Tony O. Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), will speak at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), taking place in Yokohama, Japan from August 28 – 30, 2019. As the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa, Mr Elumelu will ensure that the voice of a new generation of African entrepreneurs, capable of transforming the continent, is heard at the highest level.
Elumelu will speak alongside global and African political and business leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and H.E. Mr. Paul Kigame, President of Rwanda.
Mr Elumelu will deliver a keynote speech at the Plenary Public-Private Business Dialogue, the core session, that brings together Japanese and African public and private sector leaders at TICAD. At this event, Elumelu will promote his philosophy, Africapitalism, which posits entrepreneurship being the key to unlocking economic transformation in Africa as he highlights the urgent need to empower young entrepreneurs and how critical it is for governments and other policymakers to create the enabling environment that ensures entrepreneurial led growth.
Following a welcome address by the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Shinzo Abe, Mr. Elumelu will deliver the keynote address at the official Business Forum, hosted by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). The Conference provides a unique platform for key decision-makers from Japan and Africa, both in business and politics, to identify opportunities for investment and knowledge exchange.
At a time when international governments and agencies are increasingly recognising that the route to Africa’s transformation is through African-led solutions and private sector growth, Mr. Elumelu’s track record of success, founding UBA, now one of Africa’s leading financial services groups, with presence in twenty African countries, New York, Paris and London as well as his multi-sector proprietary investment holding company, Heirs Holdings, employing over 30,000 Africans, typifies a new generation of African business dynamism.
Mr Elumelu during his visit to Japan, will join H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Co-Chair of the Leaders’ Group of Generation Unlimited (Gen-U), and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, to co-chair a UNICEF [and Africa Union] breakfast meeting focused on catalysing investment in African youths and developing a specific vision for job creation in Africa. The event will seek specific commitments from African leaders for the implementation of a business plan for digital connectivity in Africa such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s TEF Connect, the largest digital network for African entrepreneurs.
Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Elumelu is forging the new narrative for Africa. In the first five years of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, 7,521 African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries have benefitted fromElumelu’s personal commitment of $100m seed capital funding, mentorship, and training. Six of the beneficiaries of the Programme have been sponsored to attend TICAD conference, sponsored by the UNDP.
Mr Elumelu will be accompanied by a delegation from the United Bank for Africa and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, including Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Dupe Olusola, Group Head, Marketing, UBA, and Muyiwa Akinyemi, Group Head Corporate Banking, UBA.
Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for advancing Africa’s development through people, technology and innovation, bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other stakeholders.
Unilever sets out plans to help build a more equitable and inclusive society
Unilever’s ambition is to improve living standards for low-paid workers worldwide.
Unilever today announced a wide-ranging set of commitments and actions to help build a more equitable and inclusive society by raising living standards across its value chain, creating opportunities through inclusivity, and preparing people for the future of work.
Unilever’s main commitments include:
- Ensuring that everyone who directly provides goods and services to the company earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030
- Spending €2 billion annually with suppliers owned and managed by people from under-represented groups, by 2025
- Pioneering new employment models for our employees, and equipping 10m young people with essential skills to prepare them for job opportunities, by 2030
Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, explained, “The two biggest threats that the world currently faces are climate change and social inequality. The past year has undoubtedly widened the social divide, and decisive and collective action is needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embraces diversity, nurtures talent, and offers opportunities for everyone.
“We believe the actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business; ready for the huge societal changes we are experiencing today – changes that will only accelerate. Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business.”
Unilever’s ambition is to improve living standards for low-paid workers worldwide. The company will therefore ensure that everyone who directly provides goods and services to them earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030. The company already pays its employees a living wage, and they want to secure the same for more people beyond its workforce, specifically focusing on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture.
In addition to improving living standards through economic inclusion, Unilever is also critical about creating more opportunities for people from under-represented groups – both within and outside of the organisation. Diversity in the workplace directly results in improved financial performance through its capacity to foster innovation, creativity, and empathy.
Speaking further Jope said, “As we help to build a more equitable and inclusive society, we recognise that changes to the world of work will affect the employment prospects of many people. Many current ways of working – roles, places, hours, skills – are rapidly evolving. We have a responsibility to generate and sustain employability, by preparing our employees and other people beyond our organisation for the societal and technological changes that are taking place.”
Beyond its immediate organisation, Unilever plans to help equip 10m young people with essential skills to prepare them for job opportunities, by 2030. “By investing in skills-building and providing work experience opportunities for young people, we will drive growth, and accelerate digital capabilities, building expertise and increasing productivity.” Jope said.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 150,000 employees and generated sales of €52 billion in 2019. Over half of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has around 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Dove, Knorr, Dirt Is Good, Rexona, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, Lux, Magnum, Axe, Sunsilk and Surf.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands delivered 78% of total growth and 75% of turnover in 2019.
Since 2010 we have been taking action through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to help more than a billion people improve their health and well-being, halve our environmental footprint and enhance the livelihoods of millions of people as we grow our business. We have made significant progress and continue to expand our ambition – in 2019 committing to ensure 100% of our plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognised in 2019 as sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and in 2020 – for the tenth-consecutive year – as the top-ranked company in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility Sustainability Leaders survey.
For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.
For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/
Nigeria´s rising debt, rising inflation and more | Economic Roundup
4 of my staff were paid by the FG MSME Survival Funds’ – Lola Petra Allen
MSME Survival Fund Program aims to protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fifth Edition of the annual Lagos Small Business Summit organized by SME100Africa in commemoration of the Global Entrepreneurship Week was held virtually with an outstanding attendance of inquisitive entrepreneurs who registered in their thousands looking for relevant tips, skills, and knowledge about business in Nigeria. The event was chaired by Mr Charles odii the Executive Director of SME100Africa. The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment where he spoke on how Government and small business owners can keep up with the market.
A participant of the Lagos small business summit Ms Lola Petra Allen, a small business owner who is the CEO of Lola Petra Ventures which specializes in Trading, bakery, food and Beverages based in Ogun states spoke up to testify and show appreciation of the FG survival funds, she shared her experience before, during, and after applying for the survival fund. Ms Lola announced that the day before 4 of her staff members were credited a sum of N30,000 by the FG and the Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo showed his appreciation of Ms. Lola’s testimony, stating that although many had received their funds from the program, they did not come forward to share about it but she did.
Ms. Lola went on to share her entire experience when asked by the host and CEO of Inversion STC, Brian Oji to explain to those in doubt and seeking more answers how it all went down; She stated that she got the link through a former institution school group and decided to check the legitimacy of the link; once she had confirmed this, she went on to apply just like everyone else and decided to keep following up for changes and necessary requirements. She got to a stage where she was expected to register her staff which she could not register because 2 members had prior issues with their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and had to be dropped otherwise her application would not have been accepted; after this stage, she and her staff were captured and eventually got to the final verification stage. The entire process led up to her employees being paid by 7 am the previous morning.
The Federal Government MSME Survival Fund Program is a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, which aims to support and protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has 3 parts which any MSME business owner is eligible for, the MSME Revolving Guaranteed Off-take Scheme, The Payroll support and MSME Grant.
To apply and receive the funds that can help keep your MSME afloat during this pandemic, click this link https://survivalfund.gov.ng/