The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu has revealed the impact of Japanese funds on Nigeria and African countries after many African leaders, including the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari visited Japan for the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
The event, as expected, was based on the development of Africa and the role of capital support. During his speech at the conference, Tony Elumelu said if 2% of Japan’s $50 billion commitment to Africa was properly utilised for African entrepreneurs, 500,000 lives across the 54 African countries would be positively impacted.
Elumelu told the audience, who included President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, that the funding would ensure poverty alleviation and increase employment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30 billion for Africa. This year, you have generously increased it to $50 billion.
“If we invested just 5% in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability.”
Speaking further about the partnership between Japan and Africa, Tony Elumelu said if the African continent is to be transformed, then the focus of the leaders should be investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector and investment in the youth of Africa.
The UBA Chairman, who operates Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the Asian country could replicate the method of his foundation which has empowered many Africans with job opportunities by financially supporting 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities.