Presidential Dialogue in Accra: Elumelu Urges Businesses to Embrace Africa Beyond Aid  

From l-r, Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, Tony Elumelu, and President Akufo-Addo at the Presidential Dialogue held in Accra, Ghana

Accra, Ghana, November 7, 2019//-Tony O. Elumelu CON, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has urged the business community to embrace the concept of Africa Beyond Aid being championed by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He made the call when he joined high panel Presidential Dialogue themed, Africa’s Money for African Development – A Future Beyond Aid, held in Accra today.

Mr Elumelu added that Africa Beyond Aid is at the heart of Africapitalism which he continues to champion for over a decade.


Mr Elumelu through his TEF Entrepreneurship Programme which is the largest African sourced philanthropic gift targeting the entrepreneurial sector was inspired by three guiding principles: the inclusive economic philosophy of ‘Africapitalism’, based on the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential; commitment to drive African economic growth through the empowering of African entrepreneurship; and a mission to ‘institutionalise luck’ by creating an environment where African entrepreneurs can get critical elements of support in the early stages of their business life.

“Africapitalism therefore means we cannot leave the business of development up to our governments, donor countries and philanthropic organizations alone,” he said.

“We in the African private sector must wake up, recognize and embrace our role in driving the economic growth and the social development of Africa, and we must act on that responsibility in tangible ways.”

“Entrepreneurs need more eco-systems to succeed in their business operations which will enable them to contribute to the development of the economy”, Mr Elumelu said.

The Foundation, which targets to create a million jobs, and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy, has so far trained, mentored and financially supported over 3,000 young African entrepreneurs for the past five years.

Mr Elumelu used the occasion to thank the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for supporting Foundation to train over 1,000 young entrepreneurs in the Sahelian region of Africa.

Look inward

Mr Elumelu who shared the panel discussion with Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, Samba Bathily,  a Global African Entrepreneur, Mali, Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder and former CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), Sahara Group Co-Founder and Executive Director, Temitope Shonubi, and Michael Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation, said: “For long, we have relied on the world for support. But we have to look inward”.

Create the enabling environment

Mr Elumelu who is also the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc, therefore urged African governments to create the enabling environment for the private sector to operate.

He stressed that the private sector working together with the governments can create for jobs for the teeming unemployed youth on the continent.

President of Ghana

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, iterated: “Africa needs to transform its jobless economy” to provide employment opportunities for the citizens.

African Eye Report


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