Tony Elumelu, Nigerian billionaire and Africapitalism advocate has said entrepreneurship is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Africans to solve their challenges without dependence on aid from western countries.
Tony Elumelu was speaking in Ghana which was the first stop of his UBA tour of Africa. The tour is also an opportunity for the business tycoon to propagate the ideals of Africapitalism.
In continuation of his strategic vision of engineering a robust economic and business relationship across the continent through Africapitalism as a necessary tool for the socio economic development of Africa, the Group Chairman UBA Plc, and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Elumelu, addressed hundreds of Ghanaian youths, academics and entrepreneurs at the prestigious University of Legon, Ghana.
The serial entrepreneur who at the young age of 34, became the Managing Director of one of Nigeria’s top banks, Standard Trust Bank, reiterated the usefulness of preparedness. He expanded on the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur. “The first is dedication, then vison, focus, ambition, and our ability to do things when we want to do them. We must always remain laser focused and aim to execute to perfection” Elumelu said.
These are some of the qualities that enabled Elumelu lead one of the biggest mergers in Nigeria’s history to date. Today, UBA is amongst the top 3 banks in the country and rapidly growing in Africa.
According to Elumelu, “ I saw us grow a bank from 5 branches to 1000 branches with presence in 19 African countries and in Paris, London and New York. The lesson here is start small, have a purpose, be disciplined, think long term’
He went on further to stress that entrepreneurship and not Aid, is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Africans to solve our challenges without dependence on aid from western countries. In his words, “Knowledge has no currency or value. It is priceless, and there is no greater gift than the gift of knowledge”
He also said “Africans must come up with innovative, home grown solutions for challenges we continue to face.” He added that UBA embraces this innovation: “UBA was the 1st bank to encourage customers to come and bank with zero account balance.”
Earlier during the working visit, on Monday, Tony Elumelu met with the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo where they held fruitful discussions on matters of mutual benefit as well as deliberated on issues geared towards the growth and development of Finance and entrepreneurship in Ghana.
Of the meeting, Elumelu stated “I am delighted to be on this historic visit to Ghana which has been a shining light of UBA’s business across Africa. It was a great opportunity to meet with and congratulate the newly elected president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo and to extend our readiness to partner with his administration in the rapid development of Ghana and Africa at large. It was also an honour to meet with young and vibrant Students and share my Vision of Africapitalism”.