Effervescent and highly entrepreneurial Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony O. Elumelu, CON joined global private sector leaders at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last October24 2017 to discuss ways to achieve economic diversification in dynamic economies.
The conference was organised by the Public Investment Fund. Speaking on the distinguished panel of speakers including Mary Erdoes, CEO, JPMorgan Asset Management, USA; Oh Joon Kwon, Chairman, POSCO, South Korea; Frédéric Oudéa, CEO, Société Générale, France; Harvey Schwartz, President & Co-COO, Goldman Sachs, USA; and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman & CEO, DP World, UAE, Elumelu cited entrepreneurship and gender equality as two critical areas that need urgent attention to drive the inclusive growth and economic diversification in emerging continents like Africa. Of achieving gender equality, Elumelu pointed out the importance of supporting women-run businesses to achieve inclusive growth stating that these businesses empower a critical population of the economy. "Female businesses create more benefits for the society," he said. An advocate of a new model for entrepreneurship in Africa, through his philosophy, Africapitalism, Elumelu spoke on the role Africapitalism plays in powering Africa out of poverty. “Africapitalism is the intersection between prosperity and social wealth – doing good while making profit. It is a realization that the private sector has a role to play in the social and economic diversification. Elumelu has demonstrated the potential of his Africapitalism model through his Foundation’s flagship Programme, The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, where he endowed 10,000 African entrepreneurs with $100million over a 10-year period with the goal of achieving 10million jobs within the period.