“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

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
“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
“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.
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
“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.
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


 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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