Elumelu Calls For Global Fight Against Joblessness

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The Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, has called on the global community to collectively join hands to fight joblessness in order to secure the future as global recession seems imminent.

Elumelu, a business guru and philanthropist made the call in an interview with CNN on the sideline of a roundtable event the foundation held recently.

The event was centred on promoting dialogue in convention of United Nations leaders that highlights the urgency of investing in African entrepreneurs to create jobs, eradicate poverty, promote gender equity, and create economic opportunities to spearhead Africa’s transformation.

He said, “I think we can make a whole world of difference. And the truth is, if you look at the joblessness and its impacts on mankind and humanity you know that we all at the global community must do something different. We must stand up now and help fight joblessness so that our future will be secure.”

The World Bank had, last week, raised the concern that the world risks global recession in 2023 amid simultaneous interest rates hike by central banks in response to rising inflation.

Elumelu, who responded to a question in that regard, said he was very worried about the increasing rates, however that the situation could be likened to a glass cup half full.

“What I see in the emerging market is that even though there is inflation and then interest rates will go up and create more problems, we also see a lot of opportunities on the continent (Africa) and most emerging markets. I think that prioritising the young ones, investing in their future will help us to create ultimately sustainable economic prosperity for all.

“I am an examplar of in Africa, there are a lot of opportunities on the continent but capital is very difficult to come by,” he said.

From a modest background, I have been able to grow multinational businesses, Elumelu hinted, adding that others too have done so.

The TEF founder said, “There are a lot of young Africans who are more energetic, equally intelligent if not more intelligent but access to capital is very difficult to come by in Africa and that is why we are capitalising on entrepreneurship on the continent.

“And that is why we believe that we need to extend our hands to others and see how we can collectively make a difference on the continent.”

He noted that for the past 12 years the foundation has been capitalising and supporting young Africans, interacting, educating and mentoring them.

“So, what I see, I do not see despair, I see opportunities for us to do more so that we can create the kind of prosperity that moves the world towards more boom rather than us being scared of recession.

He also urged African governments to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“We need our government to help create the enabling environment to help the young ones succeed. Access to electricity is so difficult in Africa and without electricity you can do much as an entrepreneur,” he added.

The roundtable breakfast was reported to have closed with the foundation signing a $20 million partnership with the UN African Development Foundation (USADF), a leading US Government agency, to fund, train, mentor and provide further access to capital and market linkages for African entrepreneurs through the foundation’s digital proprietary platform.