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Elumelu Joins Obama to Champion Entrepreneur-led Development Model for Africa

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Washington, DC. African businessman and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu

has proposed a new entrepreneur-led development model for Africa at two

high profile events in Washington DC.
Mr. Elumelu, who is Chairman of United Bank for Africa, and Founder, the

Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at a White House event hosted by United

States President Barack Obama on May 11 to celebrate emerging

entrepreneurs around the globe. The event was a prelude to Obama's

scheduled trip to Kenya this summer for the Global Entrepreneurship

During remarks to announce the Summit and his plans to participate,

President Obama thanked the global coalition of entrepreneurship

organizations that collaborated with his administration to launch the

Spark campaign for global entrepreneurship, a campaign in which the Tony

Elumelu Foundation is a founding member. The President went on to say to

the entrepreneurs present, “Entrepreneurship empowers people to no longer

be subject to aid agencies, but to be part of something to pursue their

dreams. Entrepreneurs like you can change the world one idea at a time.”

During his comments at the White House event while participating on a

panel moderated by United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Mr

Elumelu championed the cause of African entrepreneurs as the primary

drivers of Africa’s transformation. In closing, Mr Elumelu provided the

following advice to global entrepreneurs, “Entrepreneurship is a long term

journey. Great entrepreneurs are not made overnight. Dare to dream,

implement your dream, and stay focused.”
Elumelu's foundation recently launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu

Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to assist in growing

10,000 start-up companies across the African continent over the next 10

years -¯ demonstrating a commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to drive

Africa's social and economic transformation.
Other speakers that joined Obama and Elumelu to promote entrepreneurship

at the White House event included Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas

Mavericks; Barbara Corcoran; Founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners;

Daymond John, CEO and founder of FUBU — all investors on the hit ABC show

Shark Tank; Antonio Gracias, Founder of Valor Equity Partners; and Julie

Hanna, Founder of Kiva.
Accompanying Mr Elumelu to the White House was Shadi Sabeh, a young

Nigerian entrepreneur from Sokoto State who is a mentee of Mr Elumelu and

a past winner of the Tony and Awele Elumelu Prize for Economics from Usman

Dan Fodiyo University.
Following on the White House event, Mr. Elumelu delivered a lecture at

Georgetown University in Washington DC on May 12 on the topic

'Entrepreneur-Led Development: A New Model for Africa'. The lecture was

attended by a large audience including students, faculty, and alumni of

Georgetown, as well as members of the US and African private sector,

diplomatic core, and international development sector.

“I was honoured to speak at these high profile events in the US,” Tony

Elumelu said. “As a successful entrepreneur, I will continue to

communicate to the world the need for supporting and empowering African

entrepreneurs as the most impactful and sustainable approach to Africa's

development. My mission is to share this message on a global scale, and

inspire more African business leaders and global investors with an

interest in Africa to take action.”
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