The founder of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu has stressed the need for investors across the world to take advantage of the opportunities in Africa.
Elumelu, a former chief executive officer of the United Bank for Africa Plc, spoke on the African Voices, a CNN programme.
He expressed displeasure that the story of Africa in America and other western world had been that of aid, squalor, poverty and religious crisis, insisting that other continents must begin to look at the opportunities in Africa.
“Africa is a continent of economic opportunities with a lot of potentials and that the returns on investment in Africa are huge,” Elumelu maintained.
Speaking on his Africapitalism initiative, Elumelu said: “After interacting with customers, with communities, with local, state and federal governments, I started to see a pattern that we can, as a private sector, help to develop Africa in a manner that is truly sustainable.
“Also, as a good student of economic history, I have observed the development of the African continent and come to realise that despite all the aid inflows into Africa and despite the commitment of governments to developing the continent, not much was achieved.
“But I saw through our little intervention, through our long-term $5 million investment, how it had helped to create over 25,000 jobs across the continent, how it had helped to facilitate payment across the continent, how it had helped to power small and medium scale enterprises across the continent.
“So I believe if we can do more of this, if we can mobilise the African private sector and non-African private sector within the continent to invest long-term in key sectors in Africa, then we might end up creating economic wealth and prosperity and that is Africapitalism.”
According to Elumelu, unlike in the past whereby the private sector in Africa was largely dependent on government patronage and contract, private sector operators have been adding value to the growth of the continent through engagement in the payment system, manufacturing and processing, infrastructure development amongst others.
“We are beginning to see a new crop of private sector players in Africa who believe and understand that they have a role to play in the development of the continent,” he added.
One of the operating entities of Heirs Holdings, Transcorp invested $300 million to acquire one of the recently privatised power assets. Also when President Obama launched the Power Africa initiative, the firm pledged to invest up to $2.5 million to the scheme.
Source:This Day Online