Speaking For Africa:  Abu Dhabi, London & Rome – Fostering Partnerships & Championing a New Africa 

Africa’s transformation will only be achieved by us, Africans. 

However, I believe in partnership, in all aspects of life.  To unlock Africa’s potential and create a future of inclusive growth, sustainable development, and mutual prosperity, we must forge partnerships and create platforms for all voices to be heard and to catalyse the change we want to see. 

Gone are the days when Africans were written out of the narrative, unheard, ignored, an afterthought.  African stakeholders must take centre-stage and act now to define our present and lay the pathway for an impactful future. 

This is what Africapitalism preaches: partnerships that facilitate shared prosperity and deliver equitable outcomes. 

It is this message that I will take with me next week, as I travel to the Middle East and Europe, and join other business leaders and philanthropists. 

I will focus on three themes: 

  • The role of entrepreneurship and job creation in fostering global food security. 
  • The economic empowerment of Africa’s youth to address migration challenges and create meaningful employment. 
  • A call for private-public partnerships to democratise access to healthcare and foster innovation to improve the quality of life globally. 

Central to my activities will be the presentation of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Coalition for African Entrepreneurs – our ambition to build on TEF’s success and substantially scale, to boost job creation, and provide hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for Africa’s youth, across our continent.  


Monday, May 13: Panel Session at the Health Leaders Forum in Abu Dhabi 

At the invitation of my good friend, Badr Jafar, I will participate in a high-level panel session at the Health Leaders Forum, an invitation-only, agenda setting opener for the Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week. Other speakers on the panel include:  

  1. H.E. Monica Geingos, UNAIDS Special Advocate on Young Women and Adolescent Girls in Namibia; 
  1. H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Director of the Presidential Court Office of International Affairs and CEO, 2PointZero, UAE; 
  1. Badr Jafar, CEO, Crescent Enterprises 

The Forum convenes global Ministers of Health, policymakers, and Chief Executives of global entities, playing an influential role in transforming the future of healthcare. Married to a doctor, and with Avon Healthcare in our portfolio, and TEF beneficiaries in the healthcare sector, I will speak from experience and with authority on Africa’s opportunities and needs in the healthcare space. 

Tagged Reimagining Health and Life: Partnering to Invest in Humanity”, my panel will highlight the role of public-private partnerships, health equity, ethics, technology, and innovation, in tackling the multifaceted challenges of global health and healthcare’s most pressing concerns. 

Following the Forum, I will co-host a private lunch with Badr Jafar, at a gathering of senior government officials, business leaders, and philanthropic champions, all united in our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East. TEF beneficiaries will showcase the catalytic change TEF has brought to their businesses and lives. 

Wednesday, May 15 – Hosting Cindy McCain, ED, World Food Programme in London 

From Abu Dhabi, I will travel to London, where I will host the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Cindy McCain, as well as other policymakers and leaders, to a private reception jointly organised by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the United Bank for Africa (UBA). 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation and the World Food Programme share a similar vision to address the global humanitarian and migration crisis. It will be an opportunity to not only showcase the work of both organisations, but explore innovative areas of partnerships to foster economic growth and stability through youth entrepreneurship.  TEF has an innovative track record of working with development finance institutions, such as UNDP and the ICRC, to go beyond relief, and plant seeds of economic stability and opportunity. 

It is also a chance to listen firsthand to our young African entrepreneurs, our trailblazing TEF beneficiaries, who are creating jobs and opportunities in their communities, providing families with decent living, and strengthening the African economy. My message is clear: the key to addressing the global migration crisis lies with our young men and women – they have the ideas, the passion, the drive, and the energy to facilitate Africa’s transformation. 

Friday, May 17 – B7 Roundtable Discussion in Rome 

Concluding my trip, I will join a roundtable discussion themed “Powering the Energy Transition for the Benefit of All”, at the B7 Summit in Rome, where my co-panelists and I will propose recommendations and priorities for catalysing energy transition that is equitable for all. 

The B7 is the official business engagement group for the G7, a political and economic forum of seven advanced economies including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States. 

Representing the voice of the African continent on this panel, my co-panelists include: 

  1. Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni 
  1. Giuseppina Di Foggia, CEO, Terna 
  1. Chrissy Taylor, CEO, Enterprise Mobility 
  1. Bernard Mensah, President, Bank of America, International 

During the session, I will spotlight Africa’s role in the energy transition. Although Africa consumes the least amount of energy, the continent bears the brunt of the effects of global climate change; an emergency that could become a global crisis in the near-future. I will address the urgency to tackle this looming challenge and provide platforms for dialogue and action to bring all stakeholders to the decision-making table. 


These meetings are critical to casting a spotlight on Africa’s needs, but also to show that Africa has credible voices, who can deliver on partnerships.  Our Group, our commitment to role model business success and innovative, catalytic philanthropy, stands out. 

Our enabling platform for my advocacy work – the Tony Elumelu Foundation and our Heirs Holdings’ investee companies, is extraordinary. 

Heirs Energies and Transcorp Group, through its power subsidiary, play a critical role in driving the energy conversation, charting the course to create sustainable value for host communities and our people. On Thursday, Dr. Owen Omogiafo, Group CEO, Transcorp Plc, and Osa Ighiehon, CEO, Heirs Energies, will further advance our Group’s position on equitable and transparent energy transition at the 17th German-African Energy Forum in Hamburg, Germany, where they represent the Group on panel sessions.  

Our healthcare businesses, Avon Medical and Avon HMO, are democratising access to healthcare. The United Bank for Africa is facilitating financial inclusion across four continents. And the Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered over 20,000 young entrepreneurs across Africa with a vision to do more. 

It is a packed but rewarding week ahead.  I am excited at the prospects of yet again unlocking Africa’s value and potential through these dialogues and platforms, as we continue to shape Africa’s future. 

Follow the conversation on my social media pages: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Threads & Blog 

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