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Home Visionaries Tony Elumelu: 5 Inspiring Ideas for Africa from the Billionaire’s UN Speech
Visionaries - September 28, 2022

Tony Elumelu: 5 Inspiring Ideas for Africa from the Billionaire’s UN Speech

In September, the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held its annual high-level debate that convenes global leaders in New York. TEF Founder Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, TEF CEO Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, and TEF Director of Partnerships and Communications Somachi Chris-Asoluka were among the important leaders.

The goal of the series of bilateral discussions was to emphasise even more how crucial and urgent it is for the world to invest in Africa in order to eradicate poverty, create jobs, and open up new economic prospects.

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and the TEF foundation agreed to a $20 million agreement to promote this ruling and support African entrepreneurship.

The billionaire, Tony Elumelu also gave a keynote address at the program that drove hearts to the problems Africans are facing as a whole. Let’s take a  look at five of the inspiring ideas billionaire Tony Elumelu gave at his UN speech. 


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1. Nigerian youths are trooping out of the country

Over 41 million people have emigrated from Africa, according to Statista. The population has greatly increased since 2000, when it stood at roughly 22 million. Emigration from Africa began, in particular from Eastern and Northern Africa, in 2020.

While some people enjoy the convenience of flying out of their country, others use riskier alternatives, such as crossing the Mediterranean sea. Some have been successful while doing it, while others have not.

This desperation spurns out from the desire of these individuals to want a better life than the one they live in their countries.

During his speech, Tony Elumelu highlighted the solution that entrepreneurship can bring to alleviate most of these extremes.   

2. There’s a lot Africa’s rich can do

Although the African continent is home to many of the world’s most valuable resources, including gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, and iron ore, its people have long been among the world’s poorest.

Some people on the continent have acquired a certain level of comfort in their respective home countries, but very few of them are prepared to give back to their community.

During the UN meeting, Elumelu touched on his level of comfort, saying, “I come from Africa–proudly born and bred in Africa and I have achieved some level of comfort on the continent, but I am not alone; there are so many others who have achieved this level of comfort on the continent.”

He ended by requesting that something can be done with all hands on deck. 

3. Africa is in dire need of positive action

In practically all of the African nations, corruption is rife. One cannot overlook or dismiss the harm that high-level and systemic corruption causes to the already fragile economies of Africa.

States are finding it difficult to provide the most fundamental services to their inhabitants due to the illegal conduct of elected officials, bureaucrats, and business executives.

All of a country’s possible Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) cannot be fully realised because of corruption. Increased access to housing, education, and water.

For instance, the African Union believes that corruption costs the continent’s GDP by 25%.

4. Africa’s youth are the key to a better continent

Over 60% of people in Africa are under the age of 30. A good percentage for a healthy workforce in a continent. 

However, the lack of employment in a country reduces the usage of talents in the society. 

Tony Elumelu sees youths as the answer to the dire situations happening in Africa, “we think we know what we need in Africa, what we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation has demonstrated and proven to us that this time-tested path of empowering our young ones – young females and young males is clearly the way to developing our continent.”

5. Violence on the continent 

The highest fatality rates in the region are seen in Nigeria and South Africa. The countries record 33.7 and 31.9 deaths per year, respectively).

Nigerian roads account for more than one in four fatalities in the region. 64% of all traffic fatalities in the region are attributed to Nigeria and six other nations: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Tony Elumelu hammers on the need to promote entrepreneurship on the continent to stop violence, “ we need entrepreneurship to stop extremism on our continent. We need entrepreneurship to provide security and assure prosperity for everyone.”


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