Home » Nigerian mogul Tony Elumelu signs $1.4-million deal to empower Rwandan youths

Nigerian mogul Tony Elumelu signs $1.4-million deal to empower Rwandan youths

by Omokolade Ajayi
Tony Elumelu

Nigerian multimillionaire businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has signed a $1.4-million agreement with the UN Development Program (UNDP) to promote youth entrepreneurship and inclusive growth in Rwanda.

The historic four-year agreement, worth $1.4 million and lasting from 2022 to 2026, was signed through his Africa-focused non-profit organization, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), to empower Rwandan youth to benefit from the country’s more inclusive, competitive, and sustainable economic growth.

According to a TEF press release, the new partnership will position entrepreneurship as a driver of business growth and job creation in the country, empowering young people through an intensive program that includes entrepreneurship capacity building, financial start-up support, and one-on-one business mentoring.

According to the agreement, TEF, in collaboration with UNDP and the Ugandan Youth and Culture Ministry, will not only provide training and mentoring to 400 young Rwandan entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas, but will also ensure that seed funding is provided to 100 young entrepreneurs to help them start and scale their businesses.

While commenting on the collaboration Maxwell Gomera, UNDP resident representative in Rwanda, stressed the importance of youth in the development of the local economy, stating that the collaboration with TEF will directly benefit Rwanda’s young men and women by establishing more than 1,600 new businesses.

“I have no doubt that these businesses, led by a new generation of entrepreneurs,” he said, “will also significantly contribute to job creation and livelihood opportunities for more youth.”

TEF’s CEO Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu stated that the Elumelu-led organization is excited to expand its impact on poverty alleviation, job creation, and women’s empowerment in Africa through this inaugural partnership with UNDP Rwanda and the Rwandan Youth and Culture Ministry.

Elumelu, the chairman of TEF and United Bank for Africa, one of Nigeria’s leading financial services groups, has been committed to empowering young businesspeople and entrepreneurs across Africa.

Last year, the Nigerian banker selected 4,949 African entrepreneurs for his philanthropic foundation’s 2021 entrepreneurship program, in which each entrepreneur received $5,000, for a total of $24.75 million in funding support.

As part of the effort to drive business growth not only in Nigeria but throughout Africa, Elumelu recently agreed to a $20-million deal with the U.S. African Development Foundation to promote African entrepreneurs and enterprises.

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