Private sector opportunity: On 9 May 2013, the chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu, granted an interview to CNBC Africa on the exciting opportunities presented to private sector actors by the World Economic Forum, as well as the ways in which Africapitalism can help the continent meet its development goals.
Interviews & Speeches
In its first edition (May 2012), the Performance Management Review, a publication by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, ran an interview with Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, chairman of Transcorp.
The turnaround of Africa’s economy gets a lot of attention. Yet, despite a gradual evolution in thinking, many investors and philanthropists still miss two important points about how and why Africa is succeeding: African-led entrepreneurship is growing rapidly and needs to be encouraged further; and longterm capital commitments that build economic prosperity and social wealth should not be a niche asset class— they should be the heart of all investing in Africa.
Tony Elumelu is in his office on the corner of a serene Ikoyi street, not far from the bustling Obalende taxi and bus park, in the heart of Lagos. Documents are strewn across a large desk and he looks busy.
“I was in a meeting in this office when I got the call. The first thing I did was to call one of my brothers, to mandate him to take charge. In crisis management, the first thing you do is get somebody to take charge,” he says.
A few weeks ago, the president convened the Presidential Retreat with the private sector on how to move the economy forward. I had a small window to say something, and what I spoke about is not too different from what I want to speak about tonight. I spoke about the fact that there is a certain mind-set about Nigeria, and I believe that that is the first battle we need to overcome if we say we want to address the issue of economic development.
I'd like to thank the Dean of Strathmore Business School, the faculty members, elders of this country who are here, senior business leaders, fellow entrepreneurs, students and my colleagues. I am honoured to be here with you this morning and to have the opportunity to share my thoughts on this very interesting topic. "Interesting", because I believe that, as this institution does, Africa to a large extent can and will be developed by the private sector. Government has a role to play but the role of government to a large extent is to help facilitate or to help create the right environment.