Support entrepreneurs if you want to ‘fight’ poverty in Africa – UBA boss to AfDB

The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) has entreated the African Development Bank (AfDB) to refocus its intervention in the continent towards the empowerment of entrepreneurs.

Tony Elumelu said a comprehensive investment support for entrepreneurs in Africa will help realize African Union (A.U.)’s dream of reducing poverty.

The renowned entrepreneur made these remarks when he delivered a lecture themed ‘Africapitalism and Entrepreneurship’ at the University of Ghana Tuesday.

Mr Elumelu a Nigerian philantropist is in Ghana for a two-day working visit which will afford him the opportunity to meet some business leaders in the country.

African leaders have committed to reduce poverty in the continent to below 20 percent by 2030, but the UBA Chairman said this cannot be achieved if entrepreneurs are not empowered.

Mr Elumelu with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

He explained his foundation – Tony Elumelu Foundation – which seeks to promote Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has been facing challenges due to the overflow of applications it receives yearly.

“Am having a discussion with the African Development Bank to support this initiative of entrepreneurship, we have to fund entrepreneurs if we want the continent to grow,” he said.

He nonetheless expressed optimistic that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will lead the way for the continent with the introduction of measures to create an enabling environment for businesses.

Mr Elumelu said this about the President when he visited him for a closed door discussion on business development in the country.

Through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), the entrepreneur has committed $100 million to identify, support and grow 10,000 emerging African entrepreneurs over the next decade.