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Improve the Business Environment to Drive Industrialisation, Wealth Creation in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries, Elumelu Tells ACP Presidents in Kenya

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Wealth Creation

Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Group, urged African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Heads of State to improve the business environment in their countries to drive industrialisation and wealth creation in ACP member states.

 

He said this while presenting the keynote speech on the theme “Industrialization and Private Sector Engagement for Economic Transformation of ACP States” at the Presidential Dialogue of the 9th ACP Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Elumelu stated that industrialisation will not be achieved without support for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and improved access to electricity. “We cannot hope to industrialise if we do not fix the issue of power, if our entrepreneurs spend so much of their resources to power their businesses, how then are they expected to make the investments necessary to upgrade and industrialise? If we do not tackle these pertinent issues, we will be unable to achieve industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction,” he said.

 

He highlighted infrastructure development as another critical area needed to achieve sustainable development, highlighting the key role the United Bank for Africa Group plays in achieving this. “UBA is a force for development in Africa through infrastructure investment and leading the way in cross border payments and services, with the objective of encouraging trade across the continent,” he said.

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While citing the impact of the flagship Entrepreneurship Programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Elumelu highlighted the critical role partnership between the private and public sectors, as well developmental organisations, play in achieving industrialisation. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a private-sector-led philanthropy,  is on a mission to catalyse the economic transformation of the continent by empowering young African entrepreneurs – over 7,500 beneficiaries across 54 African countries thus far – through its Entrepreneurship Programme. Elumelu shared stories of beneficiaries in Kenya including Dr. Peter Gichuhi Mwethera, who has developed a contraceptive gel, Uniprin, which aims to prevent HIV infection, and Maureen Amakabane whose company, ‘Usafi Sanitation’, is bridging the sanitation gap in schools by providing waterless toilets.

 

 

He said: “To date, we have 497 beneficiaries in Kenya, 596 in Uganda, 187 in Tanzania and 194 in Rwanda. This brings the total number of TEF Entrepreneurs in East Africa so far to 1,474, so far. Organisations such as the UNDP, African Development Bank, the ICRC, and GIZ have helped increase the number of young entrepreneurs we can support “.

 

 

The President of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta shared the same approach to development, while highlighting his country’s private-sector-focused plan which has propelled the country’s ease of doing business rank from 129th position out of 190 economies in 2013 to the 56th position in 2019.

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President Kenyatta said: “Our young people are tech-savvy and indeed with a huge entrepreneurial spirit. They are ready to embrace the digital revolution. We are experiencing a flourishing digital innovation ecosystem which can stimulate the rate of growth of ICT and technology innovations, and nurture vibrant tech startups and incubator hubs as Tony [Elumelu] has mentioned, of those young men and women he has supported through his family and Foundation”.

 

 

In closing, Elumelu stressed the importance of including women in the development agenda of the ACP region, commending the European Investment Bank (EIB), for its initiative “She Invest”, which is focused on mobilising 1 billion Euros for women across Africa. “We at the Tony Elumelu Foundation strive to reach the same goals of uplifting women out of poverty and empowering them with knowledge and resources. This is an invitation to join forces as we have done with the UNDP to lift 100,000 young African boys and girls out of poverty, thereby stemming migration challenges,” he said.

 

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10 Years Impact: Tony Elumelu Foundation Enhances Its Flagship Entrepreneurship Programme  

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  • On the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs has enhanced its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme to empower more entrepreneurs across the continent.

These enhancements, which took effect from January 1, 2020—the launch of the 6th cycle of the Programme—will achieve the Foundation’s mandate to transform the African continent through entrepreneurship.

Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee

Most prominent among the enhancements are the new dates in the Programme cycle, its emphasis on providing thousands of entrepreneurs with business training, and its focus on leveraging technology to optimise the application and selection process as well as personalise the journey of each applicant in the Programme tailored to their knowledge and business stage.

The Programme cycle has been updated to place more emphasis on getting more entrepreneurs through the business training. Hence, the announcement of the finalists, who will ultimately be inducted into the TEF Alumni network, will no longer be held on March 22 but will be made at the TEF Forum – the largest entrepreneurship conference in Africa.

Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

Maximising the value derived from the Programme, applicants will now receive instant feedback on their progress to the next stage of the Programme, following their applications. Shortlisted applicants will receive business training tailored to their business stage and for those who move to the next stage mentorship and finally the top performing entrepreneurs from each country will proceed to the business pitching competition, which will determine the finalists to receive seed capital and an induction into the Foundation’s fast-growing alumni network across 54 African countries.

