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Men You Should Know: Tony Elumelu

Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born on the 22nd of March 1963 in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

Career

Earlier in his career, he ventured into the banking sector and was a banker par excellence. Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player bank in Nigeria. In 2005 he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries. He eventually retired from UBA in 2010.

Following his retirement, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation.


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In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed the Chairman of the corporation.

Elumelu: The Africapitalist

Elumelu is the originator of the economic concept – ‘Africapitalism’. He refers to Africapitalism as an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalisation or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.

Current Engagements

Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), whose formation he played a key role; and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He additionally chairs a Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum. He set up the Tony Elumelu Foundation to promote entrepreneurship on the continent

Other Non-Profits Endeavors

  • Elumelu was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Agenda Council on Africa.
  • His presence on the Bretton Woods Committee, which brings together senior leaders in the global banking industry, is recognition of his work on African development.
  • He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI).
  • He is involved, through his foundation, with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) in a partnership to strengthen the private sector’s role in the economic transformation of select African countries. This partnership is called the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme.
  • He is co-chair of the Africa Energy Leaders’ Group (AELG)
  • Elumelu is a Trustee of the Infant Jesus Academy in Delta State, Nigeria.
  • He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.
  • In 2018, he joined other global leaders as one of the inaugural Board Members of Generation Unlimited, an initiative of the United Nations refocused youth agenda.

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Awards, Honours and Recognition

  • In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), a national honour.
  • In 2006, Elumelu was voted African Business Leader of the Year by Africa Investor magazine.
  • In 2006, he won the African Business Leader of The Year award conferred by the United Kingdom-based magazine, Africa Investor.
  • In March 2007, he was voted The Banker of The Year by the Nigerian Magazine, Global Excellence and Chief Executive Officer of the Year in 2008 by the same magazine.
  • He was recognised African Banker of the Year in 2008 by African Banker magazine.
  • In 2009, the Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua asked him to serve on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.
  • In 2012, he was awarded the National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise.
  • He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes magazine.
  • In addition, New African magazine featured him in their list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”.
  • He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from Benue State University and an honorary doctorate of business administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
  • In 2013, Elumelu received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards.
  • He was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.
  • ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”, named Elumelu in its 2015 “ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power” list, in January 2015.
  • At the 5th edition of the annual Economic Forum of the Ivorian National Council of Employers, CGECI Academy, (CGECI) in Abidjan in April 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Also, in 2016, he was awarded the ‘daily times, Nigerian man of the year.’
  • He was awarded 2017 Philanthropist of the year award on February 28, 2018, by media publisher, Per Second News.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Tonyelumelufoundation.org

Featured Image Source: Guardian NG


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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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