Tony Elumelu Joins President Obama at the White House to Champion an Entrepreneur-led Development Model for Africa
African businessman and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu has proposed a new entrepreneur-led development model for Africa at two high profile events in Washington DC.
Mr. Elumelu, who is Chairman of United Bank for Africa, and Founder, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at a White House event hosted by United States President Barack Obama on May 11 to celebrate emerging entrepreneurs around the globe. The event was a prelude to Obama’s scheduled trip to Kenya this summer for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
During remarks to announce the Summit and his plans to participate, President Obama thanked the global coalition of entrepreneurship organizations that collaborated with his administration to launch the Spark campaign for global entrepreneurship, a campaign in which the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a founding member. The President went on to say to the entrepreneurs present, “Entrepreneurship empowers people to no longer be subject to aid agencies, but to be part of something to pursue their dreams. Entrepreneurs like you can change the world one idea at a time.”
During his comments at the White House event while participating on a panel moderated by United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Mr Elumelu championed the cause of African entrepreneurs as the primary drivers of Africa’s transformation. In closing, Mr Elumelu provided the following advice to global entrepreneurs, “Entrepreneurship is a long term journey. Great entrepreneurs are not made overnight. Dare to dream, implement your dream, and stay focused.”
Elumelu’s foundation recently launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to assist in growing 10,000 start-up companies across the African continent over the next 10 years -― demonstrating a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.