Presented By Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu
CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation
On Thursday, October 24, 2019
At the U.S Consulate – Walter Carrington, Victoria Island
- Good afternoon everyone.
- My name is Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to this co-convening by Africa’s leading philanthropy, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the United States Consulate.
- On this note, I would like to acknowledge the presence of Consul General, Claire Pierangelo and Public Affairs Officer, Russell Brooks; welcome and thank you for joining us.
- The United States Consulate and the Tony Elumelu Foundation are pleased to announce a desirous partnership for the training and funding of 20 Nigerian Start-Ups.
- The purpose of this partnership is to leverage the novel philanthropy model pioneered by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focused on empowering African entrepreneurs. Through our Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has committed $100million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African Entrepreneurs across 54 African countries over 10 years, we aim to create millions of jobs and revenue across Africa, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty on the continent.
- Our flagship, pan-African Programme has thus far successfully produced 7,531 young entrepreneurs, from across all 54 countries.
- In the past 5 years alone, we have seen an exponential increase in interest in the programme, leading us to seek strategic partners who can sponsor additional youth, beyond TEF’s commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs. Our growing list of partners include development agencies such as the ICRC (Red Cross), GIZ and the UNDP, and governments such as Governments of Botswana, Benin Republic, and many others.
- We are very excited that the United States Consulate has partnered with us to extend the impact of the Foundation here in Nigeria. This partnership will replicate the tried and tested TEF Entrepreneurship Programme model, in response to the problem of youth unemployment across the African continent, and Nigeria in this case.
- Africa currently has close to 200 million youths either unemployed or inactive. The forecast indicates that by 2025 there will be an additional 150 million new youth workforce entrants in Africa. To cater to this burgeoning population, entrepreneurship and job creation must be prioritised by governments, private sector, development institutions and all stakeholders, and we strongly believe that this partnership achieves this.
- Thanks to the United States Consulate, the Fellows benefitting from this partnership will receive training, mentoring, business plan review, non-refunable seed capital investment, and have access to numerous networking opportunities.
- With us here today, we have two beneficiaries and TEF x US Consulate Fellows, Funmilola Kehinde, a computer scientist, with an MSc in IT with Strategic Innovation and Management Studies from Kingston University. In 2016, she founded Careers with Funmi Consulting, a talent development & recruitment consultancy firm, with the vision “to help youths get employed with a dream job that allows them to live a more fulfilled life”.
We also have Adebowale Daniel Oluwatosin who is a computer science graduate of Ogun State Institute of Technology, self-taught IT engineer and entrepreneur. In 2014, he identified a gap in the market and created a website and software development business called Talosmart, to bridge the gap between businesses and their customers.
Please join me in welcoming Ms. Kehinde and Mr. Oluwatosin, as they tell us about their business and journey with The Tony Elumelu Foundation.
- Let me conclude by quoting a good friend of the House, General Allen – A retired US General and President of the Brookings Institute:
“Africa’s Youth Population could either be the world’s greatest opportunity or the world’s greatest catastrophe. We need to work together to ensure it is the former and not the latter.”
- General Allen’s sentiments is epitomised in the US/TEF Partnership today….what we need is a strong and robust SME sector. Only then can we guarantee jobs for Africa’s youth and ensure that this ticking time bomb explodes into prosperity for Africa and the world.