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Elumelu: “We give to empower and break the cycle of dependency. Entrepreneurship is the only path to independence and sustainability.”

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President Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Governor Ikpeazu, Minister Lai Mohammed, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Join 1,000 African Entrepreneurs At 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum.

•         Foundation Announces Partnerships with African Development Bank, ECOWAS, Coca-Cola, Nigerian Ministry of Information.

 

 

At the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs, held in Lagos, Nigeria, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) hosted almost 1,000 women and men from 54 African countries, for the 2nd TEF Entrepreneurship Forum.

 

 

 

The Forum celebrates the 2016 cohort of Elumelu Entrepreneurs, selected from over 45,000 applicants. It is the annual highlight of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme and saw the presence of leading policy makers and business leaders from across Africa, giving their support to the Foundation and its promise to identify, train, mentor and seed 1,000 entrepreneurs in a decade-long $100 million commitment. Following the Forum, each entrepreneur is eligible to receive up to $10,000 to implement their business plan.

EEF 2016

(L-R): Former Prime Minister of Benin Republic Lionel Zinsou; President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria; His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone; Mr. Tony Elumelu CON, Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mrs. Awele Elumelu, CEO Avon Medical; Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chair of Famfa Oil; and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture.

 

 

Applauding Tony Elumelu’s promise to not only empower entrepreneurs, but also to tackle the fundamental economic challenges confronting the African continent, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone called on others to emulate Elumelu. “Even when we had Ebola in Sierra Leone, Tony was there. His is an example which other successful Africans must follow.”

 

 

 

Focusing on the uniqueness of TEF’s approach to entrepreneurship development, President Koroma hailed the programme as “a genuinely innovative approach to philanthropy in Africa – an African offering African solutions.”

 

 

 

“What is unique about this programme is that it not only provides a platform for entrepreneurs to build connections, but they are also being taught how to build their businesses in a sustainable way. Other philanthropists will be inspired to support and promote this philosophy” the President concluded.

 

 

 

In his keynote speech, Mr. Elumelu stated “I salute those here, our ambition is that you become ambassadors for entrepreneurship in Africa – you are a generation of wealth creators, who share our commitment to the economic and social transformation of Africa. Let me tell you about Momarr Mass Taal, the CEO of Tropingo Foods, who has turned his first $5,000 seed capital received from the Foundation last year, into a $1.2 million revenue business. We all want many more of these! However, as excited as I am about the 2,000 entrepreneurs that we have selected, this gathering is in some ways bittersweet, as I reflect on the 63,000 ideas received in the Programme’s short two years of existence we were unable to select – our commitment is to all entrepreneurs in Africa.”

 

 

 

Mr Elumelu challenged all stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, multilateral organizations and all individuals invested in Africa’s economic development to join hands with the Foundation to support the wider African entrepreneurial community.  “We need to support our entrepreneurs because extreme poverty and economic opportunity rarely coexist in the same place.”

 

 

 

He also announced partnerships with regional institutions the African Development Bank, ECOWAS, and others including Coca Cola, the International Trade Centre, Nigerian Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

The two-day forum buzzed with energy as entrepreneurs shared and gained knowledge, built cross-border partnerships, and connected with investors and policymakers, fulfilling the goal of fostering innovation and collaboration between entrepreneurs from across Africa.

 

 

 

On Day One, attendees benefited from masterclasses on traditional and alternative means of financing, sales and marketing, as well as sector specific workshops and an in-depth session on Africapitalism –  Elumelu’s economic philosophy that identifies the leading role of Africa’s private sector, including its entrepreneurs, in Africa’s transformation.

 

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Awele Elumelu, CEO Avon Medical, Trustee of the Foundation and wife of Founder, Mr. Elumelu, welcomed the entrepreneurs to Lagos and commended their drive and effort in finding solutions to some of the continent’s most pervasive challenges. The CEO of the Foundation, Ms. Parminder Vir, invited entrepreneurs in the audience to continue to build the future and to challenge the flawed perceptions of Africa.

 

 

 

Day Two featured a high-level panel dedicated to identifying policies to strengthen the enabling environment for entrepreneurs, moderated by BBC anchor, Lerato Mbele, with panellists including His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria, Former Prime Minister of Benin RepublicLionel Zinsou, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chair of Famfa Oil.

 

 

 

Opening the High-Level Panel, Mrs. Alakija congratulated the entrepreneurs, praised TEF’s focus on entrepreneurship and shared her own personal story of perseverance to demonstrate the entrepreneurs need for resilience and doggedness. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo hailed Elumelu’s perseverance and focus on giving back. “By every means, God has made His face shine upon you. You are not the only one, but unlike you, some others do not have the idea of empowering the next generation of Africans in the manner and scale that you are doing.” He further emphasized patience to the young entrepreneurs. In his words, “For strength in life you need a bit of adversity.” He also called on the Nigerian government to implement policies that encourage investors and entrepreneurs to do business in Nigeria. Former Prime Minister of Benin, Lionel Zinsou, commended the Tony Elumelu Foundation, stating “What Tony Elumelu is doing is the exception, not the norm.”

