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UBA Chairman commits US$100m for 10,000 African entrepreneurs

... Says investors are champions of African development

April 28, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

 Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has stated that African investors are champions of African development because they are what he referred to as ‘Africapitalists’.

He made this statement recently at the 5th edition of the annual forum organised by the Ivorian National Council of Employers, General Confederation of Enterprises of Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI), where he was awarded the 2016 CGECI Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event was attended by over 3,000 delegates across Africa, including the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Daniel Kablan Duncan, and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, business leaders, established and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Through Africapitalism, I seek to evangelise what works for successful business investments and inspire other entrepreneurs like yourselves; to also make the promotion of national and regional development a strategic priority for your businesses,” said Tony Elumelu after receiving the award, which bestowed honour on him for his key leadership role as an African business champion.

Mr Elumelu, who also doubles as Chairman of African investments company Heirs Holdings, and Transcorp, also advocated for the collaboration of the private and public sectors to create value in the global competitive business landscape.

He urged the over 3000 delegates to seek opportunities to accelerate success in their investments through The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).

“TEEP is my US$100 million commitment for a 10 year period to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create one million jobs and add US$10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy. So far, seventeen (17) entrepreneurs from Côte d’Ivoire have received grants and training from this programme,” he revealed.

Since the CGECI was initiated in 2012 by the Ivorian National Council of Employers, the annual economic forum, CGECI Academy, has provided a platform to raise awareness among African entrepreneurs about existing sources of capital and investors available to help grow and develop their businesses.

The annual economic forum seeks to change the paradigm of access to finance in Côte d’Ivoire, creating a platform for sharing experiences and expertise. Furthermore, it aims to present the Ivorian private sector to regional and international partners and highlight the achievements and opportunities within it.

Other activities at the event include the announcement of the yearly business plan competition and a segment dedicated to sharing experiences and testimonials of entrepreneurs.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, with operations in 19 African countries and three global financial centres: London, Paris and New York.

From a single country operation in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, UBA has evolved into a pan-African provider of banking and related financial services to more than 8 million customers through diverse channels globally.

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