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Elumelu Takes Africapitalism to Saudi Arabia…Says Entrepreneurship & Gender Equality will Drive Economic Diversification in the Middle East and Africa

Chairman,
Heirs Holdings and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony O.
Elumelu, CON joined global private sector leaders at the Future
Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24
2017
to discuss ways to achieve economic diversification in dynamic
economies. The conference was organised by the Public Investment Fund.

Speaking on the distinguished panel of speakers including Mary Erdoes,
CEO, JPMorgan Asset Management, USA; Oh Joon Kwon, Chairman, POSCO,
South Korea; Frédéric Oudéa, CEO, Société Générale, France; Harvey
Schwartz, President & Co-COO, Goldman Sachs, USA; and
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman & CEO, DP World, UAE, Elumelu
cited entrepreneurship and gender equality as two critical areas that
need urgent attention to drive the inclusive growth and economic
diversification in emerging continents like Africa.

An advocate of a new model for entrepreneurship in Africa, through his
philosophy, Africapitalism, Elumelu spoke on the role Africapitalism
plays in powering Africa out of poverty. “Africapitalism is the
intersection between prosperity and social wealth – doing
good while making profit. It is a realisation that the private sector
has a role to play in the social and economic diversification. We need
to prioritise the young ones and prioritise SMEs if we are to achieve
the much spoke about economic diversification,”
he said.

Also speaking on the topic, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem identified
entrepreneurship as a key driver of today’s economy. “When we encourage
entrepreneurship we encourage ideas,” he said.

Elumelu has demonstrated the potential of his Africapitalism model
through his Foundation’s flagship Programme―The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Entrepreneurship Programme―where he endowed 10,000 African entrepreneurs
with $100million over a 10-year period with the
goal of achieving 10million jobs within the period. Already, the
Programme has celebrated its 3rd cohort of Fellows bringing the total
number of beneficiaries to 3,000 since its inception in 2015, creating
an impact will significantly transform the African
continent.

“Entrepreneurship is a bottom-up approach to economic diversification.
It is about trying to encourage our youths to be more enterprising,
ultimately realising that they will drive the diversification process,”
Elumelu said.

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