 

 

Other speakers at the event included Clare Akamanzi, Representative of President Kagame of Rwanda,  Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Minster of Solid Minerals, Hon. Kayode Fayemi, Segun Awolowo, CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Clem Ugorji, Public Affairs & Communications Director, Coca-Cola West Africa, Emeke Iweriebor, Regional CEO of UBA Africa (Francophone), Matthew Pearson, Head of Africa Equity Sales at ICBC Standard Bank, Sam Nwanze, Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings.

Details of the 2016 Elumelu Entrepreneurs can be found at http://tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/ and TEF’s documentary “Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs: Transforming Africa” at http://bit.ly/TEEPdocumentary.

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WHY IS ODUNMBAKU BABA ETO’S NAME ON EVERY LIP? 

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By Sesan Lamuye – A Political Analyst

 

Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) cleric and political engineer, is one of a kind who stands in a unique class of his own.

 

His types don’t happen too commonly. Infact, in our clime, he is a rarity, to have one person clothed in celestial and terrestial robes so fittingly.

Only few of his peers can honestly say they don’t envy his sartorial elegance whenever he appears in his ecumenical garments. And when he sheds that, to adorn the political regalia, he’s also a people’s delight.

 

Few of his type readily come to mind anywhere – in Africa or in any continent. I think of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and, elegantly speaking, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus who ruled from both the pulpit and the polity in his life time.

 

Odunmbaku, better known as “Baba Eto”, is a mortal, but given the extraordinary gift of the garb and demonstrable style that is uniquely his own, he’s fast assuming the status of an indispensable human specie.

 

His type acquire larger than life status that is bound to attract positivity and negativity.

Those who are enamoured of him present to the world a cult-like image of him. To them, he can do no wrong. One such person, before the satanic instinct in man, reared its ugly head in him, was so fanatical of the man, Eto, he registered some of his personal vehicles “Aremo”, for which he used to tell those who cared to know, that he was “heir-apparent” to Eto. Today, that person is singing new tunes, as if his new listeners cannot decipher sychophancy and crass opportunism in his new drumbeats.

 

Another was said to have appeared at a political interview panel where, when asked what credentials she had to seek a position, she matter-of-factly told the panelists “Eto”. And when repeatedly asked what qualifications did she have to think she was fit for the job, she retorted: ” Eto ! Eto !! Eto !!!

That secured the job for her !

 

Such a person is bound to attract envy, jealousy and disdain, dislike, or even hatred to himself. That is the fate of Baba Eto !

 

There must be something extra going for the “priestly-politico” that the talent-discoverer, otherwise known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, identified him to drive his gubernatorial campaign in Lagos State; and has ever since held on to him so fanatically that he has solely led the campaign of other guber candidates like Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akunwunmi Ambode and Babajide Sanwoolu to roaring successes.

 

If beneficiaries of Baba Eto’s gifts turn round to paint scurrilous pictures of the man, such people can only be consigned to the dustbin in which immortal Chief Obafemi Awolowo put those he described as ingrates of his large-ness of heart. As the late sage declared: ” There’s no escape for those who deny benefits”

 

Let the person without any blemish come out and cast the first stone. If we put aside belly-aching, jealousy and such-like vices, you cannot encounter Odunmbaku, Baba Eto, on the pulpit or the political rostrum and not doff your hats for this quintessential orator, mobiliser and professor of political mobilisation.

 

If some see him negatively from the positive binoculars with which Tinubu and many more view Baba Eto, then such minority must be wearing blurry blinkers in their faces.

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Just In: Bobrisky Sentenced To 6-Month Jail Term Without Option Of Fine Over Naira Abuse

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Instagram crossdresser, Idris Okuneye popularly know as Bobrisky has been sentenced to 6-month jail term by Justice A.O Awogboro of the Federal high court, Ikoyi.

 

It was earlier reported that Bobrisky was Arraigned and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for abuse of the Naira note.

 

 

 

More details to come …..

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Oando Boss Wale Tinubu Showers Encomium on Dangote @67

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‘Celebrate true friends. They are a part of you that always sparkle’  – Amy Leigh Mercree

The English-born actress may have had the boss of Oando Group, Jubril Adewale Tinubu in mind when she made this quote.

Truly, the trained lawyer never forgets to celebrate and appreciate his good friends whenever it is necessary. In fact, he is one gentleman who values and understands the definition of true friendship.

This played out yesterday, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, when he showered praises on his friend of many years, Africa’s richest man  and Chairman of Aliko Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, when he clocked 67.

In celebration of Dangote, the oil and gas top player wrote:

“Happy Birthday to a visionary and accomplished entrepreneur whose impact continues to reverberate across Africa and beyond.

I hope your day has been filled with joy, laughter, and limitless blessings. May the world continue to recognise and applaud your remarkable achievements.

As you enter a new year, my prayer is that your commitment to building Africa never waivers but now and again you stop to appreciate the phenomenal difference you have made to the capacity of indigenous entrepreneurship on the global stage.

Wish you many more years in good health.

Dangote, a name that means so many things to many people. But what no one can deny is the fact that the name is essentially synonymous with success.

Since he made his mark in the nation’s business sector, many years ago, he has risen to become a glittering star in the business firmament.

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