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Tony Elumelu


The 5th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship (TEF) Forum was held this year in Abuja, the Nigerian capital on the 26th and 27th of July. The two day event featured masterclasses, a pitching competition, several panel sessions, a market place and a presidential debate. The two-day event themed ‘Empowering African Entrepreneurs,’ hosted the largest engagement and gathering of entrepreneurs, policymakers, and business leaders from Africa.

Some of the speakers included Tony Elumelu himself, the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation; Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of Uganda; Ugo Mozie, a Creative Executive, Benedict Oramah, President of AFREXIMBANK. One the second day, the presidential debate featured the Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo, Elix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Macky Sall, and President of Senegal; Ruhakana Rugunda.

On the sideline of the Forum, United Bank of Africa (UBA) hosted 100 small and medium. Enterprises from around Africa participated in the largest entrepreneurial fair tagged #theUBAmarketplace2019. From food vendors to beauty and fashion vendors the UBA market place was a uniquely set up at Transcorp Hilton.  During the plenary sessions and discussions on the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) sector, the relevance of financing, the entertainment and music industry was greatly highlighted. 

UBA’s award winning online network, REDTV also played a role in the success of the event. REDTV set up a runway inside the market place. As fashion is a big culture across the continent gaining popularity on a global scale, 10 African fashion designers walked the runway during the event. On the first day of the panel session Richard Mofe Damijo, the top Nollywood icon, sat on the movie panel session with Cynthia Nassardine, Cote D’ivoire’s darling; and top Movie producer/director, Tunde Kelani to discuss the theme ‘The Big Picture: Business of film making’ and how entrepreneurs from Africa can benefit from the enterprise. The panel was moderated by REDTV’s executive producer and Group director for Communications at UBA, Bola Atta. Then on the second day,  Africa’s star boy Wizkid will sat with UBA’s GMD, Kennedy Uzoka, in a fiery discussion on ‘Stars & Suits: Afropop meets High Finance’. Later on that day, Dj Cuppy, Dj Neptune and Pheelz the Producer also had a panel discussion on the theme ‘Booth to Bank: How the beat becomes the profit’.

The gathering provided numerous networking opportunities for business owners and discussions on solutions to some of the challenges most African businesses face. Also, entrepreneurs who were beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation presented a pitch of their businesses on stage during one of the panel sessions and the winner received a a grand prize of a grant, courtesy of UBA. 

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2 thoughts on “THE 2019 TONY ELUMELU FORUM”

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