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Tony Elumelu, a Champion of Youth Empowerment, Recognized at UNGA

Tony Elumelu, a Champion of Youth Empowerment, Recognized at UNGA

22 September, 2023

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 78th session witnessed a remarkable moment as Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Group, received well-deserved recognition for his unwavering commitment to youth empowerment, advocacy for entrepreneurship, and dedication to the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.

The prestigious honor was bestowed upon Elumelu during the TEF-UNDP Breakfast Roundtable meeting, held on the sidelines of the UNGA. The gathering also marked the launch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Impact Report, aptly titled "The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme: A Decade of Impact."

Leaders from various fields and sectors expressed their deep admiration for Elumelu, who also serves as the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. President Bola Tinubu, represented by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, commended Elumelu's dedication to youth empowerment and urged fellow Africans to follow his lead in investing in the future of the continent. Uzoka-Anite underscored the importance of self-reliance and reducing dependency on foreign donors, emphasizing how Elumelu's efforts in driving investments, supporting SMEs, and promoting youth entrepreneurship align perfectly with these objectives.

The impact of Tony Elumelu's work also resonated strongly with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State. Sanwo-Olu commended Elumelu for his remarkable contributions in empowering and building the youth, highlighting how these efforts are fully aligned with the initiatives for economic empowerment and poverty reduction in Lagos State.

Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa at UNDP, expressed her immense inspiration by Tony Elumelu's vision for African youth. She emphasized the shared passion between UNDP and Elumelu in promoting human development and providing opportunities for individuals to shape their destinies.

Throughout his journey, Elumelu has demonstrated an unwavering belief in the transformative power and potential of African youth. His commitment to empowering them with entrepreneurship skills and access to finance has led to significant growth of SMEs, job creation, and economic development across the continent. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, thousands of young African entrepreneurs have received training, mentorship, and funding to turn their dreams into reality.


The recognition received by Tony Elumelu at the UNGA serves as a testament to his exceptional leadership and dedication to fostering a future where African youth can thrive and contribute to the continent's prosperity. As the Chairman of UBA Group and the driving force behind the Tony Elumelu Foundation, his legacy continues to inspire and empower generations to come.


As the world looks towards Africa for transformative change, Tony Elumelu has positioned himself as one of the foremost advocates for youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic growth. His remarkable accomplishments and tireless efforts serve as an inspiration to all, reminding us that investing in Africa's youth is the key to unlocking the continent's true potential.