Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has been named in Time Magazine’s list of most influential people in the world in the year 2020.
Two other Nigerians– Tomi Adeyemi and Tunji Funsho –also made the roll call this year.
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Released annually, the list from Time is a compilation representing outstanding figures in the social, industrial, and political spheres. It’s typically composed of leading personalities from across the globe.
Mr Elumelu is also one of only four Africans on the list.
Tony Elumelu is the chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). Headquartered in Nigeria, the bank is present in 20 countries in Africa, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. It serves over 21 million customers spread across these locations.
UBA is said to be the only African bank with a commercial deposit-taking license in the United States.
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He is also the founder and chairman of Heirs Holding, a mission-driven investment company that’s working to transform Africa’s commercial landscape through its investment in various sectors on the continent.
Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he has provided seed capital and mentorship to thousands of African entrepreneurs. The foundation organizes an annual mentorship and training program in which 1,000 young African business owners each receive a grant of $5,000.
At the last count, over 7,000 entrepreneurs had benefitted from the program.
Tomi Adeyemi, whose name also appears on the list, is a Nigerian-American novelist. Her first book, Children of Blood and Bone, has won a number of awards, including the Goodreads Choice Awards for the Best Debut Novel, and Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Tunji Funsho, the third Nigerian on the list, is a cardiologist and heads the Rotary Club’s polio eradication program in Nigeria. Working with the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he and his team have eradicated polio from Nigeria and the African continent.
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