TEF Entrepreneurship Forum Begins Friday

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The founder of TEF, Mr. Tony Elumelu

Solomon Elusoji

The 2019 edition of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) annual Entrepreneurship Forum will commence in Abuja, Friday.

The two-day event is the climax of this year’s edition of the entrepreneurship programme for young African entrepreneurs.

This year, a whopping 3,000 young men and women were the lucky ones from the pool of 216,000 hopefuls that applied from over 54 African countries.

The chosen candidates went through entrepreneurial mentorship for several weeks, emerging as fully capable wealth creators returning to their respective countries with the passion and the means to maintain and expand, not just flourishing, but also impactful, businesses.

In all, the Forum is expected to host over 5,000 attendees comprising entrepreneurs, private and public sector leaders.

The founder of TEF, Mr. Tony Elumelu, would be the keynote speaker at the event. Also, other speakers whose participation have been confirmed include the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda; President of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah; President of Arab Bank for Development, Sidi Ould Tah, and Deputy Director General of the European Commission, Koen Doens.

Others expected to speak at the second session include the President of the DRC, President Felix Tshisekedi; Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo; the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina; President of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom; Vice President of ICRC, Mr. Gilles Carbonnier, and Chairperson, Avon Healthcare, Dr. Awele Elumelu. The event would be moderated by Fareed Zakaria of the CNN.

On the sidelines on the Forum is UBAmarketplace, where over 120 SMEs from across Africa would exhibit their products.

The marketplace which is expected to attract over 20,000 would see visitors entertained by Nigerian leading entertainers including Whizkid.

According to a statement, Wizkid would sit with the Group Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, in a fireside chat with the theme: “Stars & Suits: Afropop Meets High Finance,” as Richard Mofe Damijo, the top Nollywood icon, would also sit in a movie panel session with Cynthia Nassardine from Cote D’ivoire and top movie producer/director, Tunde Kelani, to discuss the theme ‘The Big Picture: Business of film making’ and how entrepreneurs from Africa could benefit from the enterprise.

The panel would be moderated by REDTV’s Executive Producer and Group Director for Communications at UBA, Bola Atta.

“The music industry will not be left out at the UBA marketplace as Dj Cuppy, Dj Neptune and Pheelz the Producer will discuss on the theme ‘Booth to Bank: How the beat becomes the profit,” the statement added.

Uzoka, noted that, “UBA has always been at the forefront of entrepreneurship across Africa, undertaking many projects aimed at contributing to and supporting Africa’s growth and economic integration. The birth of the UBA marketplace and this entrepreneurial fair is a testament to our commitment to African SMEs.”

He pointed out that with the fair, “UBA seeks to touch base with small business owners and to continue to positively affect the lives of entrepreneurs doing business in its countries of operations and beyond.

“I think everyone realises that we need to prioritise the private sector. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and the youths. This is the driving factor and the major reason why we are organising an event of this magnitude.”