Why Elumelu won Daily Times Nigeria Man-of-the-Year 2016 — Daily Times Nigeria

Why Elumelu won Daily Times Nigeria Man-of-the-Year 2016

Momar Mass-Taal, a youthful Gambian specializing in agriculture/agro-allied business in 2015, benefitted from business development training and seed grant of $5,000 provided by the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), supported by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).

Over a one-year period, Mass-Taal turned his $5,000 seed capital into $1.2 million in revenue; and has employed more people who now work in his organisation.


Bukhary Kibonajoro, a Tanzanian specializing in education and training, also benefited from the TEF, in 2015. He has leveraged on the mentorship and training he received to launch his business, and had added value to it by creating 34 new jobs and providing growth services for more than 100 local business in 12 months of operations.


Also, one of the Nigerian beneficiaries, Chioma Okonu, a specialist in waste management business, after receiving business coaching and financial empowerment by the TEF, has created ancillary revenue streams for more than 6,000 households. In addition, she has created 40 jobs and generated over $50,000 in profit from the seed grant of $5,000 she got.


These are just a few of the 2,000 youth entrepreneurs across Africa already trained and empowered financially by the TEF. All have made remarkable progress in their respective fields, created more wealth, and employed more people in their respective organizations.

In furtherance of this noble objective, the application for the 2017 empowerment programme just opened for potential entrepreneurs to key into.


All these testimonies justify the saying by Warren Buffett: “If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.” Tony Elumelu has demonstrated this concern for the ordinary people.



All these and more justify why Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN), the longest surviving newspaper in Nigeria spanning over 90 years, elected Tony Elumelu as the Man-of-the-Year 2016.

When a man commits to doing good to others, the result would be a progression of virtuous deeds, thus positioning the world as a better place for all.


Entrepreneur par excellence and Chairman United Bank for Africa (UBA), Elumelu is one of the very few global icons that have been adding value to the world and a more rewarding place for all.

Through his acclaimed effort, he recently was named Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) Man of the Year 2016.


This consummate and articulate businessman, investor, achiever, and motivator par excellence, among other robust attributes, is synonymous with driving organizations to their peak and building lasting institutions. This is more evident as four of his organisations (UBA, TransCorp, African Prudential Registrars, and TransCorp Hilton Hotel) are listed on the Nigerian Stock exchange (NSE).


To demonstrate his business acumen and sagacity, he led a group of equally enterprising young Nigerians in 2005 to acquire the UBA, the financial institution he has transformed from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over seven million customers in 19 African countries.


Elumelu’s demonstration of love, in building both younger and older talents, is playing a vital role towards the enthronement of global peace through his widespread philanthropic initiatives. This gives credence to the saying: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”


He clinched the DTN Man-of-the-Year after a rigorous and thorough assessment of his contributions to the global, regional and sub-regional economic advancements. He dwarfed other top business moguls across Africa in his entrepreneurship developmental strides, his approach to philanthropy, entrepreneurial ingenuity, and managerial prudence.


The Africapitalist and founder, Heirs Holdings, Elumelu, has continued to contribute meaningfully to developing the global and Africa’s economy, through multi-frontal approaches, the latest of which is fostering, mentoring and granting seed capital to 1000 African youthful entrepreneurs every year, for a period of 10 years. Through this, he is demonstrating his philosophy of shared approach to African development.


Elumelu had earlier reminded African leaders and Africans in general that shared approaches to the continent’s development remain the major pathways towards realizing sustainable political stability, economic growth, and fiscal prosperity across the continent.


A global financial icon, and Chairman of a Pan-African financial institution, the UBA, which operates in 19 African countries and three global financial centres – London, Paris, and New York – Elumelu also heads the boards of Heirs Holdings, and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (TransCorp) Plc.

The philanthropist and founder, Tony Elumelu foundation (TEF), through his various initiatives, including powering Africa, is taking global and Africa’s economic boost to a higher altitude by identifying, areas of urgent need, such as power, food, employment, finance, etc, areas that boost the human development index, and also proffer workable solutions.


His organization, the TEF, is Africa’s leading philanthropic institution committed to fishing out budding entrepreneurial skills across the continent, empowering young ones through training in business resourcefulness, and advancing further by making seed funds available for them to make inroads into tailored business ideas.

Turning youths into the catalyst for sustainable socio-economic growth in Africa justifies a China wise saying that, “Giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.”

Supported by the TEF, the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), ensures that 1,000 entrepreneurs selected from across Africa receive funding and mentorship every year, since 2014.

TEEP, with a $100 million mutual fund solely contributed by the philanthropist, was launched in December 2014, with a target of collectively creating one million new jobs that can guarantee US$10 billion added revenues in the process.


The foundation has a 10-year, US$100 million commitment to training, mentoring and funding 10,000 African entrepreneurs. Reputed as the Nigerian, who in 2013, made $123 million in 3 weeks, Elumelu has ever been committed to wealth creation, distribution and redistribution for the benefit of humanity.

The first round of the 1,000 youthful entrepreneurs’ beneficiaries of the TEF was announced in 2015. The success of the 2015 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs, reflects the impact of the programme, including, Momar Mass-Taal of the Gambia in agriculture, , who turned his $5,000 seed capital into $1.2 million in revenue.

Also, Bukhary Kibonajoro of the Tanzania Education & Training sector who used the mentorship and training to launch his business, create 34 new jobs and provide growth services for more than 100 local business in 12 months.


Also, Nigerian Chioma Okonu of the waste management sector has created ancillary revenue streams for more than 6,000 households, created 40 jobs and generates over $50,000 in profit.

TEEP announced the selection of 1,000 entrepreneurs for the second round of the programme in March, with Nigerians dominating the selection, as 589 entrepreneurs from the country are set to join the programme.

Mr Elumelu is spreading the knowledge that his economic philosophy of ‘Africapitalism’ provides a blueprint to stimulating economic growth in Africa as a whole, adding that African unity should be about shared challenges and experiences, shared ideas and goals, and bonds of blood and trade.

“I believe that shared prosperity can only be achieved when the government and private sector work in shared purpose to advance the economic and social development of nations and the continent,” he said at “Tunisia 2020,” a recent event attended by delegations from the United Nations, Germany, Canada, France, Qatar, and Algeria, among others.


He has been recognized across the globe for his diverse contributions to growing world peace, human development, growing global and regional economies and financial ingenuity, among other attributes.

The Nigerian government, in 2012, recognized his accomplishments with the conferment on him of the prestigious Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON).

Few of such other recognitions include the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ivorian President at the 5th edition of the annual Economic Forum of the Ivorian National Council of Employers, CGECI Academy, in Abidjan, in April, 2016. In 2011, the highly influential New African Magazine, also listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa. A year later, he was recognized as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine.


Elumelu’s life is woven around Manoj Arora’s, statement in the Rat Race to Financial Freedom, which states: “To achieve what 1% of the world’s population has, financial freedom; you must be willing to do what only 1% dare to do; hard work and perseverance of the highest order.”

About the author


Leave a Comment