Tony Elumelu
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Visionaries - October 18, 2022

Inside Tony Elumelu’s $1.4 Million Deal to Empower Rwandan Youths

Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has signed a $1.4 million agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This is in a bid to support inclusive growth and young entrepreneurship in Rwanda.

Through his non-profit organisation, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the landmark $1.4 million four-year deal will last from  2022 to 2026 in order to enable Rwandan youths tap the nation’s more inclusive, competitive, and sustainable economic growth.

Tony Elumelu has made a commitment to educating young businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Africa. He is the chairman of TEF and United Bank for Africa, one of Nigeria’s premier financial services companies.


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More on TEF partnership

The new partnership, according to a press release from TEF, will promote entrepreneurship as a factor in the expansion of businesses and the creation of jobs in the nation. 

It will also empower young people through a comprehensive programme that combines entrepreneurship capacity building with financial start-up assistance and one-on-one business mentoring.

The agreement states that TEF, working with UNDP and the Ugandan Ministry of Youth and Culture, will not only train and mentor 400 young Rwandan entrepreneurs with creative business ideas but will also make sure that seed funding is given to 100 young entrepreneurs to help them launch and grow their businesses.

Maxwell Gomera, UNDP resident representative in Rwanda, spoke about the partnership and emphasised the significance of youth in the growth of the local economy. 

He said that the partnership with TEF will specifically assist Rwanda’s young people by launching more than 1,600 new businesses.

“I have no doubt that these businesses, led by a new generation of entrepreneurs,” he said, “will also significantly contribute to job creation and livelihood opportunities for more youth.”

TEF Empowering youth 

According to TEF’s CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the Elumelu-led organisation is eager to increase its influence on eradicating poverty, generating jobs, and empowering women in Africa through this new relationship with UNDP Rwanda and the Rwandan Ministry of Youth and Culture.

She said, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship programme was developed on the principle that the economic empowerment of African youth is pivotal to economic growth and sustainable development across the African continent, and we believe that this partnership will move us closer to our shared vision to support African youth through entrepreneurship by creating sustainable opportunities for transformative development across the continent.”

The Nigerian banker chose 4,949 African business owners last year for the 2021 entrepreneurship programme of his charitable foundation. Each entrepreneur earned $5,000 as part of the programme, for a total of $24.75 million in financial support.

Elumelu recently consented to a $20 million arrangement with the U.S. as part of the endeavour to promote economic growth not just in Nigeria but also throughout Africa. 

 About UNDP 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the primary UN agency battling to halt the injustices of poverty, inequality, and climate change. 

UNDP assists governments in developing comprehensive and long-lasting solutions for people and the environment by collaborating with a large network of specialists and partners in over 170 countries.

In order to combat youth unemployment and underemployment, UNDP is committed to providing young people with the necessary vocational training, boosting their competitiveness on the job market, strengthening national institutions’ capacity to mainstream youth employment, and assisting youth-led businesses in testing and scaling up novel ideas.


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