Presidents Nana Akuffo Addo of Ghana and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have both described the investments in African entrepreneurs, by Philantrophist Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON as apt and the right path for the economic transformation of the region.
They shared this at the just concluded fourth edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation forum for 1,460 entrepreneurs in Lagos.
Kenyan President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta who joined the event via a video broadcast described the initiative as a remarkable step by Nigerian business leader, to empower African entrepreneurs to be change agents in the region.
He challenged the young entrepreneurs to seize opportunities & turn them into successes, believing that they are a generation that knows no borders in exploration.
The Kenyan leader used the occasion to call on African governments to give top priority to enterprise studies, which should be integrated into the curriculum of schools and colleges across the continent.
Kenyatta noted that a strategic public-private partnership was vital to supporting enterprise development in Africa, even as he acknowledged the fact that the young people are driving positive change through technology.
Ghanaian President Mr Nana Akuffo Addo who was the special guest at the 2018 TEF forum said the reason he attended the event, was to support the remarkable work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in the area of entrepreneurship.
President Akuffo Addo believed the visioner and founder of the initiative Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON was making a very good investment in entrepreneurship; because it will drive the ingenuity, innovation and creativity of the young entrepreneurs in Africa.
The Ghanaian leader shared that strong market economies provide the platform for economic development and entrepreneurship is the gateway for achieving it.
He alluded to the point raised by his Kenyan counterpart that strategic collaboration between the public and private sector will go a long way in boosting enterprise development in the region.
On his part Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON thanked the two African leaders for their time at the 2018 TEF forum, while he acknowledged the fact that the transformation of Africa will not occur without the support of political leaders.
The Philanthropist said “These Young Africans justify our confidence in them through their ambition and commitment to succeed. We know entrepreneurship is the way to create jobs, eliminate poverty and grow wealth”.
Mr Elumelu shared that his motivation for investing in the TEF forum was borne out of the desire to empower young entrepreneurs to create wealth and also provide a platform that harnesses their ideas, energies, passion, creativity and ingenuity which will position them to transform Africa.
The TEF forum an initiative of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, has since inception in 2015 empowered 4,000 African entrepreneurs with the seed capital of about $20m.
Apart from these an additional 460 entrepreneurs were sponsored in the 2018 TEF forum edition by international agencies like the United Nations Development Programme,(UNDP) International Committee of the Red Cross,(ICRC) and GIZ-Germany through a memorandum of understanding with the foundation.
This is part of the goal of the foundation which is to invest $100m in 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a decade (2015-2025), with the expectation that they will create about 1million jobs during the period and attract investments worth $10bn into the continent.