The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) forum, which is a large gathering of African entrepreneurs, opened on 25 October in Lagos, Nigeria, in the presence of two heads of state.
The meeting of the project leaders, mentors and alumni (former beneficiaries of the program) made it possible to discover another true face of the continent, with dynamic and enterprising young people. It also allowed participants, policy makers and the private sector to generate ideas and networks in a spirit of in-depth debate and interaction.
The initiator of this annual forum of future entrepreneurs of the continent is none other than the Nigerian Tony Elumelu, the president of UBA (United Bank for Africa) and the foundation that bears his name. In four years of existence, the program has already borne fruit, welcomed the promoter of TEF. “We have had a direct impact on 4,460 entrepreneurs and we are starting to see the results, in terms of job creation, but especially the recognition that the economic well-being of Africa is in the hands of entrepreneurs who are women and men, big and small, “he said.
The four thousand talents of Africa have seen, in fact, their income almost triple with more than fifty-two million dollars in turnover. During the same period, thanks to their activities, about twelve thousand jobs were created. In terms of gender, more and more women are becoming involved in entrepreneurship, as at least 41% of the young people selected by the platform are women.
By launching the foundation in 2010 and then the forum four years later, the Nigerian philanthropist wants to bring together the entire ecosystem of African entrepreneurship, capture a maximum of entrepreneurs, governments that must create an enabling environment, capital , advice and networking. The designer of capitalist Africa has been able to pay five million dollars to train ten thousand young people who will, in turn, create, during the ten years, one million jobs and ten billion annual income on the continent.
The 2018 Promotion Selection Committee has received no less than one hundred and fifty thousand files across the continent. In an interactive session with presidents Nana Akufo-Addo from Ghana, who made the trip from Lagos, and Uhuru Kenyatta from Kenya (on video conference), promoter Tony Elumelu invited African decision-makers to really invest in youth . “These young people have potential, they just ask us to accompany them. We look to you because the transformation of Africa can not be done without the support of political leaders, “he pleaded.
UBA will increase its activities in Congo
Some development partners, including the German GTZ Cooperation, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the French Development Agency, the United Nations Development Program, have decided to support the Tony-Elumalu Foundation Forum.
In terms of financing innovative projects within countries, UBA is the essential link. Vincent Ngimbock is the managing director of UBA Congo. He promises to translate the group’s vision of being a global bank at the local level. “UBA Congo’s mission is to promote this initiative, to enable talented young Congolese to publicize their project and benefit from an exhibition or funding,” he said.
Two young people represented the country at this meeting: Georcia Levinet and Pacifique Essereke, respectively agricultural entrepreneur and mentor. Georcia Levinet invests in the production of maize from which she will extract oil, flour for infants … The beneficiary of the 2016 class was invited again to share her experience with other young people. Its business plan requires ninety million FCFA but the financing is lacking. “I have already obtained five million FCFA from the Elumelu Foundation. I hope to find other investors to help me buy the machines needed to process the raw material, “she said.