Tony Elumelu urges global investors to invest in Africa, African SMEs

Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has urged global investors to invest in Africa and African businesses.

Elumelu, also Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Heirs Holdings, while delivering his speech at the “Ambition Africa” conference organised by the France Invest Africa Club in Paris, on Wednesday, said there is need for global investors to channel funds to the emerging African markets, saying investors need to fulfil a critical need to catalyse and improve the economy.

“We need to do much better and be much smarter in channelling funds to emerging markets. These markets present huge opportunities – as well as risks for investors, but investors need to fulfil a critical need to catalyse and improve the economy. We salute companies like Total, Bouygues, Accor, Orange, and Bolloré as well as others who have accepted this challenge, but there is room for many more” he said.

He further said that Africans do not need aid but rather investments for the teeming innovative and energetic youths across the continent.

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“Private equity is a force for positive development in Africa. We have a large youth population, who are eager and innovative. They are looking at solutions to problems in their communities but are hampered by the access to capital and investment, mentoring and training. When done right, this kind of investment can bring not just capital but can also strengthen job creation, corporate governance and help improve sustainable business practices”.

Elumelu commended The French President, Emmanuel Macron’s initiatives for strengthening the relationship between France and Africa, just as he urged other investors to consider investing in Africa for the long term goal.

Reiterating the stance to partner with Africa on long-term investments, The French Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr Bruno Le Maire said, “We will ensure that investments in Africa are sustainable, exemplary and environmentally friendly. We want to go fast, go quickly in the race against poverty and renunciation, throughout the continent”.

Le Maire also commended Elumelu’s stance on strengthening the SMEs in Africa to catalyse development.

“We share the same ambition in Supporting African SMEs and entrepreneurs as this is essential for the economic development of Africa,” he said.

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