Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman UBA Group and Heirs Holdings will be conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree by one of Nigeria’s foremost universities, Bayero University, Kano. The conferment, which is in recognition of his contribution to human development in Nigeria, will take place at the institution’s 35th Convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 15, 2019.
Tony Elumelu has been Africa’s most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation—an African private-sector-led philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs—his family committed $100million to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years in the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme. Just half-way through the mark, the Foundation has empowered 7,520 African entrepreneurs with a non-refundable seed capital of $5,000, training, mentoring and networking opportunities. The goal is to empower these entrepreneurs to create 1million jobs and generate wealth for the African continent through.
In Northern Nigeria, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered 806 entrepreneurs since inception till date. Entrepreneurs such as Aklahyel Goni is one of its beneficiaries. Goni founded El-Magnifico, an aquaculture company in Adamawa State that is reducing the cost of for farmers who have been hit by insurgency. With the seed capital from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Goni launched an affordable yet premium fish feed for farmers and trains other young entrepreneurs on fish farming every year.
Speaking on the conferment, the Vice Chancellor, Bayero University, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello, FNMS, said: “The honour is in recognition of your innumerable and worthy contribution to the country as an economist, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Your philanthropic activities through the Tony Elumelu Foundation have reached every nook and corner of our nation and have impacted positively on many lives. Your efforts in the area of entrepreneurship are making an immense contribution to the economy”.
Earlier in 2017, the Sultan of Sokoto commended Elumelu on his intervention through his Foundation and entrepreneurship advocacy, in creating jobs and helping to keep idle youths off the streets thereby fostering security in the region. The commendation was made following a courtesy visit paid to the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, where Elumelu gave a speech to university students and civic leaders.
Tony Elumelu continues to champion entrepreneurship on the continent. CNN recently referred to the story of the Elumelu and his wife as “A power couple whose dedication to philanthropy is helping a new generation of big ideas”.
The Elumelus continue their advocacy at this year’s Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum—the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs—where over 5,000 participants including startup entrepreneurs, private sector leaders, and Presidents will gather at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja to discuss entrepreneurship in Africa.