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Tony Elumelu Proposes New Initiatives To Aid Africa’s Growth
African businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has called on business leaders to make decisions that will enhance the economic, social and developmental goals of the African continent.
Elumelu, who is the chairman of Heirs Holdings and the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, gave the charge when he addressed members of the African corporate world in a closing keynote speech titled, “Africapitalism as a Catalyst for Development in Africa” which he delivered at the Oxford Africa Conference, Oxford University last Friday.
Elumelu itemized what already-established businesses could do to advance Africa’s development through an economic philosophy he coined “Africapitalism”, which he noted focuses on the private sector’s critical role in driving economic and social development across Africa.
He also explained in detail what he meant by the coinage.
“Africapitalism means we cannot leave the business of development up to our governments, donor countries and philanthropic organizations alone. 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 explained.
The Oxford Africa Conference is a leading annual event organized by members of the Oxford Africa Society and the Oxford Africa Business network of Saïd Business School, Oxford University.
Earlier in the week, Elumelu also championed the cause of access to power at the Sustainable Energy For All, SE4ALL Global Advisory Board meeting which held in New York.
The board is co-chaired by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim.
At the board meeting, Elumelu said good governance was a key ingredient to growth in Africa adding that the continent was already open for business as there were lots of opportunities and a high return on investment for shrewd business men.
“Africa’s power deficit is huge and may not be cleared in the next couple of years. The power sector is therefore a goldmine for investors,” Elumelu advised.
He also represented Africa’s private sector in France on May 20, during a global business dialogue aimed at influencing the agenda for the 2015 Conference of the Parties, COP 21 which is the leading annual negotiating summit on climate issues.
He was invited along with an exclusive group of 40 global business leaders, including Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla.