The Business Council for Africa is delighted to be hosting Tony Elumelu CON (Commander of the Order of the Niger) to give this year’s Kaye Whiteman Memorial address. Mr Elumelu CON is an entrepreneur and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which was established in 2010 to catalyse economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship.
The address will be an opportunity to hear from a leading authority on the important role the private sector have to unlocking Africa’s economic potential. Africa is currently facing significant challenges due to the commodities crisis and numerous political elections resulting in a slowdown in economic growth and a rising unemployment rate. It has been reported that fifteen million new job seekers enter the African market annually; however the majority will still be trapped in unemployment. The Tony Elumelu Foundation aims to combat these issues through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme which empowers entrepreneurs and promotes thought leadership to strengthen Africa’s economic future.
Tony O. Elumelu CON is a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Born, raised and educated in Africa, Mr. Elumelu CON has been responsible for creating businesses across the continent, in sectors critical to Africa’s economic development.
In 2010, he founded Heirs Holdings, an African investment holding company, with investments in financial services, power generation, oil and gas, agribusiness, real estate and hospitality. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropy, dedicated to catalysing entrepreneurship across Africa.
He is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA Group Plc, Seadrill Nigeria Ltd and Transcorp Plc — Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate.
In his early career, Mr. Elumelu CON turned the financially distressed Standard Trust Bank (STB) into a top-five financial services player in Nigeria. In 2005, he led the largest merger in the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa, between STB and United Bank for Africa (UBA). Today, UBA operates in 19 African countries, as well as New York, London and Paris.
Mr. Elumelu CON is the author and leading proponent of “Africapitalism,” an economic philosophy which advocates for the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy, that drive economic prosperity and social wealth.
In 2003, the federal government of Nigeria conferred the honour of Member of the Federal Republic on Mr. Elumelu CON and in 2012 he was named a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise.
He sits on the Presidential Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He played a leading role in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and now serves as its Vice Chairman. He chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He presently serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
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