Recently, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) joined forces with UNICEF, Generation Unlimited (GENU), UNDP, and IKEA Foundation at the United Nations General Assembly. This alliance is set to reshape the narrative for Africa.
At the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) held a breakfast roundtable in collaboration with UNICEF, Generation Unlimited (GENU), UNDP, and IKEA Foundation.
During the event, President Bola Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite, praised Tony Elumelu for driving investments in youth and start-ups. He urged Africans to look within for support rather than relying solely on international organizations for funding.
Elumelu highlighted the impact of TEF’s $100 million entrepreneurship program, emphasizing its role in advancing Africa’s socio-economic development. He called for collaborative efforts to prioritize young Africans, especially women, and address poverty collectively.
Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, UNDP, stressed the importance of investing in Africa’s young, vibrant, and innovative population for future prosperity.
TEF CEO, Somachi Chris-Asoluka, emphasized TEF’s role as a leading philanthropy in Africa, empowering entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries. She highlighted TEF’s success in funding entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and driving economic growth.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State emphasized the significance of inclusive empowerment, considering Nigeria’s position with the largest youth population in Africa.
The CEO of IKEA Foundation, Per Heggenes, expressed eagerness to collaborate with TEF and GenU in supporting entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa.
TEF announced two initiatives: The Tony Elumelu Foundation Impact Report, ‘A Decade of Impact,’ showcasing the transformational journey, and BeGreenAfrica, a pioneering Green Entrepreneurship Program to combat climate change and create sustainable job opportunities.
In the TEF Impact Report for 2022, it was revealed that TEF has trained 1.5 million entrepreneurs, disbursed $100 million in seed capital, and created 400,000 jobs, with 58% being female-owned businesses.
TEF’s contribution to environmental sustainability and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was also highlighted. The foundation commits to further supporting young African entrepreneurs, focusing on women empowerment and green entrepreneurship through the soon-to-be-launched Coalition for African Entrepreneurs.
In essence, this coalition aims to empower Africa’s next generation, especially in the green economy and invites development agencies, the global private sector, philanthropic organizations, and governments to collaborate in this mission.