Elumelu canvases Africapitalism as catalyst for economic development

Tony Elumelu has stated that Africapitalism is an important tool to position the private sector and entrepreneurs as a catalyst for social and economic development of the African continent.

Elumelu, who doubles as the Chairman, United Bank for Africa and Heirs Holdings Limited said this at the Jamaican Stock Exchange (JSE) – 17th regional and capital market annual conference 2022.

According to him, wealth creation for him came from following his philosophy of Africapitalism as an entrepreneur which led him to investing in long-term strategic sectors of the economy.

What Elumelu is saying about Africapitalism

Elumelu explained that Africapitalism is all about doing good and doing well whilst urging for the creation of wealth and social good. According to him, a key tenet of Africapitalism is the importance of the public sector in supporting the private sector’s efforts through the creation of the enabling environment that will support entrepreneurs and their businesses.

He said, “We must all ensure that the cultural linkages that connect Africa and the diaspora are strengthened not weakened. We have so much to learn from one another, our experiences and knowledge must be harnessed for the upliftment of Africa, the Caribbean, and the diaspora everywhere and anywhere”

Inferring from his grass to grace story, he pointed out that the Nigerian banking system is not today what it was when he started out his entrepreneurial journey long ago.

“I took a bank that was distressed and immediately set out 3 bold and audacious strategic intents in our turnaround strategy. Our first intent at the time was to become financially viable because we were a distressed bank while second intent was to become one of the top 10 banks in Nigeria, and we fixed timeframes to achieve this and third intent was to become one of the top 3 banks in Nigeria. These strategic intents helped to shape our activities and actions and accomplishments,” he said.

Noting that there is a high tendency to overlook things such as corporate governance as a fanciful thing reserved for large corporates, he advised, “Often the foundations built at the early stages of a business determine the trajectory of that company and this is a message to all entrepreneurs. Ensure you get your corporate governance right; it is most important to address these issues when you are small as opposed to when you are a larger organization”

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