The Group Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu visited Ghana as the first stop of his tour of Africa, propagating the ideal of ‘Africapitalism.’
Elumelu, also the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at the prestigious University of Ghana, Legon in Accra before hundreds of Ghanaian youths, academics and entrepreneurs in continuation of his strategic vision of engineering a robust economic and business relationship across the continent through ‘Africapitalism’ as a necessary tool for the socio economic development of Africa.
The serial entrepreneur, who at the young age of 34, became the Managing Director of one of Nigeria’s top banks (Standard Trust Bank), reiterated the usefulness of preparedness. He expunged on the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur. “The first is dedication, then vision, focus, ambition, and our ability to do things when we want to do them. We must always remain laser focused and aim to execute to perfection,” Elumelu said.
These are some of the qualities that enabled Elumelu lead one of the biggest mergers in Nigeria’s history to date. Today, UBA is amongst the top three banks in the country and rapidly growing in Africa. According to Elumelu, “I saw us grow a bank from five branches to 1000 branches with presence in 19 African countries and in Paris, London and New York. The lesson here is start small, have a purpose, be disciplined, think long term.”
He stressed that entrepreneurship, and not philanthropy, is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Africans to solve the continent’s challenges without dependence on aid from western countries.
“No one, but us, is going to develop Africa,” he stated.
Speaking further, he said “The development of Africa is up to Africans. Donors and partners can help, but the work of developing our nations is ours.”
One of the key benefits of Africapitalism, is reflected in the achievements of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme which is an example of how Africans can solve their own problems via entrepreneurship.
The goal of the yearly programme is to invest $100 million over the next 10 years to identify, train, mentor and seed 10,000 African businesses with a view to creating one million new jobs and $10 billion in additional revenue for the continent by democratising and institutionalising luck. “Only in Africa is our story even possible,” the UBA Chairman concluded.
Earlier during the working visit, on Monday, Elumelu met with the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo where they held fruitful discussions on matters of mutual benefit as well as deliberated on issues geared towards the growth and development of finance and entrepreneurship in Ghana.
Of the meeting, Elumelu stated “I am delighted to be on this historic visit to Ghana which has been a shining light of UBA’s business across Africa. It was a great opportunity to meet with and congratulate the newly elected president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo and to extend our readiness to partner with his administration in the rapid development of Ghana and Africa at large. It has was also an honour to meet with young and vibrant Students and share my Vision of Africapitalism.”
Credit: UBA Ghana