Leading Africa to emergence is now, more than ever, a priority that can only be achieved through collaboration and continuous advocacy.
TEF Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., alongside TEF CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu; and TEF Director of Partnerships and Communications, Somachi Chris-Asoluka, are in New York to join other global and industry leaders to attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the annual high-level debate that convenes global leaders. There, they will further spread the Foundation’s messages of impact, transformation, and Africapitalism in various meetings.
On Monday, September 19, 2022, Mr. Elumelu delivered the keynote speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Friends of Africa Continental Free Trade Area, where he highlighted ways for the AfCFTA to enhance US-Africa trade and how the UBA Group is well positioned to facilitate intra-African trade with presence in 20 African countries. At the event was Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee; President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia; and Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Elumelu and delegate hosted meetings with United Nations Head of Agencies, including Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNDP and long-term TEF partner, as well as Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID, the world’s most influential development agency, to advance both organisations’ partnership talks for youth empowerment in Africa.
The highlight of the day was the MOU signing between the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the UN Capital Development Fund at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN), to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa by mobilising resources and leveraging technology to connect entrepreneurs to specialised assistance, resources, capital, networks, and markets.
“In Africa, we feel the harsh impact of youth joblessness. As African leaders, we must do something. As global leaders, it is important that we work together to address this issue. If we don’t deal with these challenges today, the world will not be a good place for all of us.” said Tony Elumelu Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. “I want to say thank you Preeti, your colleagues, and the entire UNCDF, for supporting this kind of partnership. We know what our young ones in Africa need, we know how having access to finance can help change the trajectory of their lives. I hope that what we are about to do today with this partnership signing will help to expand and scale what we do at TEF. Last year, we partnered with the European Union to empower 3,000 young African women entrepreneurs, because they share our belief that if you empower a woman, you empower an entire community. We hope that this initiative helps us to touch even more lives across the continent”
“LDCs face a stark demographic challenge, as their population is projected to double to 1.7 billion by 2050. The LDC youth population aged 15 to 24 years is expected to soar to 300 million by 2050, when one in four youths worldwide will live in an LDC. We cannot embark on this journey alone, as the challenge is daunting and requires a concerted effort. This is why we welcome collaborating with like-minded organisations working in the same direction,” said Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of the UN Capital Development Fund. “The TEF is one like no other, a leading champion of young entrepreneurship in Africa. UNCDF is thrilled about the endless possibilities for collaboration in the field of youth entrepreneurship, leveraging the strengths of both organisations.”
The partnership is intended to leverage the distinct capabilities of the two organizations. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs, serving all 54 African countries. UNCDF serves as the UN’s catalytic finance entity for the world’s 46 least developed countries, which it sees as the frontier economies of today and the growth markets of tomorrow.