*Tony Elumelu, a philanthropist and African billionaire, is a highly respected businessman with specialized training in economics, wanting to change the economic standing of those in the African-American community.
Elumelu chairs Heirs Holdings and Transcorp and is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
Elumelu spoke with Black Enterprise about his vision for a real partnership between the United States and Africa, not just a relationship of providing aid, but trade as equal partners, appealing investors and the need for consistent electricity.
“We should welcome the fact that the journey has finally begun. I like the nature of the imagined engagement between Africa and America. President Obama’s visit to Africa last year was the starting point,” Elumelu says. “The fact that they have realized the need to engage with Africa at the scale and magnitude that they are going about it now is welcome.”
His foundation is playing their part by reaching out to minority and women-owned businesses. “The Tony Elumelu Foundation will launch an entrepreneurship program with $100 million that will touch 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa and the United States,” he says. “We will train and mentor them and create platforms for them to have commercial business engagements.”
The trip to Africa taken by President Obama was another sign that steps were being taken in the right direction to strengthen business ventures between Africa and America.
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