Ladies and gentlemen, we are excited to have you join us again for this week’s edition of the Rebrand Nigeria Champions Series!
This week, we are going to celebrate another world-changer, solution-driven individual, economist, investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development. He manufactured the term “Africapitalism”; a term that implies that the “private sector is the key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa.” His foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship development in Africa.
Good people of Nigeria, welcome Mr. Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu; founder of Heirs Holdings; the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TTEF) and Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria PLC (Transcorp).
He came into limelight in 1997 when he spearheaded the acquisition of a struggling commercial bank, Crystal Bank (which was then changed and called Standard Trust Bank). He contributed to the revolutionizing of the “new generation” banking system in Nigeria; where banks started to promote aggressive marketing schemes, giving higher interest rates in exchange for customer deposits, treating loyal customers as royalties, introduced flexible management styles, improved and increased working conditions and salaries of employees. This was new and different from what the other older generations’ banks were doing.
Standard Trust Bank (STB) became a new standard of the new generation banks but to become one of the top banks in Nigeria, STB needed to merge with one of the older generation banks and that was exactly what Tony Elumelu did. In 2005, he merged STB with United Bank for Africa (UBA), making the merger the biggest in Nigeria’s capital markets history. Today, UBA has branches in 20 African countries, USA and UK.
After his retirement from UBA in 2010, he founded Heirs Holdings; a company that invests in energy, real estate, hospitality, financial services, agribusiness and health care sector, operating currently in 23 countries worldwide. In the following year, Heirs Holdings acquired a substantial controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp); a publicly quoted conglomerate with strategic investments and business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors.
In the same year, he also founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF); an African private-sector led philanthropy that is empowering African entrepreneurs to create jobs, promote economic growth and eradicate poverty on the continent.
TEF operates in all 54 African countries and through their programs, research, advocacies and conferences, the foundation is able to gather entrepreneurs in Africa with the aim to promote economic growth and development. In 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme was launched with a $100 million commitment to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs, create a million jobs and add $10 billion in revenues to Africa’s economy over the next 10 years.
In partnership with institutions such as United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, GIZ, and United Bank for Africa Plc, over 9,000 entrepreneurs have already been identified, mentored and funded across the continent. In 2019, TEF received over 200,000 applications however, due to the current covid-19 pandemic, the 6th edition of the TEF Entrepreneurship Program has been postponed until 2021.
Over the years, Elumelu has received many awards and recognitions, some of which include; a National Honour as Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) 2003; African Business Leader of The Year 2006 from the Africa Investor Magazine; 2007 Banker of The Year by the Nigerian Magazine, National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2012, Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012 by Forbes magazine, among others.
At the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we appreciate Mr. Tony Elumelu a lot, especially for his Entrepreneurship Development Program, which inspired the introduction of our Ugwumba Enterprise Challenge, in order to reach more young entrepreneurs across the continent.
Let’s celebrate one of the Africa’s best…
The Rebrand Nigeria Campaign is powered by the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa.
For more information, please, visit www.rebrandnigeria.org
God bless Nigeria!