French President Emmanuel Macron is keenly advocating a new partnership with Africa, prioritizing the role of entrepreneurship in driving Africa’s renaissance, highlighting the importance of the private sector and most importantly saying Africa’s future was and should be in Africa’s hands.
Speaking at an exclusive session hosted by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in Lagos, Macron spoke to nearly 2,000 alumni of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, who sought advice from the President on how to grow their businesses, reach European markets amidst rising nationalism and emerging trade wars and the secrets of his political success.
“Never listen to people who are telling you to wait, if you believe in your projects, just do it. Our role is to help the new generation to seize opportunities and rise to the challenge. This is what underpins a new, balanced relationship.”
TEF signed an agreement with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French development bank.
The pact will establish a research partnership to examine the entrepreneurship ecosystem in West Africa, with a special focus on francophone countries, a risk-sharing guarantee framework and access to high-level mentors for TEF entrepreneurs.
“The French President recognizes the critical importance of African entrepreneurs to sustainable economic development on the continent – he knows the African narrative is changing and will change. His voice is refreshing and welcome” he said. “We want France and the rest of the world to realize that Africa is a continent of opportunities.” TEF Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony O. Elumelu.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa’s economic development.The vision for the Foundation is to unlock the obstacles that Africa’s entrepreneurs face as they grow their start-ups into small to medium enterprises (SMEs), their SMEs into national growth companies, and their national growth companies into African multinationals.