Elumelu Foundation : Berths In Europe

By Nwangwu  Uba

Last week was another International business  exploit for officials of  Tony Elumelu Foundation  as it hosted leading Development, Investment and Financial Institutions in  the European Union, EU, in Brussels, Capital of Belgium.  Note that Belgium colonised  Belgium Congo now Zaire, during the colonial era. It was a major International outing of the Foundation led by by Tony Elumelu , whoo incidentally is the Chairman of the  United Bank For Africa, UBA.

 Many believe that at a time the relations between  the EU and Africa  are not getting strong, , Elumelu  had  taken his vision to Brussels , Belgium,  where he had gathered stakeholders  in the leading Development , Investment and Finance Institutions to brainstorm on the development agenda for Africa.  Recall that the  European Union, EU, had set a development agenda  for Africa  which  it had started delivering on its 2017  external  Investment plan, targeted at   attracting  investment  and job creation in Africa. 

The  Elumelu Foundation may have  warmed itself into the heart of the stakeholders in the EU. to partner with the Foundation in  channeling  its investment and development funds for Africa through the Foundation because of its track record over the years

. Financial  experts  told The Value News    that the ”convening of   the high profile stakeholders  meeting  in Brussels may have convinced the European  stakeholders that  ”Africa  also has   solutions  to its investment and development woes  through the Foundation’s unique approach   to to support entrepreneurship  in scale across the Continent.

Given an insider information of the  first five years of the Foundation ‘s  implementation of its entrepreneurshi p programme, , Elumelu  disclosed that ”it had   trained, mentored and seeded  4,470  African entrepreneurs  with 3,050,    recently announced    to receive seed funding   and drawn  over two million  Applications  to its 2019 cycle.

The Value News learnt that  the EU key Investment and development players  may have    hailed the  $100 million  Investment    in entrepreneural  philanthropy   as an example  of ”how  vital  Capital   should be  targeted  efficiently and  effectively  at African businesses   to create the needed  significant and  developmental impact in the Continent.

Appreciative of the good record that had been set  by the  Elumelu Foundation, Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO,  EU,  averred that ”Africa     needs to create  jobs  by the millions    to match the needs  of its growing population.  Doen  , disclosed that  the Elumelu Foundation has succeeded in filling the vacuum through the massive creation of jobs.  He posits that  the EU will take a cue from the Foundation efforts   to ”lay its part  and contribute to job creation in the African Continent.

The mere thought of  showing interest in African development may have informed the reason why  Elumelu told the Participants that the Foundation welcomes international Collaboration to  further enhance the development of Africa.   ”We very much believe in   Collaboration . mutual respect and a shared Commitment to transform African Continent”., he ad said.

He  assured them that the Continent is  truly ready for development    but suggested that the funds  for such development should be channeled through   the right sustainable partner, which would encourage the people to be self reliant   and independent   , instead of perpetuating dependency .

Recall that President Donald Trump  of the United States had recently lashed at African leaders who collect developmental  grants  from the industrialised Nations  only for them to stash it away in European and American Banks only  to come back to seek for foreign loans from such banks.

This is why the EU Investment and Development Finance stakeholders  who have cued into the vision of the Foundation  must  be serious if they  actually want to make an  appreciable impact in the Continent. ”We need to implement  practical solutions  on ground through  entrepreneurship , which empower people  economically and addresses issues of extremism , migration  and insecurity”., Elumeluhad said.

Phillipe de Backer , Belgium minister for  Digital  Agenda, Telecommunications  and Post, corroborated what Elumelu when he said that  ,”there is  an increasing desire   in Europe to engage  Africa ,  ,including the grassroots in a  structure and targeted approach  with the right  processes”, noting that the Elumelu Foundation offers the platform for it.

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