Tony Elemelu (1963 – )

This week he had the pleasure to listen to Tony Elumelu (1963 – ) at the 13th International Economic Forum on Africa, organized at the OECD headquarters. Elumelu is a Nigerian billionaire businessman and philanthropist. His philosophy? “No one will develop Africa, except us”. His super diversified portfolio goes from financial services, energy, agribusiness, healthcare, hospitality and real estate. After his studies in Nigeria and at the prestigious Harvard Business School, in 1997, Tony became known for turning the nearly bankrupt Standard Trust Bank into one of the five biggest Nigerian banks. At the early age of 34, he guided the largest banking merger in Sub-Saharan Africa, and acquired United Bank for Africa (UBA) which he transformed from a one-country financial institution into a 19 African countries one. Tony is also the founder of the notion of Africapitalism, a concept that defends that private investment in Africa must be made in the long-run perspective, creating economic prosperity while enhancing social wealth. In 2010, he created the Tony Elumelu Foundation whose mission is to “promote and celebrate entrepreneurship and business leadership across the African continent”. Maria had the honor to meet him this week, and he is not only an inspiring figure but also, an extremely friendly person!

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