Accelerating Africa: Andrew Mitchell and Tony Elumelu on Partnership Between Africa's Private Sector and the Development Community
Increasing Collaboration and Championing Impact Investing for Economic Development Across the Continent
On the occasion of a keynote speech at London Business School by the UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, highlighting the pivotal role of the African private sector in economic development, Tony Elumelu provided the response on behalf of the African business community.
The keynote event served as a platform for dialogue between the private sector in Africa and policy makers to continue to discuss ways in which to create partnerships in Africa that eliminate bottlenecks and increase both the economic and social wealth of Africa.
Mitchell emphasised that 'Africa is a continent of innovation, enterprise and opportunity ' and urged businesses globally to seize those opportunities offered by African markets: 'Well-directed action by people sitting in boardrooms can improve the lives of people in Africa just as much as aid workers and charity campaigners can'. As a leading spokesperson for the private
sector in Africa, Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), was invited by the Department for International Development (DFID) to share his thoughts in response to the Minister's speech on Africa as a continent of economic growth and a place of innovation. The theme and purpose of the evening was clear recognition of the importance of Africa in UK priorities and the ability of the private sector to accelerate socioeconomic development of the continent.
The evening followed a DFID roundtable discussion that Elumelu participated in last month as an African private sector leader, where he encouraged other African peer private sector business leaders to join him as partners in launching sustained, economic investment for Africa by contributing their resources and experiences. "Only in the context of a genuine private sector partnership can we create enabling environments for investments that will
meet Africa's demands for economic transformation and social impact in a sustainable way', Elumelu said. 'Africa's investment landscape is changing, there is a growing appetite for long-term investments that catalyse growth in the private sector.' Heirs Holdings has a long-term investment horizon as is evident in its pioneering impact investment, Mtanga Farms, a Tanzanian agriculture business focused on arable and livestock farming.
Africa is improving her economic competitiveness. Governments are creating enabling environments for the private sector to function optimally resulting in impressive business models. Over time, a partnership between African entrepreneurs and institutional investors like DFID can create enormous potential that have an economic development impact, as well as long-term view in sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, health care, education. For example, DFID's investment in the innovative
M-PESA mobile money transfer programme, helped transformed Kenya's economy by creating over 7,000 enterprises and 12,000 jobs. TEF's recently implemented African Markets Internship Programme (AMIP), bringing together teams of MBA students from U.S., Europe and African business schools with fast growing African businesses, is a concrete example of it's innovative approach, shining a spotlight on Africa's vibrant entrepreneurial sector.
After 26 years in the financial services industry, Elumelu is recognised as a champion for economic and social transformation with his growing influence in the private sector in Africa. In 2005, he merged Standard Trust Bank Plc with United Bank for Africa Plc and transformed it from a single country banking institution into a pan-African financial services group now serving seven million customers throughout Africa. Heirs Holdings and TEF are Africa-based and African-funded independent bodies by
Elumelu through which he continues to advance and demonstrate his belief in impact investing across Africa as a way of achieving economic transformation through investments that generate economic and social wealth. For more information on Heirs Holdings and The Tony Elumelu Foundation, please log on to www.heirsholdings.com and www.tonyelumelufoundation.org http://www.heirsholdings.com/ . http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/
About Heirs Holdings Heirs Holdings is an African investment company and a leader in creating value and catalysing economic growth in the world's next great growth market: Africa. The firm focuses on proprietary asset management, principal investing, business turnaround, and promoting entrepreneurship and business excellence across the continent. As a partner to global investors in key sectors and regions of Africa in identifying and investing in high-value opportunities for the long-term, HH is committed to economic transformation in Africa through investments that
generate both economic and social wealth.
About The Tony Elumelu Foundation The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an Africa-based and African-funded not-for-profit institution, dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa. As a 21st century catalytic philanthropy, the Foundation is committed to the economic transformation of Africa through investments that generate both economic and social wealth in the African private sector.
Founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, the Foundation identifies and prepares business students, young entrepreneurs and CEOs of African corporations at various stages of their development. It seeks to use African capital and leadership to create a pipeline of entrepreneurs, while also supporting imaginative business leaders, whose ideas can create sustainable employment and foster regional partnerships.