“ As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck.” – Tony O. Elumelu
Much-Loved African Philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu
|Much-Loved African Philanthropist Tony Elumelu|
Born, raised and educated in Africa, Tony Elumelu, at age 54, is one of Africa’s most prominent business leaders and philanthropists. He is the chairperson of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Transcorp Nigeria and Heirs Holdings, a proprietary investment firm. His Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African-based, African-funded philanthropic organization that supports entrepreneurship in Africa. Today, UBA operates in 19 African countries, as well as New York, London and Paris.
Elumelu is the author and leading proponent of Africapitalism, an economic philosophy which advocates for the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy, that drive economic prosperity and social wealth.
Nigerian banker and philanthropist Tony Elumelu in August 2017, donated $500,000 to Sierra Leone to help alleviate the suffering of people affected by flood and mudslide in the country. Elumelu made the donation to Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday during a visit to the West African country. Along with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Elumelu visited survivors at the Connaught Hospital, the principal adult referral hospital in Freetown, the country’s capital.
Elumelu called on other wealthy individuals and organizations around the world to support relief efforts in Sierra Leone. The Nigerian philanthropist also called the attention of international media to the Freetown floods and bemoaned the fact that the world’s major news organizations have not given significant media attention to the crisis.
More than 3,000 people lost their homes in last week's mudslide in Sierra Leone, which killed at least 499 people, with more than 600 still missing. There is still no precise figure on the total number of victims. Three years ago, Elumelu donated about $300,000 towards Ebola containment and relief across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
In 2010, the Tony Elumelu Foundation was founded according to the website to spur our continent’s development through entrepreneurship and competitiveness. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Heirs Holdings, an African investment firm believing that the private sector holds the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential. Tony Elumelu Foundation desires to empower a generation of successful for-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation.
Elumelu said about his Tony Elumelu Foundation “In 2015, I heralded the ‘Decade of the African Entrepreneur’ by committing $100 million, to the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – the first of its kind and scale in Africa. Since then, our alumni – across all 54 African countries – have begun growing businesses and improving lives, contributing to our goal of empowering 10,000 entrepreneurs who will collectively create one million jobs and generate $10 billion in revenue.”