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‘Entrepreneurship key to Africa’s development’

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By Matilda Chimwaza in Lagos, Nigeria:

Founder of Nigeria-based Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has said entrepreneurship is the key to the transformation of African countries which mostly depend on donor aid.

Elumelu, who is also United Bank for Africa (UBA) chairman, made the remarks in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday during the 2018 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum.

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The event is the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs in the world and brings together 5000 entrepreneurs annually.

It provides a unique opportunity which brings together young business talent, creating dynamic networks and transmitting the message to policymakers that a vibrant and responsible private sector will deliver economic transformation.

Elumelu reiterated his commitment to championing Africa’s economic development by supporting and training a new generation of entrepreneurs, whose successes can transform the continent, delivering opportunity, job creation and social impact.

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“Our foundation and its unique approach of training, mentoring and funding has proven that entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking economic transformation of our continent.

“I believe so strongly that success can be democratised and if we can match ambition to opportunities, this extraordinary generation can achieve anything,” Elumelu said.

Ghanaian President Nana Akudo-Addo underlined the importance of galvanising the broad entrepreneurship eco-system, calling on public sector representatives to encourage, support and replicate the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in their respective regions.

“Nothing is changed or developed on its own. People must get up, speak, have discussions and change the dialogue,” Akudo- Addo said.

Now in its fourth year, the forum marked the graduation of the 2018 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, following a rigorous nine-month period of training, mentorship and funding, which brought the total number of beneficiaries of the programme to 4,470, with over 300,000 applications received to date.

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