Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator Praises Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector Led
Approach to African Development

President of South Africa, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa: “If you want really good
returns, as Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa”

Elumelu Champions Job Creation in Africa at Breakfast Meeting with President of
Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director

Tokyo, Japan, August 29, 2019

In an impassioned key note speech, delivered before global leaders, at the 7th
Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama,
Japan, African investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu CON, challenged the
Government of Japan to invest 5% of its $50billion commitment to Africa, in
empowering African entrepreneurs.

“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30billion for Africa. This year you
have  generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just 5% in
Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust,
proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse
growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54
African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving
income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic
stability”, said Mr Elumelu.

Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and
Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three
key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in
infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in
Africa’s youth.

He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which
champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of
accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just
five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African
countries, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking
opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.

Elumelu’s advice carried the weight of his track record of business success,
founding Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has grown its
presence to 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and
the USA; and Heirs Holdings, Africa’s private investment company which actively
invests in key sectors of Africa’s economy and controls millions of dollars in
its investment portfolio. Together, they employ over 30,000 people and
transform the communities they operate in.

“Africa is one of the world’s viable destinations for investment. Our huge
population, of nearly 1.3 billion people, creates one of the most attractive markets
anywhere in the world. The world is paying close attention to Africa, but is
Japan at the centre of this conversation or is it on the sidelines?” he

Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy has become increasingly popular on the African
continent, where he is acknowledged as the pioneer of a private-sector-led
approach to accelerating development. He repeated the message at the Generation
Unlimited breakfast meeting with H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and
UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, with its focus on job creation in
Africa, where he emphasised the role the African youth plays in this narrative.

President of South Africa and Co-Chair, TICAD, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa
corroborated Mr. Elumelu’s stance. He said: “If you want really good returns,
as Mr. Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa. Africa presents risk-adjusted returns
and is a market in which investments are flowing at a hundred billion dollars –
that is the new profile of Africa that is being presented to the world.”

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator praised Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector led
approach to development in Africa. He said: “I want to refer to my dear friend
and colleague Tony Elumelu because he alluded to the vital role that business
can also play in investing in the future of the youth. These are the kinds of
partnership that will drive business and development agenda to very different
heights in the future”.

Speaking on the potential of the African continent, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
of Japan said: “In Africa, some countries have joined top nations in the
ranking on ease of doing business. The scale of the market continues to expand.
We can envision a day when the entire continent of Africa becomes an enormous
economic zone.”

Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for
advancing Africa’s development through people, technology, and innovation,
bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other
stakeholders. The event hosted Presidents and private sector leaders including
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of
Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the
African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and
H.E. Mr. Paul Kigame, President of Rwanda and a host of other African


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