Elumelu: Entrepreneurship, Gender Equality to Drive Economic Diversification

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Obinna Chima

The Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu Elumelu has stressed the importance of supporting women-run businesses to achieve inclusive growth.

According to Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc, such businesses empower a critical population of the economy.

“Female businesses create more benefits for the society,” he said.
Elumelu said this when he joined global private sector leaders at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss ways to achieve economic diversification in dynamic economies recently. The conference was organised by the Public Investment Fund.

Also on the panel were CEO, JPMorgan Asset Management, USA, Mary Erdoes; Chairman, POSCO, South Korea, Oh Joon Kwon; CEO, Société Générale, France, Frédéric Oudéa; President & Co-COO, Goldman Sachs, USA, Harvey Schwartz; and Chairman & CEO, DP World, UAE, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

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.

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 realisation that the private sector has a role to play in the social and economic diversification. We need to prioritise the young ones and prioritise SMEs if we are to achieve the much spoke about economic diversification,” he said.

Also speaking on the topic, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem identified entrepreneurship as a key driver of today’s economy. “When we encourage entrepreneurship we encourage ideas,” he said.