Tony Elumelu, the influential chairman of Nigeria’s Transcorp conglomerate, recently shed light on the paradigm of Africapitalism, emphasizing its practicality and intrinsic worth to the African continent’s progress.
During his address at the 7th Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on October 24, 2023, Elumelu demystified the principles of Africapitalism, offering a vivid understanding of its transformative power.
Tony Elumelu explains what Africapitalism entails
Africapitalism, as expounded by Elumelu, underscores the pivotal role of long-term private sector investments in the continent’s economic fabric. The philosophy operates on the bedrock belief that Africa’s progression largely depends on the private sector, particularly its vibrant entrepreneurial class.
Tony Elumelu elaborated, “Africapitalism is about investing in sectors pivotal to Africa’s holistic empowerment. It emphasizes collective growth, ensuring that none are sidelined, particularly emphasizing empowerment for women and the youth.”
Elumelu’s profound belief in Africapitalism is not just theoretical, it’s deeply embedded in his actions and initiatives. He cited Transcorp (Power) as an epitome of Africapitalism at work. The company, being Nigeria’s most substantial electricity generator, not only ensures economic viability for its investors but also caters to the continent’s crucial demand for electricity.
As Tony Elumelu articulately pointed out, “Electricity is the linchpin for Africa’s development. From schools to hospitals to businesses, consistent power is essential. This is where Africapitalism takes center stage. By investing in essential sectors, you’re not just seeking profit but catalyzing fundamental development.”
How investments are needed in the electricity sector
Furthermore, Elumelu pressed on the necessity for substantial investments in the African electricity sector. While profitability is pivotal for sustainability, the broader vision is to address Africa’s foundational challenges that hinder its growth trajectory.
As the conversation delved deeper, Elumelu’s discourse extended to the importance of intra-African trade. He highlighted the need to harness Africa’s immense potential, from its burgeoning youth population to its vast natural resources. Advocating for a comprehensive plan for Africa, akin to the Marshal Plan, he emphasized the urgency of attracting long-term capital investments on the continent.
He asserted, “Countries like Japan, Germany, and China have thrived due to significant global capital inflows. Africa equally deserves this momentum.” Tony Elumelu further championed collaborations with institutions like the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support budding African entrepreneurs, reiterating the philosophy of Africapitalism and Africa’s self-reliance.
Given Africa’s vast geographical and demographic expanse, embracing and implementing the principles of Africapitalism as elucidated by Tony Elumelu is not just an option but a necessity for sustainable growth and prosperity
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