At a recently concluded forum organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Mr. Tony Elumelu and President ICRC, Peter Maurer, proffered entrepreneurship as the most sustainable solution to accelerating Africa’s transformation.
The forum took place in Lagos. During a one-on-one conversation at the event, both speakers called for a new private-sector-led approach to humanitarian development in Africa.
While speaking at the forum, Maurer commended the TEF’s private-sector-led approach as the gold standard of humanitarian development in Africa focused on impacting lives at scale and transforming the continent.
A statement quoted Maurer to have said: “On one side, it is important that we assist and protect people when they are disrupted by violence and war. But what brought me together with Tony is not the white shirt and the blue suit, it is his deep conviction that with longer and protracted conflict we need to bring people much earlier into independence.”
He added: “We need, more than ever, in the most fragile, violent parts of society to show the pathway to independence and to a dignified life and this goes with income-generating activities, productive activities, with small businesses. This is why we partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation”.
On his part, during the discussion themed “Private Sector Partnerships with Humanitarian Organisations: Putting People First,” Elumelu commended Maurer’s leadership and the decision to partner with the TEF to eradicate extremism and violence.
He said: “Through the partnership between TEF and ICRC, a lot is happening that shows the catalytic impact of your vision.
Ours was the first ever partnership that ICRC had explored using a different approach to humanitarian development, from the angle of empowering the private sector. Today, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered with AfDB on empowering 1000 beneficiaries, UNDP which started with 1000 entrepreneurs and has now been scaled up to empower 100,000 African entrepreneurs starting with the Sahel region.”