- Elumelu Advises Afreximbank, Others to Support African Firms
The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, has lauded the African Export-Import Bank for providing robust support for African companies, commended the bank for its contribution to the development of cross-border trade and investment in Africa.
Elumelu spoke at the 24th Annual General Meeting of Afreximbank held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
“Afrexim brings a unique and highly-relevant perspective to the challenge of supporting intra-African trade flow and ensuring value is created in and exported from our continent,” Elumelu said.
“I urge other development finance institutions, particularly the bank’s African peers, to follow its example in providing transformational forms of funding to African firms,” he added.
The Heirs Holdings chairman spoke on the topic “Cross-border investments as a driver of intra-African trade and industrialisation: Reflections from a continental business leader.”
According to him, Africa must grow cross-border trade and investment, as well as attract both local and international investors.
He said, “An investment is not just about profit and returns. It is also about sustainability. What I want to see is Africans investing in Africa. We appreciate and welcome partnerships, but there is a generation of African businessmen and women, who have the capability and ambition to lead and transform Africa’s future. Let your money work in Africa.”
Elumelu also highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship saying, “We know the challenge and potential of Africa’s demographic explosion.
“That is why the Tony Elumelu Foundation is catalysing 1,000 entrepreneurs each year, with the objective of assisting 10,000 entrepreneurs over 10 years. Invest in the future, our youth.”
The meeting also witnessed the signing of a $100m facility between Afrexim and Heirs Holdings.
Themed, “Trade and economic transformation”, the AGM gathered leaders from the public and private sectors, African ministers of finance, trade and investment, central bank governors, senior government officials, in a series of panel discussions to grow intra and extra-regional trade in Africa.
The meeting was opened President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Other guests at the event included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and the President, African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.