You can not talk about entrepreneurship in Nigeria and Africa without mentioning Tony Elumelu. Through his foundation, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Foundation, he has empowered thousands of entrepreneurs across Africa through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.
Currently, Tony Elumelu is said to be worth an estimated $1.4 billion with investments in business sectors such as financial services, energy, real estate, agriculture, oil and gas amongst others.
In this post, you’ll find out some important things about Tony Elumelu like his net worth, investment and how he found his way to the top.
Tony Elumelu’s Biography: Early years
Tony Elumelu was born March 22, 1963 in Jos, Plateau State. He has four other siblings. The most prominent of them is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.
Tony Elumelu obtained his bachelor’s degree from the Ambrose Alli University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Lagos. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme.
When Elumelu acquired Standard Trust Bank during his early years as a banker, he was able to turn the bank into one of the top 5 players in the country.
Elumelu achieved another landmark feat when he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa and transformed the bank from a Nigerian bank to a pan-African institution in just 5 years. During his tenure at the helm of affairs at UBA, he was able to grow the bank into having over 7 million customers in 19 African countries.
Tony Elumelu’s Investments and Net Worth
After retiring from UBA in 2010 and founded Heirs Holdings, an investment company with interests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. One of the major acquisitions in recent times is the Transnational Corporation Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) where he also serves as the chairman of the corporation. Transcorp is a conglomerate with a diversified interest in several sectors including the agribusiness and energy sector.
He is also the founder the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and funded philanthropic organisation that promotes entrepreneurship and business leadership in the private sector across Africa.
This foundation has created over 160,000 direct and indirect jobs across Africa in three years. Tony Elumelu committed $100 million into the TEF with the goal of empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade.
Apart from the funding, the foundation also enables SMEs build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.
Tony Elumelu is currently one of the top 10 richest men in Nigeria with an estimated worth of $1.4 billion.
Some of the positions currently held by Tony Elumelu include:
- Advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum
- Chairman of the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC)
- Vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN)
- Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security
- Chairman of the Federal Government’s Ministerial Committee which has been set up to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeri and to create 3 million jobs every year.
- Member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
- Member of the Bretton Woods Committee which brings together senior leaders in the global banking industry
- Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative
- Partner at the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme.
- Co-chair of the Africa Energy Leaders’ Group (AELG)
- Trustee of the Infant Jesus Academy in Delta State, Nigeria
- Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (2003)
- Africa Investor Magazine’s African Business Leader of the Year (2008)
- African Banker’s Magazine African Banker of the Year (2008)
- Forbes Magazine’s list of Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People (2012)
- Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (2012)
- Africa-America Institute’s Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy (2013)
- African Business Awards’ African Business Icon (2013)
- ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power (2015)
- CGECI Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016).
Tony Elumelu coined his business philosophy, Africapitalism, which he insists isn’t a term for capitalism with an African twist rather it’s an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to transform the African economy through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth.
Several books and writings have been written about Tony Elumelu, some of these include:
- How to Excel at Work – Proven strategies for achieving superior work performance: written by Bili A. Odum and inspired by Elumelu’s work ethics
- The Power of Vision: Insights on Tony Elumelu is a testimonial compiled on the occasion of his retirement as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at the United Bank for Africa. It contains messages from Aliko Dangote, Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Michael Porter, Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and many other prominent personalities.
Tony Elumelu has also written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa on several publications around the world. These include the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
You can also find interesting insights on Elumelu’s philosophies, business practices and values in TOE Way, a book written by Elumelu himself.
A few years ago, Elumelu published a White Paper on how to leverage private sector approaches in transforming government delivery.
Tony Elumelu is married to Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor. They got married in 1993, and their union has produced seven children together.
Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Elumelu has been able to create a pan-African focused not-for-profit institution which is dedicated with promoting of entrepreneurship and excellence in business leadership across the continent. This is deployed through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program which was set up to empower millions of entrepreneurs across Africa over the next 10 years.
Tony Elumelu is an icon in the business world and over the years he has amassed a large followership with many people both young and old regarding him as mentor.