Transforming The African Development Agenda : Tony Elumelu In The Eyes Of Harvard Business School

By Stephen Ubanna

 No African Business mogul and Philanthropist has attracted much  attention in international circles than Tony Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for African, UBA plc, a Pan African Bank and founder Tony Elumelu Foundation, which had been involved over the years in transforming the African Development Agenda than  Tony Elumelu.

The North American country of the United States of America, US, based Harvard Business School,  HBS, in its renewed  geopolitical interest  in the African Continent and  an increasing questioning  of traditional development finance  models, was said to have released  a case study  examining  ‘’the role  and impact  of Tony Foundation , popular, TEF,  and its unique  finance approach, catalyzing  entrepreneurship in Africa.

Havard Business School, may have been encouraged to do a case study on the Leading philanthropy Foundation in the African Continent that was said to have been empowering a new generation of the Continent entrepreneurs, catalyzing in job creation, poverty eradication and ensuring inclusive economic development across all 54 African countries including Nigeria.

The Harvard Business school, which had trained out world class Leaders over the years  and established businessmen and women  may have followed the track record of the foundation since it was launched  in 2010  and how its has trained  well over 1.5 million  young African entrepreneurs  on its digital hub., TEFCONNECT  and disbursed about $100million  in direct funding to  over 18,000 African entrepreneurs  who were said to have created  over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs in the African Continent.

The school was said to have particularly looked  at  the Foundation’s  mission which is rooted  in Africapitalism , which  positions  the Private sector , a the catalyst  for social and  economic development of  the African Continent.   The robust  ability  of the world –class Foundation  to reach out to   entrepreneurs  across the 54 African countries and conduct innovative partnerships with  the European Union, EU,  United Nations Development Program me, UNDP,  the International  Committee  of the Red Cross, Us Government through  the country’s  African Development Foundation  and the African , Caribean  and Pacific States , OACPS,  including the French development  Agency, AFD,  the German Development  Institution African Development Bank was very revealing  in helping out  in the empowerment and growth  in the  fragile states in the African Continent which  may have propelled the US Business to carry out the case study on the Nigerian base Tony Elumelu Foundation.  On its impact on African entrepreneurs.

HBS, Tony Elumelu Foundation, case study

The cae study, described as the first of its kind to be conducted on any African philanthropist, was said to have been launched on Thursday, February 29, 2024, before a class of graduate students at the Harvard Business School. The Harvard Business School  Case study on the Tony Elumelu Foundation,  whose founder, Elumelu, is currently on the list of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential Advisory Committee to reposition the Nigerian economy  which had ben on the brink of collapse over the years  had been applauded by many as great work.  The case study , according to experts  had explored  the Foundation’s  unique  and transformative approaches in development, exposing how  the strategic  philanthropy  that was said to have been offered  by TEF,’’ is driving positive change  and elevating counries  and communities in the African Continent.

Going by the US based Harvard Business case study on Tony Elumelu Foundation , it is increasingly  developing  ‘’a partnership-based  approach , working with various Financial Institutions , both within and outside the African Continent  to develop bespke programmes  focused on less developed countries within the African Continent  female entrepreneurs  and sustainability initiatives’’. 

Elumelu, the multibillionaire business mogul, may have used the opportunity of the Launching of the case study on TEF at the Harvard Business School to speak out.   He had said that ‘’the Foundation is creating economic hope and opportunity for African   entrepreneurs’’.

He was said to have stated further to the applaud of the guests when he stated ‘’that entreprenurship is the solution to youth unemployment and insecurity in Nigerian and other African countries. He noted that through the intervention of TEF, across the African Continent over the last fifteen years or thereabout,  it has succeeded in various ways in transforming the young people and giving them hope .  He may have shocked guests who had showed for the Launching of the Harvard Business School, case study on TEF, when he declared that ‘’ collectively with our contribution, ‘’all of us can resolve the economic and security challenges that face the African Continent.

An appreciative Elumelu,  had said that ‘’it is wonderful  to work with  HBS, to spotlight  TEF successes , acknowledge the challenges that the Foundation had faced  and provided opportunity  to spread the experience  for the benefit of others’’.  This is an opportunity for multi-billionaire mogul, Aliko Dangote, TY Danjuma, described as the wealthiest investor on the Nigerian Stock Exchange Market, Strive Masiyiwa,  and other  wealthy Africans  who have well-funded Foundations , across the African Continent to take a cue from what TEF, had done over the years in  improving the continent’s economic fortune  to do similar thing by investing on generations of  young entrepreneurs to create  more jobs in the African Continent. 

The HBS , Launching of the TEF , case study , may have turned out to be very rewarding as the Harvard Business session was said to have provided  an opportunity  ‘’to engage  in a meaningful  discussion  on the role of philanthropy  in shaping sustainable  and inclusive economics’’.

HBS , Authorities may have gladdened the heart of participants at the Launching of the Tony Elumelu case study, when it asserted that  ‘’as the world  grapples  with complex economic challenges  and demographics, climate change and sustainability , ‘’TEF, offers a fascinating  model of how strategic philanthropy  can be  a driving  force  for positive change in the African Continent’’.                          

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