Accra, Ghana November 11, 2019 – The Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Tony. O. Elumelu C.O.N has called on the private sector across Africa to invest in the long-term development of the continent. He stated this as part of his discussion on “Africa’s money for African development – a future beyond aid”, during the Presidential Dialogue hosted by the President of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo and Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Accra, Ghana earlier today.
In his remarks, Mr. Elumelu explained that the path to self-reliance for Africa will involve private sector investment in critical sectors of the economy and investing in young Africans/African youth. “There’s clearly a new desire and approach to investment in Africa. Take investment in power for example, it is business, but at the same time, it helps to improve access to electricity for small businesses, schools, hospitals, etc- that is Africapitalism. That is what we know will help us to develop our continent. Investing in African youth is an investment in our collective future.” he stated this while citing the impact that the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is making in this regard.
Co-panelist, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President, Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), also affirmed Mr. Elumelu’s point by stating “Our greatest resource is our people’. Commenting on the importance of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA), he stressed the vital role that payment systems play in facilitating intra-regional trade. In this regard, he commended the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for providing a robust payment system that supports intra-Africa trade.
The hosts of the forum, His Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo and Ahunna Eziakonwa, equally reiterated the principles of Africapitalism in their remarks. “Africa must optimise the use of its resources, creativity, and innovation to effectively finance its development’. ‘The time has come for Africa to look inwards and make its contributions to the world by getting healthy and getting strong because a successful Africa is better for the world’. They each expressed respectively.
Speaking on the impact, he directly champions across the continent as the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Elumelu stated “We believe in empowering and supporting young African through the work of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme which provides business skills training, mentoring and access to funding.”
Mr. Elumelu commended the President of Ghana, for encouraging and supporting the private sector not just in Ghana but across the continent and helping to tell the story of Africa beyond aid, which is at the heart of Africapitalism. He equally noted with appreciation, the efforts of the UNDP under Ahunna Eziakonwa’s leadership in helping to promote entrepreneurship and bringing global capital to support the development of the continent.
The inaugural Presidential Dialogue examined amongst other things, the future of development in Africa and how to capitalise on the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). It was attended by over 500 participants comprising of business leaders and development experts across the continent.