Lagos – A prominent Nigerian business leader, Tony Elemelu, made a call for the US and international investors to proactively engage with Africa if the continent was to develop from its vast resources.
This happened ahead of a meeting with visiting US President Barack Obama.
The White House has handpicked Elumelu as part of a delegation of high profile African business leaders to meet President Barack Obama in a session scheduled for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, next week.
Elumelu said the rules of engagement for Africa had changed and potential investors should consider aligning with Africapitalism, an economic philosophy he said would enable the continent benefitted from its resources.
“Africa's economic history has been characterised by extractive industries and rent seeking practices that have not created development in any meaningful way.
"Africapitalism is simply saying there is a better and more ethical way to invest in Africa for a sustainable future.
"I would like to see both African and international investors review their strategies for Africa. Yes, we are open for business but not at any cost. Our rules of engagement have changed,” he said.
It is anticipated Elumelu will be part of a major announcement the US government will make about the power sector.
His company, Transcorp, one of Heirs Holdings investee companies, is a major player in the local power sector.
It recently invested $300 million in Nigeria's largest power plant, located in Ughelli, Delta State during the Nigerian government's recent power privatization process.
“Unlimited access to affordable power in any country is a game changer and will move the needle on the country's development exponentially.
"It is not just the fact that children will be able to do their homework or that computers and phones can be powered in rural villages; it is also the impact that access to affordable power will have on the economic ecosystem.
"Prices will come down, entrepreneurs will expand and innovate, and jobs will be created as a result. This is Africapitalism at work,” Elumelu commented on the investment.
- CAJ News