The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum took place in Lagos over the weekend, bringing together the current 1,000-strong cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) with business leaders, investors and policymakers from around Africa.
The third annual Forum took place over the weekend (October 14-15), with over 1,300 attendees from 54 African countries convening in Lagos, Nigeria, for the two-day event.
The event involved keynote talks, plenary panels and masterclasses, and provided the entrepreneurs currently participating in the third cohort of TEEP with a platform to network and connect with business leaders, policymakers and investors.
Giving the keynote address, Tony Elumelu spoke of his belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking the continent’s economic and social potential.
“Africa’s development, which must be private-sector led and entrepreneurially driven, will have at its heart, young African innovators and their transformative ideas. Only they will create the millions of jobs Africa needs. The Forum has brought together Africa’s most important developmental force, her young entrepreneurs who will become catalysts for Africa’s economic liberation,” Elumelu said.
He also thanked those government representatives and policymakers who support the private sector as the engine for Africa’s growth.
“This generation of young people will do the exceptional. You are the reason Africa will work. The length and breadth of display of talent have shown that there is indeed hope,” Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria told the TEEP entrepreneurs.
A number of partnerships were also announced at the Forum as part of a push to expand the reach of TEEP in the future, including between the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and TEF and the Agence Française De Développement (AFD).
“We call on friends of Africa to partner with the Foundation, to scale our impact beyond the 1,000 entrepreneurs a year. Real opportunity exists to tap into Africa’s potential and our entrepreneurs offer a gateway to participating in both economic success and creating social wealth,” Elumelu said.