SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, (THEWILL) – The Kingdom of Belgium has conferred the country’s highest national honour on Africa’s leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.
The honour, Officer in the Order of Leopold, is the country’s oldest and most important National Honour, and was given in recognition of Elumelu’s commitment to poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of young Africans.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, presented the royal decoration on the Belgian King’s Day as a symbolic national day of celebration, at the Belgian House in Abuja, with public and private sector leaders witnessing the ceremony.
Elumelu has been responsible for initiatives creating millions of jobs and employment for young Africans across the continent, through his philanthropy, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
The Foundation’s flagship intervention, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, US$100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. Over 9,600 young Africans are current beneficiaries, just six years since its inception.
In addition to its own significant programme, the Foundation partners with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to bring its proven methodology to an even broader universe.
Elumelu’s concept of Africapitalism is redefining national development, making the case for the critical role that the private sector must play in transforming Africa.
His businesses are present in 20 African countries and key international markets, with over 30,000 people in employment. His investments span power, financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, hospitality, and real estate.
He chairs family-owned African investment company, Heirs Holdings; pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates across Africa, the United Kingdom, France and the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States, and Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.
Earlier in 2019, Tony Elumelu was conferred with the National Productivity Merit Award in Nigeria and in 2020, he featured in the Time 100 most influential people in the world.