LAGOS, NIGERIA, January 29th 2014 – LAGOS, NIGERIA – As part of the campaign for inclusive economic growth in Africa, ONE and The Tony Elumelu Foundation announced a strategic partnership today to push political leaders in Nigeria to support public investments in agriculture, healthcare, and energy that will unlock substantial investments in these key sectors. The partnership aims to leverage public-private partnerships to improve Africa’s progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and help create a more entrepreneur-friendly environment through advocacy. Initially, it will begin with a scoping grant to explore advocacy opportunities and allow ONE to bolster its work in Nigeria and will particularly focus on agriculture in Nigeria as part of ONE’s “Do Agric” campaign for the 2014 AU Year of Agriculture.
ONE’s Africa Director, Dr. Sipho Moyo, said, “We are delighted to join forces with the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria. Together, we will be stronger than the sum of our parts as we work to tackle some of the continent’s most pressing challenges. The Tony Elumelu Foundation has championed African led philanthropy, bringing unique insight in to how the African private sector can catalyse change across the continent. It’s fitting that we’re announcing the partnership this week, when ONE is launching a campaign to press African leaders to invest more and adopt better policies in agriculture during the African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia.”
Wiebe Boer, Chief Executive Officer, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said he believes the strategic partnership with ONE can lead to real change.
“ONE has demonstrated over the years an ability to get things done,” he said. “I look forward to working with them to unlock billions of dollars for agriculture and other key sectors that will in turn drive entrepreneurship and job creation in a manner that pulls people permanently out of poverty.”
At the centrepiece of the new campaign ONE is launching in Addis Ababa this week is a call to boost investments in agriculture, a sector that is capable of unleashing the continent’s vast economic potential. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is eleven times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors like mining and utilities.
“Of the 400 million Africans living in extreme poverty, 7 out of 10 live in rural areas that depend on agriculture,” said Boer. “The sector accounts for one-third of the entire continent’s GDP — we must work to energize it with new public and private sector investments and smart policy reforms.”
ONE estimates that the campaign can help at least 85 million people lift themselves out of extreme poverty if African governments improve the policy environment for agricultural transformation, including committing to spend at least 10 percent of their national budgets on agriculture as promised in the Maputo Declaration by all African leaders, and by doing so through transparent budgets so smallholder farmers can scrutinise and follow the money to see if it is getting all the way through.
“Africa has the world’s largest share of farmable land and the highest proportion of underutilized arable land,” Dr. Moyo says. “African agriculture holds the key to unleashing the continent’s vast economic potential.”
For more information contact
ONE Media Manager
+27 11 706 4511
Communications Executive, the Tony Elumelu Foundation,
+234 813 003 1566
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. We raise public awareness and work with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. ONE also works closely with African activists and policymakers as they fight corruption, promote poverty-fighting priorities, monitor the use of aid, and help build civil society and free enterprise. ONE is not a grant-making organisation and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding.
About the Tony Elumelu Foundation
Founded in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African-funded philanthropic organisation focused on supporting entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector. The Foundation creates impact through business leadership and entrepreneurship development programmes, impact investments and policy advocacy.