Leading Ivestment Company in Africa

Tony Elumelu Attends the 77th UN General Assembly: Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Partnerships

A Voice for Africa at the Preeminent Global Forum

Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where he played an active role, spreading the messages of impact, transformation, and Africapitalism in various meetings.

Below are highlights of his activities:

DAY 1 – Monday, September 19

The philanthropic arm of Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) signed an agreement to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa, with a particular focus on historically underinvested areas within African frontier markets, with the new partnership helping to extend the company’s reach, to impact and transform the continent through entrepreneurship.

L-R: Tony O. Elumelu; Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary, UN Capital Development Fund

Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony Elumelu, delivered a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Friends of Africa Continental Free Trade Area, where he spoke alongside President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia. In his keynote, Mr. Elumelu emphasised how UBA Group, with a presence in 20 African countries, is well positioned to facilitate intra-African trade.

Later in the day the Chairman held meetings with key figures in the development ecosystem including Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNDP; Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID; Kevin Frey, CEO of UNICEF Gen U and Geoffrey Kirkman, Former Harvard Kennedy School Ambassador and Founder Potenciar Advisors, LLC.

Samantha Power, USAID Administrator and Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings
L-R: Sola Yomi-Ajayi, CEO UBA America, Executive Director Treasury, and International Banking; Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator; Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings; Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa.

The day was wrapped up with the Chairman joining other global leaders at the Heads of States reception hosted by the Clinton Family.

Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony Elumelu sharing a moment with Former US President, Bill Clinton
Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony Elumelu with Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Day 2 – Tuesday, September 20

UBA America hosted the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Google.org to an intimate roundtable session held at the UBA America headquarters, to drive a global collaboration to empower young entrepreneurs throughout Africa.

TEF x Google.org roundtable session at UBA America Headquarters in New York

In attendance were Jacquelline Fuller, President, Google.org; Peter Maurer President, International Committee of the Red Cross – ICRC; Travis Atkins President, U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF); Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator, UNDP; Nitin Gajria Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Google and many others alongside three Tony Elumelu Foundation beneficiaries; Ugochi Obidiegwu, founder of The Safety Chic; Kwabena Danso, founder of Boomers International Ltd and Chioma Ukonu, co-founder of RecyclePoints, who each shared their stories of growth and impact during the session.

Following the roundtable session, the signing of the agreement between U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, to empower African entrepreneurs over a five-year period through a commitment of $20 million, took place. The partnership follows similar collaborations with the European Union, the UNDP and the ICRC.

Travis Adkins, President, USADF and Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings

To round up the day, Mr. Elumelu was interviewed on ‘Quest Mean Business’ by CNN’s Richard Quest, where he discussed emerging opportunities in Africa and shared key insights to unlocking the potential of Africa’s growing youth population. He highlighted the three keys to unlocking Africa’s entrepreneurial potential as: An enabling environment through governmental policies and availability of critical amenities like electricity, access to affordable capital, and business education and mentoring, stating that, “Successful business entrepreneurs must show younger entrepreneurs how to navigate the path, and create access to their network.”

Chairman Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu in a live interview with CNN’s Richard Quest

Day 3 – Wednesday, September 21

The HH team attended the Generation Unlimited (GenU) Global Leadership Council event and later hosted a series of bilateral meetings with business leaders and policymakers to further advance the interest of youth empowerment in Africa through entrepreneurship.
UBA America played host to all African delegates of #UNGA77 at an afternoon of African foods, drinks, and sounds at the #UBAAfricaFoodFest.
During an interview with Voice of America, Mr Elumelu discussed the role of African and global leaders in addressing climate action on the African continent, and how global leaders must support Africa’s energy transition.

Interview session with Voice of America (VOA)

Day 4 – Thursday, September 22

The Chairman participated at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum with President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerian leaders. Their discussions focused on enhancing Nigeria’s global investment potential through improved policies and international partnerships.

L-R: Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings; Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Akinwunmi Adesina, President AfDB

The team also attended the Forbes Philanthropy Summit where the Chairman joined the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and 76th President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, in a fireside chat. During the discussion, Mr Elumelu advocated for further collaboration, between the public and private sector in the creation of an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive.

“So, as we gather for #UNGA77 in the centre of world affluence and prosperity, I want all of us to join hands in making this 21st century, Africa’s year of youth empowerment, that is the future. We must realise and embrace the fact that our future totally belongs to this young Africans.”

Forbes Philanthropy Summit. L-R: Diane Brady (Forbes); Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings; Abdulla Shahid, Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs and 76th President of the UN General Assembly
Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, having a quick chat in-between sessions at the Forbes Philanthropy Summit

Later on, Tony Elumelu delivered the keynote speech at a side event at UNGA themed “Driving A Social Entrepreneurship Agenda for Africa” which held at the Harvard Club of New York City. During his remarks, Mr Elumelu further advocated for the support of entrepreneurship in Africa.

“We need entrepreneurship to give hope to our people. We need entrepreneurship to stop our people from crossing the Mediterranean in very harsh conditions. We need entrepreneurship to stop extremism on our continent. We need entrepreneurship to provide security and assure prosperity for everyone.”

Tony Elumelu’s keynote speech at UNGA side event themed “Driving A Social Entrepreneurship Agenda for Africa”

The team ended the day by attending the inaugural Global Business African Initiative on the margins of #UNGA, hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

Day 5 – Friday September 23

Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony Elumelu, hosted a further series of meetings with business leaders and policymakers from around the world to further advance partnerships.

Courtesy visit with the President of Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow

Day 6 – Monday September 26

The UNGA week closed with Tony O. Elumelu’s participation in a fireside chat hosted by Columbia University’s Business School which held at the Chazen Institute. During the session, Mr Elumelu interracted with alumni and students while sharing his personal journey into business and philanthropy. He reflected on the founding of the Tony Elumelu Foundation to democratise luck by identifying and empowering entrepreneurs with $5,000 non-refundable seed capital and business training to help them turn their business ideas into reality.
Towards the end of the session, a young man from the audience identified himself as one of the pioneer beneficiaries of The Tony Elumelu Foundation – whose agritech business, Afrimash Company Limited has grown remarkably, since receiving the seed capital in 2015, to now employing 50 people and serving over 10,000 farmers across Nigeria with farm products.
The testimony reflected Heirs Holdings’ commitment to improve lives and transform Africa.

Fireside chat with alumni and students at Columbia University’s Business School