Elumelu urges US Congress to pass the Electrify Africa Act

Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation has called
on the United States Congress to pass the ‘Electrify Africa Act’ stating that
the passage in to law would make a world of difference in Africa.

Tony Elumelu (CON), Chairman, UBA Plc


you leave this place call your Representatives and the leadership of the House
and ask them to pass the bill” Elumelu urged members of the packed audience.
bill which would preserve and expand President Barack Obama’s Power Africa
Initiative by codifying access to electricity as a U.S. foreign policy priority
for Africa has already been passed by the U.S. Senate and is expected be voted
on by the U.S. House of Representatives next week.
at the Mariott Hotel in Washington D.C; venue of the “Power Africa Summit” on
Thursday, January 28, 2016, Elumelu commended President Obama for working
through the Power Africa Initiative to mobilize the private sector to
invest $43 billion in the African power sector. 
to Mr. Elumelu, Africa must win the energy challenge if it seeks to become an
industrial power in the 21st century, noting that “power outages on the continent
must spark power outrages. The kind of outrage that ignites the activist in us
Heirs Holdings; a propriety Investment company, through Transcorp Power Limited
has committed  $2.5 billion to deliver
2,000 megawatts of electricity under the Power Africa Initiative. Already
Transcorp Power is currently generating about 19% of Nigeria’s power needs with
a target to increase capacity to 25% in the near future.
cuts across and has impact on healthcare delivery, job creation, education,
food security communications and all other sectors of the economy. It is
unacceptable that 600 million Africans lack access to energy in the 21st
century” Elumelu said.
call in Washington DC, follows the joint letter to the U.S. Congress from
Elumelu and President of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, on behalf of the
African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), which they co-founded with other leaders
in January 2015. The letter, similarly urged members of the U.S. House of
Representatives to act swiftly and pass this critical piece of legislation to
scale up U.S. efforts to help provide Africans with access to electricity.
continuation of his advocacy for Africa, Elumelu also testified before the U.S.
International Trade Commission on ‘The Future of the U.S.-Africa Trade and
Investment Relationship’ on the same day. Chaired by Ambassador Michael Froman,
the US Trade Representative, the Hearing is part of efforts by the U.S.
government to put building blocks in place for the next phase in its economic
relationship with Africa. 
a recognized African business and thought leader, Elumelu was invited to share ideas
on how to enhance the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationships beyond the
preferential access to the U.S. market for Africa’s products under the African
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), to other tools like free trade agreements
and investment treaties among others.
at the Hearing, Mr. Tony Elumelu said Africa does not need another trade
agreement or preferential program and called for a new trade paradigm in the trade
and investment relationship with Africa. He said “It is time to move beyond the
unequal exchange of cheap raw materials for expensive finished goods that
disadvantages Africa, to one that ensures technology transfer and sustainable
economic development, huge economic returns for investors and creates new jobs
for both sides.”
proposed three approaches to achieving this; applying the principles of
Africapitalism; focus on identifying and enabling specific value chains and
promoting entrepreneurship.
“Africapitalism can help shape the new trade paradigm because
it requires governments
, donors and the private sector to work together in “Shared Purpose” to ensure the creation
of national plans and supporting policies around specific sectors and related
targets, so the private sector can step in with capital and expertise geared to
achieve those targets, be they tons of grain produced, megawatts of electricity
generated or industrial parks created” he stated.
from Elumelu, testimonies were also taken from Mr. Donald Kaberuka, Former
President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Jim Kolbe, President JTK Consulting,
Mr. Tom Hart, Executive Director, One Campaign and Mr. Scott Eisner, President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Others included
Senator Johnny Isakson, who said that AGOA
has become a win-win for the U.S. and Africa, disclosing that a South African
market for poultry products was opened from his home state of Georgia and
Delaware on account of it.
stating that “Africa needs America, just as much America needs Africa” Froman
in his remarks at the Hearing, said Africa’s next decades will be central to
the global economy due to the rising number of African consumers. To shape the
next American policy of engaging with Africa, he said the Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative is talking with its African partners, with industry and civil
society, with academia and the investor community, with foundations in the U.S.
and Africa on the path forward.
input is critical as we prepare a public report for delivery to Congress in June
this year that will layout a set of options and road maps for advancing the
US-Africa trade and investment agenda” concluded Ambassador Froman.
engagements in the U.S. comes after the recent visit by a delegation of members
of Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA),
along with representatives of several U.S. government trade and
investment-focused agencies. Led by the Honourable Penny Pritzker – U.S.
Secretary of Commerce, they were on a fact-finding mission to Africa to inform
their report to the U.S. President on recommendations to strengthen commercial
engagement between the U.S. and Africa, which will result in mutually
beneficial growth. 
hosted the delegation in Lagos, provided them an opportunity to interact and
hear directly from young aspiring entrepreneurs drawn from the Tony Elumelu
Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP); an audacious initiative that provides seed
capital, training, mentorship and a networking platform for 10,000 African
entrepreneurs over a 10 year period. Endowed with $100million by the African
Philanthropist, the programme, which commenced last year with 1000
beneficiaries, is currently in its second year with another 1000 beneficiaries
from Africa, scheduled to participate and benefit from the novel entrepreneurship
development program in 2016.


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