Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has signed an agreement to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa, with a specific focus on historically underinvested areas within African frontier markets.
In bringing together the expertise, experience and boots-on-the-ground presence in African markets of The Tony Elumelu Foundation and UNCDF, the two organizations will work towards reaching and empowering the most promising youth entrepreneurs on the continent.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Tuesday, September 20th, 2020 at the offices of UNCDF on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The agreement was signed by Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation and Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary of UNCDF.
Speaking on the partnership, Tony Elumelu, said; “In Africa, we feel the harsh impact of youth joblessness. As African leaders, we must do something. As global leaders, it is important that we work together to address this issue. If we don’t deal with these challenges today, the world will not be a good place for all of us.”
“In Nigeria alone, about 60% of our young ones, who account for half of our population are not employed. This is a problem that we need to resolve collectively. I want to say thank you Preeti, your colleagues, and the entire UNCDF, for supporting this kind of partnership.”
“We know what our young ones in Africa need, we know how having access to finance can help change the trajectory of their lives. I hope that what we are about to do today with this partnership signing will help to expand and scale what we do at TEF.”
“Last year, we partnered with the European Union to empower 3,000 young African women entrepreneurs, because they share our belief that if you empower a woman, you empower an entire community. We hope that this initiative helps us to touch even more lives across the continent.”
However, the Executive Secretary of the UN Capital Development Fund, Preeti Sinha, said; “LDCs face a stark demographic challenge, as their population is projected to double to 1.7 billion by 2050. The LDC youth population aged 15 to 24 years is expected to soar to 300 million by 2050, when one in four youths worldwide will live in an LDC.”
“We cannot embark on this journey alone, as the challenge is daunting and requires a concerted effort. This is why we welcome collaborating with like-minded organisations working in the same direction.”
“The TEF is one like no other, a leading champion of young entrepreneurship in Africa. UNCDF is thrilled about the endless possibilities for collaboration in the field of youth entrepreneurship, leveraging the strengths of both organisations.”
For those who don’t know, the agreement is intended to leverage the distinct capabilities of the two organizations.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs, serving all 54 African countries.
UNCDF serves as the UN’s catalytic finance entity for the world’s 46 least developed countries, which it sees as the frontier economies of today and the growth markets of tomorrow.