“Africa is becoming the engine of global economic growth”-Elumelu

Africa is on the verge of becoming the engine of global economic growth says Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman  United  Bank for Africa (UBA)Plc and Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), while delivering a key note address at Georgetown University, USA, on the topic ‘Entrepreneur-Led Development: A New Model for Africa.’
Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Board Chairman, UBA 

Elumelu, who had earlier delivered a speech at the White house in Warshington DC at an event hosted by United States President Barack Obama on May 11, 2015 to celebrate emerging entrepreneurs around the globe, said Africa is offering investors one of the highest returns on capital in the world, which has made the continent one of the best places to be an entrepreneur globally attracting significant foreign direct investments (FDI) from both Africans and foreign investors.

Citing UBA as an example of African owned business doing great on the continent, Mr. Elumelu said,”the United Bank for Africa, which I chair, employs about 12,000 people and provides banking and financial services to 8 million Africans and businesses in 19 African countries, with a presence in Paris, London, and New York.

"Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary, Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Antonio Gracias, Founder and CEO, Valor Equity and Julie Hanna, Founder and CEO, Kiva during the  event hosted by US President Barack Obama at the White House  to celebrate Global Emerging Enterprenuers”.

The platform provided by UBA across Africa and the globe enables individuals to save and carry out seamless transactions across the world, UBA supports businesses to secure the capital they require to grow, and drives intra-African trade and investment on scales previously unheard of “

 He also cited MTN as another example of an African company that has grown to be a multi-billion dollar telecommunications company that operates in 17 African countries, as well as Europe and Asia, enabling hundreds of millions of individual Africans and their businesses to communicate with their families, customers and markets. Another noteworthy example, Elumelu said, is Dangote Cement, which is operating in six African countries and helping to build Africa, one brick at a time.

He disclosed that a soon-to-be released book, “Africans Investing in Africa,” a research partnership between the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Oppenheimer family’s Brenthurst Foundation will reveal how many African companies are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, in different countries and contributing to the integration of the continent each day.
l-r: Scott Taylor, Director, African Studies, Georgetown University, Ade Adefuye, Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Tony Elumelu, Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation and David Thomas, Dean Georgetown Business School when Elumelu delivered the lecture on Entrepreneur -led Development; A new model for Africa’ at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Private sector growth in Africa, he said, is driving the growth of infrastructure, housing, financial inclusion and economic stability which all adds up to increased development based on economic opportunity.

“This is what I have been preaching; that the private sector has a role to play in Africa’s development. I call this Africapitalism” Elumelu said.

“Africapitalism, Elumelu explained, means that we cannot leave the business of development up to our governments, donor countries and philanthropic organizations. African businesses usually are about individuals. Behind most companies is an entrepreneur. I have enjoyed a lot of success in my chosen pursuits but, when it comes down to it, what I am, is an entrepreneur. And I recognize and embrace the responsibility that I have to play a role in Africa’s development” 
Tony Elumelu, Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation,  Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary, Antonia Gracias, Founder/CEO Valor Equity and Julie Hanna/CEO, kiva during the event hosted by US President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington DC  to celebrate global emerging entrepreneurs. 

“I have come to understand that the most important thing I can do to advance our development is to help replicate my success in others and to evangelize the cause of entrepreneurship” Elumelu said.

Elumelu’s foundation recently launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to assist in growing 10,000 start-up companies across the African continent over the next 10 years, demonstrating a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.


 The lecture was attended by a large audience including students, faculty, and alumni of Georgetown University, as well as members of the US and African private sector, diplomatic core, and international development sector.  
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