Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, emphasised the need for long-term investments in infrastructure to spur sustainable socio-economic development in Africa. He said this while speaking at the 2021 World Global Summit (WGS).
Hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the World Global Summit is an annual event held in Dubai, convening leaders in government for a global dialogue.
During a fireside chat with CNN anchor Eleni Giokos themed “Africa’s Future Post 2021”, Elumelu discussed the changes that have swept across Africa as it relates to the economy, geopolitics, and governance post-pandemic, and what the future holds for the continent.
“In Africa, there is a limit to what can be done to transform the economy if we do not invest in electricity. Without access to electricity, we cannot digitise our local economy and communities, and this is significant in terms of the informal sector that drives the African economy,” he said.
Elumelu’s investment company, Heirs Holdings, recently acquired a 45% participating interest in Nigerian oil license OML 17 and related assets from Shell, ENI and Total. The acquisition was a positive step towards Heirs Holdings’ strategic intent to power Africa through its integrated energy approach.
“Power cannot be fixed in isolation. To us, the $1.1 billion investment we made in January is to further achieve our vision for a prosperous Africa, built on solid access to electricity for everyone.”
In his closing remarks, Tony Elumelu called on business leaders and investors to think long-term to create a positive impact while reaping returns on their investments.
“What I encourage other investors to do is to think long-term in Africa. There’s nowhere else you get the kind of returns on investments as you get in Africa.”