On October 13 2021, our Founder, Tony O. Elumelu hosted Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, the Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and her colleagues at an informal lunch session in Lagos. It was an opportunity to discuss how the TEF and UNDP partnership has continued to empower thousands of young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. While the session was informal, there were salient topics discussed and have been summarized below:
Telling the story of our impact through the TEF & UNDP Partnership
In 2017, the Tony Elumelu Foundation entered an MOU with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to scale our mission to empower young African entrepreneurs, with focus on marginalized and undeserved demographics across Africa. From the Sahel region; Mali, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Mauritania, and North-East Nigeria, to all countries across the regions of the continent, TEF and the UNDP have jointly funded close to 4,000 African entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs in their communities across Africa. Read more about their success stories here.
Improving living conditions for people across the Sahel and in conflict areas
For over a decade, the Northeast part of Nigeria has experienced insurgency and counter-insurgency activities that have resulted to the loss of lives and livelihoods, displacement of people, and disruption of decent jobs and socio-economic activities. The UNDP is currently involved in a host of activities to generate economic activity in a long-term fashion. By creating modern cities in these affected areas that add dignity to humanity through smart and sustainable housing solutions, to seamless cash transfers that help the people who most need it, to working with state governments and other players to channel investments to support the masses, the UNDP’s support in the Sahel region is all-encompassing.
Enabling environment for African entrepreneurs
Historically, African countries have traded across their shared borders, and formed border communities to support this significant trade. In certain parts of the Sahel region today, the level of insecurity has led to an increasing loss of livelihood at these borders. Complementing our mission to empower African entrepreneurs, the UNDP is working to bring peace and stability in these regions to revive trade in these communities. Their peace mission will enable commerce once again, and improve the socio-economic outlook for millions of Africans.
Creating more jobs in Nigeria
Established August 31st August 2021, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is a youth empowerment partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), involving private companies that include our parent Group, Heirs Holdings. Through the NJFP, talented graduates can get access to local job opportunities in line with their area of expertise. These graduates are also equipped with world-class practical knowledge and skills regardless of whether they possess any previous work experience.
Looking to a better future together
TEF and UNDP partnership has enabled small businesses with funding quality business management training, mentoring, and life-long membership to the Tony Elumelu Foundation Africa-wide alumni network. In addition, these entrepreneurs have gained access to key networks, markets, and growth opportunities via TEFConnect.com. Together, we believe we will continue to empower thousands of young African entrepreneurs, support and scale their businesses, and build local capacity in these startups to create more jobs and alleviate poverty across their communities and the continent.