Consequent upon a joint commitment to empower budding entrepreneurs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa within the space of 10 years.
The development was made known at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), where TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu, and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa, joined African Presidents at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Business Forum to sign an agreement. They were joined by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, at the launch.
The initiative, Daily Sun gathered, tilts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, which is expected to mobilise support for businesses, aims to generate millions of new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.
The CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, in her reactions, said: “Our partnership with UNDP is welcome and timely as it will directly assist entrepreneurial success in a number of fragile areas and is a testament to the validated approach to philanthropy we have pioneered. Africa needs partners that do not only believe in the potential of its private sector to champion economic development, but backs this with commitment. With this agreement, UNDP has proven to be a true partner to Africa’s entrepreneurs and has demonstrated its commitment to work with us to scale up the impact of this initiative and eliminate poverty on the continent.”
The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme will be implemented through TEF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has already benefited 7,520 local entrepreneurs across 54 African countries in five years of existence. Similarly, the programme builds on UNDP’s YouthConnekt initiative. The aim is to increase job creation through dynamic entrepreneurship and create sustainable economic growth that anchors the development of communities and states.