The wife of Nigeria’s President, Aisha Buhari, has commended the Chairman of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Mr Tony Elumelu, for transforming the lives of young entrepreneurs across the African continent.
Speaking at the Fifth Cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in Abuja, Buhari expressed hope that TEF entrepreneurs would grow to inspire confidence in both local and foreign markets:
“They will be a source of immense value not just to the Nigerian real sector but to the entire African continent.”
Earlier the TEF Chairman formally unveiled the 2019 selected 3,050 candidates of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs out of the 216,025 applications received.
1,000 out of the 3,050 candidates will be directly funded by the Foundation and the additional 2,050 supported by the Foundation’s partners.
The Entrepreneurship Programme is half way through its 10 year mark of empowering African entrepreneurs and has achieved a significant milestone.
According to Buhari, the contribution of entrepreneurship through small and medium enterprises cannot be overemphasized, particularly in emerging economies.
“The TEF will certainly foster entrepreneurial development across Africa, providing much needed funds, training and mentorship to commercial enterprise that promote social and economic change.
“It will also provide support to growing African businesses through dynamic programmes that provide capital and human resources for building entrepreneurs.
“The African private sector must begin to play a more active role in advancing our continent.
“And the TEF will contribute to strengthening and capacitating our private sector to assume this position of significant influence across Africa.”
Buhari said the future Assured Programme of the Aisha Buhari Foundation shared the same Vision with the TEF and aims to optimize potentials through interventions in health, education and empowerment.
She commended the increased participation of women in the 2019 programme while urging the Nigerian women, especially those from the North to apply for the TEF programme.
Earlier, Mrs Parminder Vir, the Chief Executive Officer of TEF said there had been tremendous transformation of the foundation since the past five years of its inception; this was made possible through the support of its partners.
While commending the selected candidates, she said the foundation had ensured a platform known as the TEF Connect to allow applicants who were not selected to connect and do their businesses.
Amaka E. Nliam