Lagos - Charity and aid have failed Africa and its leading entrepreneurs are now driving the continent’s development agenda, said a prominent Nigerian economist in a presentation that was hailed at the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Annual Board of Governors meeting held in Marrakech, Morocco.
Tony Elumelu was presenting in front of a global audience that included African finance ministers, central bank governors, CEOs, and executives of global development finance institutions, as well as African business leaders, including some past presidents, development partners, and African and global philanthropic institutions.
He spoke of the failure of traditional development interventions which have previously characterised development in the continent.
Elumelu, who is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a proprietary investment company and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, called for the private sector to take on the responsibility of development.
The Nigerian entrepreneur called on the philanthropic and charitable communities of Africa, the development banks and the private investors to embrace the philosophy of Africapitalism and recognise that the private sector’s role in driving economic prosperity is the solution for development.
“Economic prosperity is the most valuable and lasting gift we can give to a continent with our challenges. We need to support solutions that are catalytic and sustainable. That should be the ultimate goal of our “development” mission,” said Elumelu.
Elumelu paid tribute to other strategic visionaries who were also playing a significant role in driving the continent’s development through their business investments. Among those mentioned were Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga in Nigeria, Lucien Ebata in the DRC, Reginald Mengi in Tanzania, Patrice Motsepe in South Africa and Kofi Amoabeng in Ghana.
These people, he said, were creating tens of thousands of jobs, empowering individuals, families and entire communities.
AfDBB President, Donald Kaberuka, described Elumelu’s speech as rich in human quality and compassion.
“It recognised and set out the challenge for home-grown African wealth, whether of billionaires or small businessmen, to invest in Africa,” said Kaberuka. - CAJ News