By Stephen Ubanna
Not many were surprised that Tony Elumelu, Group Chairman, United Bank For Africa plc, and founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, popular, TEF, a philanthropist organistaion and the Money Deposit Bank, MDB, have taken the initiative to start the UBA plc, a pan African bank Conversation Day to Celebrate of African Day .
The event , according to informed sources is to bring together African political Leaders and Policy makers , to define an African Response to the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China Coronavirus pandemic, popular, COVID 19.
The first edition of the high profile discussion had been held sometimes ago in Abuja, the Federal capital Territory. The large turnout of important dignitaries both within and outside the country to the media event may have encouraged the Bank to start planning for the second edition slated today, Monday, May 25, 2020. Note that the theme for the 2020 edition of the event is: Empasising Economic Collaboration, Restructuring and Repositioning for the African New Order.
Many believe that the 2020 edition of the UBA Coversations Day had become timely in this trying and difficult times in Africa with the downturn in the African economy to avoid getting worse giving the fact that over 60 percent of Africans are still living below the poverty line as it will set a roadmap for the Continent ‘s economic growth and Sustainability
Given the importance attached to the event, the business icon, Elumelu, was said to have had agreed to moderate the discussion. An insider had told The Value News that Ramon Nasir, the bank Head , External and Media Relations, has been encouraged to issue a Statement about the high profile event after getting the confirmation of the participation of President Macky Sall, Senegal, and George Opong Weah, a football star and the President of Liberia including Chris Coons, a Senator of the North American country of the United States, US, and who incidentally is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
TAt the instance of Elumelu, the bank Group Chairman, the Organising Committee were said to have also reached out to Okey Oramah, a Professor and President , Africa Export –Import Bank , Afreximbank, Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, and Amir Ben Ahmed, President, Africa Chief Executive Officers, CEO, Forum and several other dignitaries and top government Functionaries who were said to have also given their word to be at the high profile event .
The confirmation of these two African Presidents and the other important dignitaries both within and outside Africa, may have informed why Uzoka, the bank Group Managing Director had sent out invitation letters to the guests including top government Functionaries in various countries in Africa. ‘’I am pleased to invite you to join our Chairman , Tony Elumelu, at the second edition of the UBA Conversations Day in Celebration of Africa day’’.
Economic experts believe that if the African political leaders and policy makers will go ahead to implement the recommendations that would be arrived at the UBA Coversation Day on how to reposition the African economy on the part of growth,, as it will a go a long way to revive the battered economy.
The experts noted that ‘’it will lead to lead to a significant growth in the economy in the post COVID 19 era, by creating more jobs as most of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, across Africa which had been shut down as a result of the unavailability of raw materials and Chemicals to sustain their factories as a result of the pandemic which necessitated the lock down of the African countries economy, will come back on stream, which, analysts believe will fuel sustainable development. The SMEs are the engine of economic growth of every economy. This is may have why the Tony Elumelu Foundation in ten years, precisely between 2000 and 2020, had spent $100 million to sponsor thousands of SMEs across Africa.