Africa’s Path To Economic Transformation Is Through Technology Says Elumelu

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

One of the richest men on the continent believes that African policymakers and political leaders should leverage technology to accelerate economic transformation and development.

Nigerian entrepreneur and billionaire Tony Elumelu shared that message with those attending the Tech for Good Summit in Paris between May 16-18, according to ThisDayLive.


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The tech gathering, which was organized by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims to discuss and motivate the use of tech to make positive social change.

Elumelu said that he was at the summit to represent Africa, and he urged world leaders and policymakers to prioritise technology in Africa to create economic opportunities and growth for the millions of young African entrepreneurs on the continent, according to his foundation’s website.

Economic transformation through tech

The billionaire chairman of Heirs Holdings mentioned that over 60 percent of Africans are under the age of 30, and economic opportunities for those individuals would rely on technology, NaijaNews reported.

Elumelu argued that technology is a great employer of labour as it drives inclusiveness and helps alleviate poverty.

He went on to say that what could be an economic advantage, a large young African population entering the workforce, would translate into an economic disaster if tech was not leveraged to create sufficient work opportunities for the youth, according to TheGuardian.

economic transformation African languages tony elumelu
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, takes a selfie with Tony Elumelu, Chairman of United Bank of Africa, during a family picture with guests who attend the “Tech for Good” Summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Charles Platiau,Pool via AP)

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the philanthropist’s self-funded organization dedicated to supporting African entrepreneurs. This year sees the fifth edition of the program.

In 2014, Elumelu committed $100 million to fund 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa over a 10-year period, according to Forbes.

Five years into the program, the foundation is on track to reach its goal.

So far it has supported and funded 7,520 entrepreneurs, investing $25 million of the total $100 million pledge to date, according to the foundation’s website.