Strategic partnerships are essential for economic growth and development in Africa. Collaboration among different entities, whether public or private, can lead to the creation of new ideas, technologies, and business opportunities that can spur growth and development on the continent.
Strategic partnerships refer to collaborations among different entities, such as businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia, to achieve common goals. These partnerships are essential for economic growth and development as they bring together different perspectives, resources, and expertise to solve complex problems and create new opportunities. It is also in line with SDG 17 which seeks to revitalize global partnerships for sustainable development.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) leverages strategic partnerships to drive economic growth and development on the continent. It has recognized the importance of strategic alliances for unlocking prosperity in Africa. The Foundation has established partnerships with leading organizations in different sectors to support the development of entrepreneurship, job creation, and innovation on the continent.
For instance, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered with leading tech companies, such as Google, to provide African entrepreneurs with access to cutting-edge technology and resources, as well as training in business management and digital skills. This partnership provided one million additional Africans with access to TEFConnect, the Foundation’s digital platform. It also offered enormous opportunities for Africa’s digital communities; nine full-time Google employees, including software engineers, UI/UX engineers and policy experts worked with the Foundation to design and build an upgraded version of the TEFConnect platform.
This has enabled young African entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that address some of the continent’s most pressing challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture, energy etc.
The Foundation has also partnered with governments and international organizations to promote entrepreneurship and job creation. The Foundation has worked closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support entrepreneurship development in Africa. TEF and UNDP have also worked exclusively in regions such as Mali, Sahel, and Rwanda to empower young African entrepreneurs in those regions. Through these programmes, young African entrepreneurs have been provided with funding, training, and mentorship to enable them to create sustainable businesses and drive economic growth in their communities.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation has also worked with the European Commission in an inaugural 3-part partnership – to support 2,420 African women entrepreneurs from select countries as part of the flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, to offer technical assistance as needed to TEF’s alumni network and lastly to support 120 TEF alumni with additional grants of up to €50,000.
Furthermore, the TEF has partnered with DEG-KfW, the German development agency, to support 200 African entrepreneurs. The partnership also helped to scale TEFConnect, the Foundation’s proprietary digital platform, supporting African entrepreneurs and providing platform access to an additional 500,000 SMEs and fostering economic growth on the continent.
The Foundation has also collaborated with other organisations and governments such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), Seme City, BMZ, GIZ, DEG, African Education Foundation (FAE) in Congo Brazzaville, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Indorama Corporation, Sightsavers, United States African Development Foundation (USADF), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and so on, to empower more young African entrepreneurs on the continent.
In addition, the TEF has established partnerships with leading universities and research institutions to support the development of innovative solutions that can drive economic growth and development in Africa. These partnerships focus on fostering collaboration between academia and industry, enabling researchers and entrepreneurs to work together to develop innovative solutions that can address complex challenges faced by African entrepreneurs on the continent.
With a focus on strategic partnerships, the Foundation has been able to scale its ten-year plan which aimed to support 10,000 young African entrepreneurs over a period of ten years. The Foundation is currently in the ninth cycle of its flagship programme, and it has been able to empower over 18,000 young African entrepreneurs. The Foundation owes this outstanding accomplishment to strategic alliances with the various organisations it has worked with over the years.
Strategic partnerships are essential for driving economic growth and development in Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation has recognized the importance of partnerships and has established collaborations with leading organizations in different sectors to support entrepreneurship, job creation, and innovation on the continent. Through these partnerships, the TEF is creating new opportunities for young entrepreneurs, promoting innovation, and driving economic growth and development in Africa.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is using this opportunity to call on all well-intentioned actors across the public, private and development sectors to join us on our mission to empower millions of African entrepreneurs on the continent. By working together, we can create a sustainable and vibrant entrepreneurial environment in Africa. Join us in this effort to create wealth in Africa! Let us make a difference together!