President Akufo-Addo (right) and Tony Elumelu (middle) with another panelist
TONY O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings & Founder of
Tony Elumelu Foundation, has urged African business and the private sector to
embrace the concept of Africa beyond aid agenda championed by Ghana’s President,
Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.
The high level presidential dialogue brought
participants from around the world and African influencers to discuss how
Africa can create wealth to fund African initiatives including trade.
Speaking as part of a high level presidential panel
organized by the UNDP Africa on the theme; Africa’s money for African
Development – A future beyond aid, Mr. Elumelu noted that, investment in other
areas of African economy like power was a business investment and would
contribute to the growth of the countries but an investment in young Africans
would create prosperity for all. The chairman of Heirs Holdings added that the
success of the private sector was success for all as it impacts a larger
Mr. Elumelu pointed out that the Africa beyond
aid agenda was at the heart of the Africapitalism concept which he continued to
champion over the last few decades. “We in the African private sector must wake
up, recognize and embrace our role in driving the economic growth and the
social development of Africa and we must act on that responsibility in tangible
ways,” he added.
He called on African governments to create the
enabling environment for the private sector to operate. He stressed that the
private sector could work together with African governments to create jobs for
the teeming unemployed youth on the continent which can lead to growth.
President Nana Akufo-Addo noted in his remarks
that Africa beyond aid was not anti-Europe or America but, Africans must depend
on each other in order to accelerate their growth. He further added that every
country in its development would welcome foreign investments and therefore
would not turn away such investments.
“Ghana beyond aid is not an initiative to be
hostile to foreign investors. Our continent is the best endowed in the world,
yet we are the most underdeveloped and this will have to change.
“I believe we can make Africa the prosperous
and joyful place it should be. Our young people must see and feel the dividends
of democratic development. Our success story and changed narrative would come
with building economies that are not dependent on charity and handouts. Africa,
I am confident, will be a wealthy and dynamic member of the global community,
making her own unique contribution to the growth of world civilization,” he
Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of UBA Plc, a Pan-African Bank currently
operating in 20 African countries including UBA Ghana.