Africa’s leading entrepreneurship platform, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has partnered with the global development network of the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa over a 10 year period. This is in addition to the 10,000 African entrepreneurs that the Foundation is already committed to.
The objective is achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, which is expected to mobilize support for businesses, aims to generate millions of new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.
The partnership was announced during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU),in Niamey, Niger Republic where TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa joined African Presidents at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Business Forum, where the agreement was signed.
The statement added that ,the partnership will target young Africans in under-served communities, starting with the Sahel, given the region’s opportunity as the youngest population in the world with 194 million people under 25 years of age (64.5% of the total population).
The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme will be implemented through TEF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has already benefited 7,520 local entrepreneurs across 54 African countries in just five years of existence. Similarly, the programme builds on UNDP’s YouthConnekt initiative.
It further explained that, it is focused to increase job creation through dynamic entrepreneurship and create sustainable economic growth that anchors the development of communities and states.
Speaking on the partnership, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa stated described the Sahel as a land of many opportunities, and said that investing in the youth is a pre-condition to stabilizing the region.
Also speaking, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu added that the partnership with UNDP will directly assist entrepreneurial success in a number of fragile areas.