The President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma has told African entrepreneurs that the future of the continent lies in their hands.
President Koroma was addressing 1000 young entrepreneurs drawn from across Africa that attended the second Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos, Nigeria.
“To our African entrepreneurs, set yourselves very clear goals and work assiduously towards them. Be part of the revolution of self-reliance in Africa. Africa looks up to you for a brighter future,” he told delegates.
The TEF Forum is an event with interactive learning sessions, workshops, plenary sessions, product launches and more. It is the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs that brings together participants from all 54 countries.
The Sierra Leone leader further urged the entrepreneurs to be prepared to walk and stumble but that should not stop them to be determined to realise their dreams. “I’m sure from this TEF forum 2016, other philanthropists will be convinced to join hands with Tony O Elumelu. What’s unique about TEF isn’t just the finance but the support and training the entrepreneurs get.”
Ex-Nigerian President His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo said TEF has given the entrepreneurs a good beginning.
Tony Elumelu, the founder, said he is inspired to support African development by the desire to leave behind a good legacy. He called on fellow Africans to support the development of the continent, which he said has energetic and creative entrepreneurs that can positively change the shape of Africa.
“The government of Cote D’Ivoire has identified the Tony Elumelu Foundation model using it to identify and support entrepreneurs. No one but us will develop Africa; so we need to look inwards. We’re talking with African Development Bank (AFDB) Group to meet us halfway in that; if we empower 1000, they’ll empower another 1000,” he informed.
The Gambia was represented at the Forum by young Agrobusiness entrepreneurs Mbadibba Jammeh-Cham, Kujeh Kah; and Babeth Madelene Lind-Jallow, an energy/power generation entrepreneur.
Also present at the Forum was Gambia’s food processing entrepreneur Momarr Mass Taal. Taal is part of the first cohort of the programme and he was at the Forum to share his success story with fellow entrepreneurs.
by Alieu Ceesay back from Lagos, Nigeria