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Tony Elumelu Joins Jared Kushner, Lagarde, World Leaders to Launch US Government Growth Strategy for Palestine and Middle East

@TonyOElumelu, alongside @HHShkMohd, @Lagarde, and other world leaders to launch the US growth strategy for Palestine and the Middle East.

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Tony Elumelu UBA H1 Year 2019 Tony Elumelu, United Bank for Africa

Heads of States and other global leaders convened at the Peace to Prosperity Workshop in Bahrain, organised by the Presidency of the United States of America in partnership with the host government, the Kingdom of Bahrain, to launch the US growth strategy for Palestine and the Middle East; a first step in the long journey towards establishing an enduring future for the region; the West Bank, Gaza, and beyond.

Providing the African perspective upon special invitation from the US Government, Tony Elumelu, Founder, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, the United Bank for Africa, headlined the summit, speaking on the opening plenary alongside Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF); and HE Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Minister of State & Member of the Council of Ministers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to share practical recommendations to unlock future economic prosperity for the Palestinian people, using what is done at the Tony Elumelu Foundation as a replicable model for the economic empowerment of young men and women from the West Bank and Gaza.

Elumelu stressed the urgency and importance of supporting and empowering young Palestinians to ignite the entrepreneurial ecosystem and strengthen the Palestinian economy. For stable growth, he reiterated that young Palestinians must be empowered with jobs and economic opportunity to contribute meaningfully to their nation’s development.

Tony Elumelu

“I come from Africa, and the reality is that we do have a lot of similarities with the Palestinian people; especially in the area of demographic make up. With over 60% of its nearly 5 million strong population under 30, the young people of Palestine need Jobs Jobs and more Jobs! Without jobs, there will be no economic hope.

“Big corporations and government alone cannot supply the jobs demanded by Palestine’s demographic pressures. We need SMEs and startups to address joblessness in the region, create jobs and opportunities in local communities for millions of our Palestinian young brothers and sisters to become employed, meaningfully engaged, and full of economic hope, which in turn leads them away from extremism.”

The renowned investor and philanthropist who is leading by example through the Tony Elumelu Foundation which has committed US$100m to empower young African entrepreneurs, called on endowed Middle Easterners and their philanthropies to step up and become more involved in empowering the young ones of Palestine.

As he explained, “In the 21st century, we cannot keep relying on western donors to help empower our own people; we must step up and create a platform where they may partner with us for scale, just as we are doing at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation annually identities and empowers entrepreneurs across all of Africa’s 54 countries with non-refundable seed capital of $5000 each, mentoring and training, and in over five years, has supported 7,520 young Africans. To resolve joblessness in the region, Mr Elumelu offered his Foundation’s unique economic empowerment model to be replicated in Palestine.

“Young Palestinian people need similar opportunities like the ones we currently give young African entrepreneurs through the Tony Elumelu Foundation. We acknowledge that given Africa’s huge numbers, we are touching only a top of the iceberg, but we have seen first-hand how this model transforms individual lives, families, communities and cities.”

Agreeing with Elumelu on his call for an increased focus on SMEs and young people, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State Mohammed al-Sheikh, stated: “The younger population and proper planning is essential to creating economic prosperity in the West Bank and in Gaza. If you look at the demographics in the region, it is a young population. As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia looked to diversify its economy and carry out the structural changes to be less reliant on oil revenue, this required real commitment and hard work and buy in from everybody, with small-to-medium enterprises at the front and center of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Elumelu also called on the government to play its own role in supporting and prioritising the young people of Palestine:

“Governments must play their own role: ensuring good governance is in place, prioritising infrastructure and the fight against corruption, and creating an enabling and conducive environment so that when these young Palestinians get opportunities, they can succeed.”

He continued: “As an investor, something that speaks volumes to me when I want to chose a country to invest in is this: is the private sector in that environment doing well? Do they have small and medium scale enterprises that are flourishing?

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“This to me is the real signal of how successful my investment will be because what it is good for local investors is good for international investors. If economic conditions for local investors are not favorable, they can’t be for foreign investors.

“Government must ensure that local SMEs thrive to signal to global investment community that Palestine is open for business.”

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Joining Elumelu in advising on the role of the government in creating a conducive environment for the private sector, Christine Lagarde, MD, IMF added, “We have seen a pressing need for capacity development in the field of public finance management, central bank strength and domestic revenue mobilization. These are the background in which private sector can have a predictable environment within which they can operate.

Advising development agencies on a more inclusive model for even greater impact, Elumelu stated: “Development agencies should also not sit in their offices abroad to design growth programmes and strategies for the Palestinian region, but must ensure that the people of Palestine are actively involved in pulling their people out of poverty.

“Development agencies must assist in a strategic manner, working with local partners who understand local nuances, so that the over $19 billion spent so far by the World Bank and allied institutions on innovation and entrepreneurship is more impactful, transforms more lives and addresses the real issues on ground.”

In conclusion, the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation commended the US Government for this timely initiative and intervention but counseled on the importance of longevity and sustainability.

“For what we are gathered here to be sustainable, endure over time and lead to sustained prosperity, we must involve the Palestine people. Until we collectively agree that any economic plan we put in place for Palestine and the region must be anchored by and on the small and medium scale enterprises to be permanent and fundamentally address the issues, we will continue to rely on quick fixes.

“We must prioritise inclusive growth that brings all to the table – women and youth especially – which in turn will create more hope and beget more security and peace. To achieve this, there must be collaboration between the Palestinian people, friends of Palestine, neighbours of Palestine, and led by the wealthy and endowed elite in the Middle east, to work together to economically empower young Palestinians.

“It is not too difficult a task for us to touch significant numbers out of the 2-3 million youth in the region.”

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He continued, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation is ready to deploy our expertise in collaboration with the wealthy elite from the Middle East region, to create an affirmative plan, and send a strong message of hope for the Palestinian young people.

“If we prioritise them and create the right future for them, we will signal a new beginning in this part of the world. Only then will we achieve security and peace permanently because these young people will become inclusive stakeholders and the true champions of prosperity.”

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

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Pension transfer window is open but not all PFAs are good for you…

The Transfer Window now opened by PENCOM gives you the opportunity to jump ship.

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Just like birthdays remind us of how old we are getting; it should also remind us of how close we get to retirement.

Many young people have vigorously started saving for their retirement with their referred or prefered choice of Pension Fund Administrators (PFA), but if you are one of them, are you sure that PFA is good for you? PENCOM has opened a Transfer Window so you can freely change your PFA if you feel they are not doing well or if they are not right for you.

Now comes the next questions, “Is my pension safe? how do I know which PFA is good for me?”. Don’t fret, this short article and chart from http://naijapension.com/ was written to help you.

The list contains the performance of the retiree fund of key PFAs. If your PFA is currently lagging on this list, you have nothing to worry about. You can easily switch to a better PFA and avoid stress later on; the Transfer Window now opened by PENCOM gives you the opportunity to jump ship. Funds to note are Funds II which is the default fund for RSA holders of 49 years and below and Fund III which default fund for RSA holders of 50 years and above.

Other Funds like Fund IV are only for retirees while Fund 1 is request based only however NOT accessible to Retirees and active contributors of 50 years and above

Your preference may differ, but we’d love to know what you think of the list.

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Ecobank to pay customers N5 for every dollar received 

Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, they will also get extra Naira.

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Ecobank, Ayo Adepoju's appointment, Ecobank Transnational Inc. records 24% increase in Profit After Tax for Q4 2020.

Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter.  Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country. She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.

Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May, 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.

Only recently, Ecobank had a first of its kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.

Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.

Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth. “Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are,  to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.

Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.

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