By David Stephen.
Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., has been appointed as an advisor to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. The Partners Forum is comprised of several leaders in industry convened to provide expert advice to the US Government on the best strategies for engagement with Africa’s private sector, and to better align its private investment and development goals.
Following the appointment of several prominent US-based members to the Forum including Edward Mathias, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Carlyle Group, and Thomas Barry, CEO and Founder, Zephyr Capital Management, USAID has named Mr. Elumelu as the Forum’s founding African member. As Chairman of Nigeria-based Heirs Holdings, an African proprietary investment company with a focus on key economic development sectors including financial services, resources real estate, and healthcare, Mr. Elumelu understands the continent’s investment environment and leadership priorities. He is also the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a catalytic philanthropic organization focused on driving Africa’s economic transformation through private sector solutions.
The PCGA was initiated at USAID to leverage the agency’s and US Government’s resources to accelerate and shape the flow of private capital to critical development areas in Africa.
Raja Jandhyala, Chairperson of the PCGA, gave her thoughts on the appointment: “Last year, USAID established the consultative Partners Forum comprised of external experts and leaders from around the world who can support our efforts to promote investment in Africa. We identified Tony Elumelu as one of the leaders in the continent, and his perspective and expertise on issues related to investment in Africa will be valuable to our efforts to advocate for Africa and identify priorities for private investment.”
In his statement accepting the appointment, Mr. Elumelu stated: “It is indeed an honour to work with the United States Government and other members of the Partners Forum. I am proud to be a part of a mission to change the way that Africa is perceived – from a charity case to a demonstrably economically vibrant continent offering the opportunity for private sector investment through partnerships with Africa’s own successful businessmen and women.”
Mr. Elumelu’s corporate reputation is founded on his role in transforming United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) into a pan-African financial services institution, serving over 7 million customers in 19 African countries, Europe and the United States. He retired as Group Chief Executive Officer of UBA in July 2010.