Building Africa, One Investment at a Time
Last week was indeed memorable not only for our Group, Heirs Holdings, but for our continent at large. Africa is indeed rising, one investment at a time.
On Friday, Heirs Holdings Group signed a $100million MOU with one of Africa’s leading development finance institutions, Afreximbank, during the bank’s annual AGM in Kigali, Rwanda. The $100 million facility will support our cross-border investment programme across 20 African countries, in key sectors of the African economy comprising energy, financial services, real estate and hospitality. This is progress, impact in action, and I commend Afrexim and its President, Dr. Oramah.
The signing was symbolic as it was a clear affirmation of my call-to-action to African development institutions, earlier in the day, during my keynote remarks. I challenged Development Institutions to invest in a manner that catalyses trade and industrialisation and not just to achieve triple A ratings. I urged them to support African businesses in a strategic way to build homegrown corporates and SMEs that contribute to job creation, economic growth and sustainable development.
I also shared the UBAGroup story, and how we grew the bank from a single country operation to a thriving 19 country operation with 1000 branches, employing 25,000 staff, improving payment facilities, funding infrastructure development and facilitating intra-African trade. With our non-for-profit side, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are investing in African Entrepreneurs – the lifeblood of the African economy – across all 54 countries on the continent. Our commitment is to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs who will create 1 million jobs. But that’s not all. We have also invested in a commodity exchange facilitating regional trade with local farmers called the East Africa Exchange and a thriving potato business called Mtanga farm.
My development mantra is “Africans Investing in Africa”. As the African private sector, we must capitalise on the ripe opportunities on the continent to create economic prosperity and social wealth while giving our young people economic hope by empowering them either as entrepreneurs, or employing them as staff.
It is our responsibility to build the future we desire for ourselves, one investment at a time.