Tony Elumelu's message to US government officials and African Leaders as he prepares to attend this year's US-Africa Summit in Washington

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Tony Elumelu's message to US government officials and African Leaders as he prepares to attend this year's US-Africa Summit in Washington

At a dinner in Tanzania in 2013, around the launch of Power Africa, the US’s visionary strategy to address Africa’s energy deficit, I joined other African leaders in advising then-President Barack Obama  to use his convening power to engage more with the African private sector. A year later, in 2014, the first US-Africa Leaders Summit and US Africa Business Forum held.


Earlier this year, in April, during a visit to the US, I had conversations with policymakers and my message to the US was to re-imagine your relationship with Africa, away from aid, to focus on empowerment of youth and support for sustainable private sector institutions.  I found a genuine interest to re-engage Africa, in a manner that prioritizes mutual benefit and self reliance. My subsequent op-ed in The Hill called for a new US engagement with Africa.


I am so glad that the Joe Biden administration is prioritising the US Africa relationship – and that team members of the The Tony Elumelu Foundation have been able to work closely with the US Government, by offering our advice and experience, in creating a summit that truly speaks to the needs of our continent.


I will be in Washington DC, this week for the Summit. I will attend meetings with US Government officials, African leaders and business leaders from across the globe; my messages will be clear:


1. Empowering youth through entrepreneurship addresses many of the challenges Africa and the world faces; poverty, climate change, insecurity, food security, education. I will share the work that TEF does in empowering thousand of entrepreneurs, to build sustainable businesses through training, mentoring and seed capital, and the ripple effect this creates in their communities.


2. The private sector is crucial to the development of a deepened US-Africa trade and investments relationships. A key foundation is a seamless payment infrastructure between the two continents. I will speak on the role the UBA Group, our pan-African bank, has played in facilitating payments, funding and trade support across the globe for businesses, through its presence in the United States, France, Dubai, the United Kingdom, 20 African countries.


I am a philanthropist; I am a businessman – for me the distinction is not huge. We do business to do good. And the good we do, builds better, stronger, sustainable businesses. We know how to effect change at scale – we want more partners to join us – learn about what we, and our growing partnerships do @ www.tonyelumelufoundation.org. If you are in business, learn that Africa is a place of opportunity, return and mutual reward.


I look forward to an engaging week in DC. I will share my activities at the summit on my social media platforms; Instagram  & Twitter - @tonyoelumelu and LinkedIn - Tony O. Elumelu… stay tuned.

 

#TOEWay #Africapitalism #USAfricanLeadersSummit2022

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