On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in collaboration with Google.org, hosted a roundtable event at UBA America’s headquarters, promoting dialogue in convening of UN leaders that highlights the urgency of investing in African entrepreneurs to create jobs, eradicate poverty, promote gender equity, and create economic opportunities to spearhead Africa’s transformation.
Three beneficiaries of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme were present and shared testimonials of the Programme’s impact on their lives and community at the roundtable event: Ugochi Obidiegwu, founder of The Safety Chic, a Social Development Strategist with a specialty in developing products, programmes and providing policy advisory on pressing development issues affecting young Africans; Kwabena Danso, founder of Booomers International Ltd, an eco-friendly manufacturing company that exports high quality bicycles and related products such as children tricycles, Balance Bikes, bicycle stands and the phone speakers to Germany, Canada, USA, Australia and Netherlands; and Chioma Ukonu, co-founder of Recycle Points, seasoned environmental sustainability and social development professional with over a decade of international experience in circular economy, social impact, sustainability, climate change mitigation, government engagement, community outreach, and people management.
The roundtable breakfast closed with the Foundation signing a $20m partnership with the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), a leading US Government agency, to fund, train, mentor and provide further access to capital and market linkages for African entrepreneurs through the Foundation’s digital proprietary platform –TEFConnect.com.
Following the roundtable breakfast, Mr. Elumelu was interviewed by CNN’s Richard Quest, to promote his key messages at #UNGA77 and the role of the African private sector, which he purveys, in partnering with global private, public and development sectors for Africa’s prosperity.
“I am an example of success in Africa. There are a lot of opportunities on the continent but capital is very difficult to come by. I come from a modest background and have been able to grow multinational businesses from the modest background. But I’m not the only one., there are a lot of other young Africans who are more energetic, equally intelligent, if not more intelligent. But access to capital is very difficult to come by in Africa.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation for the past 12 years has been catalysing and supporting African entrepreneurs and from my interactions with them and what we’ve seen, they need capital, mentoring and business education so that when the capital comes they know how to manage it.”, Mr. Elumelu said during his interview with CNN’s Richard Quest.
Later in the day, Mr. Elumelu spoke at the UNDP Africa Investment Partnership Forum alongside select Heads of State. The day ended with the delegates attending the Clinton Global Initiative where they discussed partnerships between leaders from the public sector, private sector, and civil society to drive progress in climate resilience, health equality, and inclusive economic development.
In attendance at the TEF-Google Roundtable were: Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON); Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Jacquelline Fuller; President, Google.org; Nitin Gajria; Managing Director – Sub-Saharan Africa, Google; Ahunna Eziakonwa; Assistant SG, UNDP; Shirin Pakfar; Chief of Private Partnerships and Philanthropy, UNHCR; Jemimah Njuki; Chief of Economic Empowerment Section, UN Women; Nadi Albino; Deputy Director Partnerships, GEN U; Peter Maurer; President, ICRC; Pren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe; Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, African Institutions, Google; Charles Wetherill; UNCDF; John Sankara; UNCDF; Travis Atkins; President, USADF; Sola Yomi-Ajayi; CEO, UBA Africa/America; Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu; CEO, TEF; Somachi Chris-Asoluka; Director – Comms and Partnerships, TEF; Jorge Olague; Deputy Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF; Ms. Nigina Muntean; Head of Innovation Unit at the Office of the Executive Director, UNFPA; Maria Sol Pintos Castro; Senior Manager, Resource Mobilization Private Sector Engagement Department, Global Fund for HIV/TB/AIDS; Chiemelie Ezeobi; Group Features Editor, THISDAY; Mayowa Tijani; Editor-at-Large, The Cable; Anne Nwaghodoh; Journalist, Channels TV; and Hassan Ali Al-Mulla; CEO, Silatec.