BUJUMBURA October 30th (ABP) – 5,000 African entrepreneurs and the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem gathered in Lagos, the economic capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Thursday October 25, 2018 as part of the 4th edition of the annual entrepreneurship forum of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
It is an event that brings together a large number of African entrepreneurs offering an opportunity to bring together the most talented young people in entrepreneurship. It also allows these young people to create dynamic networks.
The Forum was characterized by the awarding of the certificates to the winners of the TEF Entrepreneurship Program 2018 Promotion, following a nine-month training and mentoring with the donation of US $ 10,000 capital allowing the start of activities.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s entrepreneurship program, which commits $ 100 million over 10 years, aims to identify, train, monitor and then fund 10,000 young entrepreneurs from all corners of Africa.
Mr. Elumelu also said that African small and medium-sized enterprises participating in the TEF program will be represented at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which will be an opportunity for these companies to bring their projects and also an opportunity for integration into the largest networks of entrepreneurs worldwide. Mr. Elumelu reiterated his commitment to advocating for Africa’s economic development by supporting and training a new generation of entrepreneurs, whose successes can transform the continent, provide opportunities, create jobs and have social impact.During his speech, the leader of the forum of future entrepreneurs of the continent, Nigerian Tony Elumelu, head of UBA (United Bank for Africa) and of the foundation that bears his name said that the goal is centralized on democratizing the spirit of entrepreneurship throughout the African continent, since so far 75% of companies in Africa are going bankrupt from the start. According to him, entrepreneurship is the base for the development of the African continent, from which young entrepreneurs have a key role to play in achieving this development.
“Our Foundation and its unique approach to training, mentoring and funding have proven that entrepreneurship is the catalyst for the economic transformation of our continent. I firmly believe that success can be democratized and that if we can link the ambitions to the opportunities, this extraordinary generation can accomplish everything, “he said, adding however that young people cannot succeed in entrepreneurship without the help of their political leaders.
The Forum was attended by two African presidents, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and Kenya’s Mr. Uhuru Kenyetta who, virtually participated from his palace. The latter pointed out in his speech that the best destiny of Africa does not belong to the political leaders, but rather to its youth. He then returned to actions already undertaken by his country, which is now tending to be the continent’s leading technological center thanks to the initiatives it is pursuing in certain sectors, notably education, teaching, academic and professional training, as well as the employability of young people.
“We live in a richest continent in the world but where people are poor, it is a paradox that must be resolved,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo. He further pointed out that studies have already shown that in 40 African countries, more than 50% of the population is made up of 25-year-old people, which means that Africa’s population is young and that young people are considered the best future of the continent. To succeed, he insisted, young people must be equipped with entrepreneurship and always assisted by leaders.
“I am opposed to the idea that Africa must always depend on outside help, the reason why I came here to join these young visionaries and support the Tony Elumelu’s Initiative and his Foundation,” he said. While urging youth to avoid pessimism and always be the best, he called on public sector representatives to encourage, support and replicate the Tony Elumelu Foundation model in their home regions.
The African Entrepreneurs Forum was rich in colours and one of them was the launch of TEFConnect, a revolutionary digital platform that brings together in Africa and beyond the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, investors and the business world on a single platform and digitally connects them to three critical elements of success, namely the capital, business tools and enterprises.
According to Elumelu, Africa is experiencing a wave of rapid technological change in payment, education, agriculture and basic facilities, and TEFConnect is playing a critical role in connecting entrepreneurs across the continent. TEFConnect is an open source platform that will provide tailored tools and content to catalyze the business development of millions of people across the continent with technology and directly applicable content. Five Burundians were among the 5,000 young entrepreneurs who participated in the forum. The Forum was also covered by the media by a hundred development reporters from all over the world.