The Tony Elumelu Foundation and its founder, Tony O. Elumelu, chairman of Pan African investment group Heirs Holdings Limited, have been selected by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help guide and support key components of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) through the agency’s Alliance on Emerging African Leaders (AEAL).
President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders, as they work to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across the continent.
Mr. Elumelu has been nominated to provide guidance to AEAL along with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and other global leaders on the programme’s Coordinating Group. In addition, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation will partner with USAID to support AEAL.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation will collaborate in various ways, including advising on and helping to develop programmes; identifying specific opportunities to advance emerging leadership in Africa; identifying worthwhile programmes for young African leaders; and helping fill the pipeline of candidates for YALI support and involvement by drawing on participants in the Foundation’s current programmes such as the African Markets Internship Programme (AMIP) and the Elumelu Legacy Prize Programme.
Through AMIP, the Tony Elumelu Foundation places promising young African business and policy students educated at top global institutions into SMEs across Africa to provide capacity to some of the fastest growing businesses on the continent.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is one of Africa’s leading funders of programmes focused on growing Africa’s flourishing entrepreneurial talent, based on its fundamental philosophy of empowering Africa’s private sector.
“The key to prosperity and meaningful development throughout our continent is entrepreneurship, ensuring that Africans themselves are driving the long-term investment that the continent needs. The Young African Leaders Initiative that President Obama launched has tremendous potential to help ensure that an emerging generation of Africans achieve these shared goals. The President’s focus on leadership and highlighting of the role of entrepreneurship is extremely valuable and timely; and the programme is a model of how Africa can work confidently with our international partners and friends. We are delighted also to find a further opportunity to work with USAID, building on our existing relationship through USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa,” said Mr. Elumelu.