Posted by News Express | 16 October 2017 | 1,062 times
The Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and Chairmen of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, has said that the world is moving away from development by aid to development by investments.
Elumelu who stated this at the 2017, TEF, African Journalism Fellowship, during the 3rd annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum held October 13 - 14 in Lagos also declared that the most sustainable investment anyone can make in Africa today is investment in its people.
At the event, which was attended by journalists from different parts of Africa, Elumelu’s reiterated his Africapitalism philosophy, which canvasses the development of the continent through massive investment in entrepreneurship.
He explained the role of UBA in development across Africa. “We have presence in 19 African countries. But at times people think UBA is just a Nigerian bank. And at times people even say ‘it has a branch in Cameroon’. It’s not a branch; it’s a full-fledged subsidiary. UBA is a pan African bank,” he told the journalists.
For instance, in Senegal UBA is working with the National Electricity Company in urban and rural areas for electricity development. It is doing similar projects in almost all the 19 African countries where it is present. In Cameroon, UBA is financing the construction of a stadium in Douala. Elumelu has also been there lately to talk about investment opportunities. In most of the African countries, when he arrives, leads entrepreneurs to meet with Presidents of their countries. The idea is to get governments to interact with then entrepreneurs and give priority to creating enabling environments for businesses to thrive.
The purpose of bringing the journalists to the headquarters of UBA was for them to go back with better understanding of the workings of the pan African bank.
Elumelu wants encouragement for the young entrepreneurs and messages of hope for the aspiring ones “so that collectively, we will begin to drive this new paradigm of a prosperous Africa brought to us by investment in our people.”
In three years, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has produced 3,000 entrepreneurs, a thousand per year. These entrepreneurs have in turn, created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth. Since Elumelu launched the programme and committed $100 million to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade, the Foundation “has unleashed Africa’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs.” This is one thing Elumelu and indeed, many Africans are proud of.
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