By África M. Arino
Originally published here
Africapitalism is not a play on words: it’s an economic philosophy developed by Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist. His philosophy represents the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investment that generates both economic prosperity and social value.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation promotes this philosophy through the Africapitalism Institute, one of its arms. These are the principles of Africapitalism:
- Entrepreneurship: Check out the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s impressive program to provide seed capital to 1,000 African entrepreneurs!
- Long-term Investments: Extraction industries are not enough for the healthy development of the continent.
- Strategic sectors: Investments in sectors like agriculture, power, healthcare, and finance can deliver broad economic and social value in addition to financial results.
- Development dividend: The way business activity is carried out needs to provide economic and social benefits to stakeholders, not just financial returns to shareholders.
- Value-added growth: Local value can be created through longer, more integrated, and higher value regional supply chains.
- Regional connectivity: The development of national and cross-border physical infrastructure, and the harmonization of policies and practices will facilitate intra-African commerce and trade.
- Multi-generational development: The creation of value needs to consider future generations — this is inter-generational solidarity!
- Shared purpose. Creating conditions that will empower the African private sector to thrive involves actors ranging from business to governments and civil society.
These principles reflect African values – even if these values are not exclusively African. In an interview with CNBC Africa, Institute’s Director David Rice talks about how the Institute wants to change the narrative on Africa from the story that 6 out of 10 of the fastest growing economies are in Africa, to how those economies are growing. Is it inclusive and sustainable growth? Are enough jobs being created? It’s about time for Western companies to reflect on why we’ve faced the deep crisis we’re beginning to overcome. The principles of Africapitalism give us food for thought, don’t you think? Could the narrative on Western capitalism also change?