Elumelu Takes UBA And TEF to Tokyo International Conference On African Development

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

When President  Muhammadu Buhari, left for the Tokyo  International Conference on African Development , TCAD 7, with the government delegation including  some private sector investors, not many  expected  Tony Elumelu, Chairman , United Bank for African, plc and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, to be there.

 Unknown to them, the organisers of the TICAD7, had sent a personal invitation to him, insisting that he must be there because of his achievement  in promoting investments in  the African Continent. Elumelu, according to sources, did not hesistate in giving his words to attend to participate fully in the programme.

True to to his words, the BA, Chairman  was said to have made all the travell arrangements  for the Conference. The Bank sources said he would be accompanied by other officials from the Bank including Ifeanyinwa  Ugochukwu, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Foundation. It was learnt Dupe Olusola, Group Head, Marketing, who has a mark , in UBA,  and Muyiwa  Akinyemi , Group Head, Corporate Banking  were also on the Elumelu team to Japan.

The’’ Conference’’ which was formed in 1993  have been  convened  alternately between  Japan and Africa  since TICAD6. Described as the largest Conference on African development, it  was said to have attracted  several Heads of States and Governments in Africa including b business moguls from the from the Continent.

Tony Elumelu: Chairman uba PLC AND Founder TEF

Note that it  is a Conference organised every three years , for advancing African Development through pepole , technology  and innovation’’.  Given the importance attached to the Conference  because of its  focus  on African Transformation, improvements in business , environment  and institutions through  private sector  investments and innovation,  Elumelu, a Nigerian celebrated  Investor, is expected to give a keynote   at the official Business Forum that would be hosted by the Japan External Trade  Organisation,  JETRO.

The Conference , which provides a platform  for key decision makers  from Japan  and Africa , both in business and politics , in order to be able to identify opportunities  for investments  and exchange  knowledge was said to have made the appreciable impact on the African Continent. Already, Japan   has pledged a  $30 billion   investment  for the future of African  .

 Also, the Japanese government  and the country’s  private sector have agreed  to spend additional   $10 billion   on infrastructural development  in the  Continent  and $500 million  for  vocational training  of 50,000 Africans. That much was contained in the keynote Address of Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister.

 This is where  Elumelu, would have to show his is expertise in financial management by advising JETRO, on how to spend the fund to achieve the desire purpose in Africa.  Note that UBA, which has been under the close watch of Elumelu , and the Foundation,    have been at the forefront of innovation  in the African continent over the last five years.

 Described as the voice of the new generation of African Entrepreneurs , capable of transforming the Continent ,  Elumelu, who is expected to speak alongside   with  other global leaders and business  moguls  at the Conference which kikstarts on Wednesday, August 28,2019, and  end on Friday, August 30, 2019.  Among African leaders  that had been grouped penciled down to speak  alongside with Elumelu, at   the plenary  session include Cyril Ramaphosa, South  Africa, and Chairman of African Union, UU. Abdel- Fattah Sisi, Egypt, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria and Paul Kagame,  Rwanda.

It was learnt that that the Organisers  of the TICAD7  had prepared the mind of  the Nigerian born investor that he would deliver the keynote address  at the  plenary  Public – Private  sector business  Dialogue , described as the core session,  which is expected to bring   together Japanese and African  business leaders on a round table  because of his wealth of experience.

Many believe that he would use  the opportunity provided by the TCAD7 to espouse his Philosophy  on  African Capitalism  which posits  ‘’entrepreneurship  as the key  to unlocking  economic transformation    in Africa’’ . Business watchers believe he has  used the opportunities  provided  by such international Conferences in the past to   drum support for empowerment  of young entrepreneurs and why the government must provide the enabling environment for the investors  and their business to thrive. The situation may not  be different in the ongoing  TCAD7.

There are indications that the Nigerian investor,  will join  Kagame, the President of Rwanda    to Co-Chair   the Leadership  Group  of Generation unlimited   and  Henrieta  Fore, UNICEF, Executive Director   to Co-Chair  UNICEF and  AU, Breakfast  meeting which would   focuse on ‘’ catalyzing  investment   in African youths  and developing  a specific vision   for job creation in Africa’’.

Those who knew Elemulu, says he never  allows any  opportunity to pass by him without making good use of it. He is expected  to use the Breakfast meeting with  the African leaders to extract a  Commitment from them, for implementation of a ‘’business plan  for digital productivity in Africa  that would look more like  the ELumelu Foundation ‘s TEF Connect, the largest digital network for African Entrepreneurs.

Thoe who are Conversant with the Elumelu Foundation Programme  in the last five years  revealed that 7,521 African Entrepreneurs   had benefited from     his personal commitment of 100 million seed funding , mentorship and training.Investigation shows that six of the beneficiaries of the funds  had  been sponsored at various times  the   to attend UNCTAD Conference  organised by  the UNDP.

It is not surprising why JETRO officials are looking to Elumelu to know  he was able to build a behemoth  out of UBA and turn his Foundation into a household name in Africa  among young Entrepreneurs.

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