Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA, and Transcorp is greatly known for his philanthropic efforts and passion for youth development.
This is also evident in the activities of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), known as the largest African philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship.
With a $100,000 commitment by Elumelu and a quest to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years, the foundation launched the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015.
The programme which recorded a great level of success opened doors to partnership across Africa. Institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Bank for Africa Plc, have inked partnerships with TEF to create a meaningful and permanent impact across Africa.
Worthy of note is TEF’s partnership with African Development Bank (AFDB) to accelerate youth entrepreneurship across Africa. The partnership which was signed in 2019 ensured that 3,050 young entrepreneurs across 54 African countries received support.
AFDB’s participation also allowed an additional 1,000 entrepreneurs to benefit from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP), which provides much-needed opportunities to help stem the rising tide of unemployment and inequality facing the continent’s youngest citizens.
Also, TEF’s partnership with General Electric (GE), a leading multinational to allow 25 entrepreneurs from Tony Elumelu Foundation to participate in a dedicated 4-week advanced manufacturing training program every year is another notable partnership.
The training is held at GE’s Lagos Garage, a hub designed for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation, and collaboration.
Over the years, TEF has raised, mentored, and funded over 15,847 young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries through its entrepreneurship programs.
The foundation also provides capacity-building support, advisory, and market linkages to over one million Africans through its digital networking platform, TEFConnect’.
Elumelu and Delta state
Elumelu who hails from Delta state has also driven poverty reduction and contributed immensely to the economic development of the state. In 2018, the business mogul pledged N500 million to create an entrepreneurship program exclusive to indigenes of the state.
In addition to that, Elumelu’s family also built a permanent ultra-modern Palace for the Obi of Onicha-Uku, HRM Raphael Agbamuche in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State in 2020.
Furthermore, Elumelu donated six trailer loads of rice to Onicha Ugbo and Onicha-Uku to cushion the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. Members of four Local Government Councils in Aniocha-Oshimili also got one trailer load each.
Elumelu’s possible role in developing Niger Delta
As Elumelu’s philanthropic acts continue to receive commendations nationwide, his next point of call could be the Niger Delta region.
This comes as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) recently revealed its intention to partner with the Tony Elumelu Foundation and other partners in the development of the Niger Delta region.
Announced by NDDC MD, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, during a visit to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, the partnership “is part of its renewed approach to expedite the development of the Niger Delta in creative ways, irrespective of funding and liabilities challenges.”
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