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The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is the $100million commitment by investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON through his investment company, Heirs Holdings. The Programme has become a beacon of hope for African entrepreneurs, currently empowering 9,631 beneficiaries across 54 African countries with training, mentorship, seed funding and exclusive access to global opportunities as well as a strong entrepreneurial community.

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TEF Alumni such as Ugandan Kwabena Danso who manufactures bicycles and its accessories from bamboo is one of the thousands of beneficiaries whose business has expanded beyond the shores of Africa to a global market, and is one of the success stories and impact recorded by the Programme’s innovative approach to the sustainable development of Africa. Others include Mohammed Dhauoafi from Tunisia, founder of Cure, a  3D printed, biosynthetic prosthesis manufacturing company and Princess Adeyinka Tekenah from Nigeria whose coffee making business has been dubbed Africa’s Starbucks by The Financial Times.

The application for the 2020 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open till March 1, 2020 on TEFConnect.com.

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Caption: Princess Adeyinka Tekenah, TEF Alumnus from Nigeria with her locally sourced and processed coffee 

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Caption: Mohammed Dhaouafi, TEF Alumnus from Tunisia with his affordable, 3D printed, bionic customiseable prosthesis.

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Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020: Jumia Chairwoman, Finance Minister, others to discuss new Finance Act impact on local businesses

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As the Federal Government of Nigeria sets to commence the implementation of the Finance Act 2019, the Chairwoman of Jumia Nigeria, Mrs Juliet Anammah will be joining the Finance Minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed and other experts on Tuesday January 28 to lead a panel discussion on the implications of the new Finance Act at the Nigeria Economic Outlook 2020.

The experts are expected to take a holistic view of the provisions of the Act along the lines of its major components while proffering solutions for an effective administration of the policy.

Joining Anammah and the Honourable Minister are Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Bolaji Balogun; Yomi Olugbenro, Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at Deloitte; Dinesh Rathi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Trade Zone (Tolaram Group) and Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation. The panelists will deliberate on the policy as Nigerians brace up for its implementation.

The panelists will focus on key aspects of the Finance Act 2019 such as digital economy, global competitiveness and remodeling for full VAT system to grow the Nigerian economy. In addition, they will discuss issues around how the new Act affects the Value Added Tax (VAT), Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA), Capital Gains Tax Act (CGTA), Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and Stamps Duties Act (SDA).

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It would be recalled that in 2018, the Nigerian government set in motion an amendment to the existing fiscal policy in the country. A major highlight of the review was the value added tax, which by the 2019 Act has been reviewed upwards to 7.5% from 5%.

Although the enactment of the Act has generated some criticism among Nigerians, the government had maintained that the new Act would serve the country well in terms of its fiscal administration in the long run. The 2019 Financial Act seeks to promote fiscal equity, align domestic laws with global best practices and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The provisions of the policy will also increase government revenues and stakeholders’ investments in capital and investment market through the introduction of incentives.

Also Read:  Fidelity Bank Donates Laboratory To Correctional Home

 

About Jumia

Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform in Africa. It is built around a marketplace, Jumia Logistics, and JumiaPay. The marketplace helps millions of consumers and sellers to connect and transact. Jumia Logistics enables the delivery of millions of packages through our network of local partners. JumiaPay facilitates the payments of online transactions for Jumia’s ecosystem. With over 1 billion people and 500 million internet users in Africa, Jumia believes that e-commerce is making people’s lives easier by helping them shop and pay for millions of products at the best prices wherever they live. E-commerce is also creating new opportunities for SMEs to grow, and job opportunities for a new generation to thrive.

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ZENITH BANK EMPOWERS NIGERIAN SMES, PARTNERS FACEBOOK ON SME DIGITAL WORKSHOP

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Zenith Bank

 

Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Zenith Bank Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to support local Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with the introduction of the ‘Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop’ to provide free digital training for business owners.

The initiative, which is being organized in partnership with social media giant Facebook, will provide free training on how SMEs can use digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to grow their businesses.

Commenting on the initiative, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, noted that the SME ecosystem is a very important component of the Nigerian economy and the digital workshop is expected to assist participants optimally use digital channels to engage potential customers, market their products and increase sales.

Also Read:  Fidelity Bank’s Ernest Ebi Honoured With Zik Award

The workshop is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, January 29th and Thursday, January 30th, 2020 by 08:30 a.m. at the following Zenith Bank branches: 23, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; 201, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Ilupeju, Lagos; and 2, Aromire Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop is free for everyone. To register, send an email with the subject “Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop” to smepartnership@zenithbank.com. The email should state the name of the participant and preferred venue of attendance.

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Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS). Most recently, the bank won the Best Bank in Retail Banking and the Bank of the Year at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.

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