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Early Life of Tony Elumelu
Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, in 1963. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He has two degrees in economics from Nigerian universities, a bachelor's degree from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Programme. Tony Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together. He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives
In his early career, Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005 he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.
Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation.
In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.
He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.
Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). He was recognised as one of "Africa's 20 Most Powerful People in 2012" by Forbes magazine.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in July 2010, Elumelu founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation. His stated objective was to "prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development." The Foundation is charged with the mission of "driving Africa's economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector"
Entrepreneurship to Africa
The Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has taken the entrepreneurship and infrastructure growth campaign to East Africa.
According to a statement, Elumelu is on a five-day working visit to East Africa, where he will meet with national leaders of Kenya and Uganda.
The statement noted that the UBA chairman would travel to Uganda and Kenya to meet with the Presidents of both nations, Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni, to discuss issues around the growth and development of the their economies.
He would discuss how to enable entrepreneurship, infrastructure financing, regional economic growth, and how the private sector in Africa could work in shared purpose alongside African governments to create prosperity for all Africans.
“On the sidelines of the engagements, the Tony Elumelu Foundation will gather members of the full local ecosystem — from investors to academia to established and emerging entrepreneurs alike — for an entrepreneurship ecosystem event,” the statement said.
“During the event, TEF alumni and members of the Kenyan and Ugandan entrepreneurship communities will receive insights from guest speakers who will provide practicable information to help the audience develop their businesses and their business management skills,” it added.
Guest speakers included leaders from TEF partner, Microsoft, and other ecosystem players, including Google.
The statement further said, “During the visit, Elumelu will also meet with key stakeholders and policymakers in the countries to discuss infrastructural funding opportunities, as well as interact with leading private and public sector players. He will host a Founder’s Forum with students of Makerere University, Kampala, and University of Nairobi — two leading African institutions. At this forum he will give young Africans insight into his own life, share tips and values for success while encouraging entrepreneurship and development.”