NIGERIA – The board of directors of the African Development Bank has approved a grant of US$5 million to enable the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship programme to scale up its outreach and impact to 1,000 select youth entrepreneurs.

AfDB stated that the partnership would bring about future collaboration focused on strengthening small to medium-sized enterprises as well as talent and skills development for Africa’s youth.

 “The partnership will support 3,050 young entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. The bank’s participation will enable an additional 1,000 entrepreneurs to benefit from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme,” AfDB stated.

The Bank explained that the programme provides much needed opportunities to help stem the rising tide of unemployment and inequality facing the continent’s youngest citizens.

It also noted that, “The programme aligns with the Bank’s ten-year jobs for youth in Africa strategy launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million decent jobs across the continent.”

“The strategy is also expected to equip 50 million young African people with employable skills that enable them to access economic opportunities and realize their full economic potential across the continent.”

The multilateral financial institution revealed that the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme would deliver business training, mentoring, access to networks, markets and capital for business development to selected youth-led start-ups in order for them to grow and create jobs.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an African private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs.

 The Foundation was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development.

The Foundationation’s long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu’s philosophy of Africapitalism.

The foundation has a US$100million commitment by the Elumelu family to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period.

The foundation notes that its goal is to create at least 1million jobs and contribute over $10billion in revenue to the African economy.

Through its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation empowers African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across 54 African countries and has so far empowered 7,531 entrepreneurs.