEF, and today, they have just completed raising U$3m, becoming one of the biggest food chain providers in Rwanda.
“These are some examples of what such interventions can do. We support, give them an enabling environment, provide a platform and think of our prosperity in a sustainable fashion,” Elumelu explained.
Other speakers on the panel included the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass; the Chief Executive Officer, Development Partners International, Ms. Runa Alam; and the Group Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Group, Nick Read.
Malpass spoke of the need for greater focus on digital financial services, expressing the belief that investing in Africa will help take the continent to another level, just as the need to provide more electricity and good trade policies that will boost businesses on the continent.
The UK Africa Investment summit 2020 which was opened by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, brought together African heads of states, business leaders and investors, to discuss future partnerships between the UK and African nations. Africa has many suitors he posited. ’The United Kingdom is who you should be doing business with. We have no divine right to this business, it is a competitive world but look at what the UK has to offer. We are the partner of choice, of today, tomorrow and decades to come’ said Johnson as he addressed the African presidents and business leaders.
Photo caption: President Muhammadu Buhari(2nd left); flanked from left by Chief Executive Officer, Tony Elumelu Foundation(TEF), Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu; Chairman of United Bank For Africa(UBA) Plc and Founder, TEF, Tony Elumelu(3ed left); and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the ongoing UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, where Elumelu Spoke during Panel Session on Africa Growth Opportunity, in London on Monday.