Tony Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holdings, has asked Japan to invest $2.5 billion representing five per cent of its $50 billion commitment to Africa.
Elumelu, African investor and philanthropist, spoke at the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan.
“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30 billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just five per cent in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability”, Elumelu said.
His statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.
He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African countries, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.