TICAD7: What Tony Elumelu told Japan to do for Nigerians, others

Nigerian billionaire, Tony Elumelu, has asked Japan to invest $2.5 billion on young and budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria and other African countries.

Elumelu, an investor and philanthropist, made the request on Thursday, while delivering the keynote address at the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan.

He said, “At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30 billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion.

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“If we invested just five per cent in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following a proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives in Nigeria and across other African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability.”

Elumelu expressed his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity.

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He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure viz; investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.

He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa.

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