Home FEATURES On This Day On This Day: The Birth of the African Giant Tycoon, Tony Elumelu

On This Day: The Birth of the African Giant Tycoon, Tony Elumelu



On this day: It was today in history (1963),  that Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born in Jos, Nigeria. Elumelu is from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

In 1997, Tony Elumelu led a small group of investors to take over a struggling Crystal Bank (later renamed Standard Trust Bank).He turned it profitable within a few years and in 2005 he led one of the largest mergers in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa by acquiring United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in July 2010, Elumelu founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2015, Elumelu committed $100 million to create 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa over the next 10 years through the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme – a Pan-African entrepreneurship initiative designed to empower African entrepreneurs through a multi-year programme of training, funding, and mentoring.
He is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa. Heirs Holdings maintains a portfolio of investments across several sectors.Through Heirs Holdings, Elumelu holds a controlling interest in Transnational Corporation, a diversified conglomerate with business interests in Power, Hospitality and Energy. In January 2021, Heirs Holdings through its affiliates – Heirs Oil & Gas and Transnational Corporation announced its acquisition of a 45% operating stake in a permit known as Oil Mining Lease 17 from Shell, Total and ENI in a deal worth more than $1 billion.

Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine.In 2020, Elumelu was named on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

About the Tony Elumelu Foundation

“The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. Our objective is to empower women and men across our continent, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation. We believe the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the private sector must create both social and economic wealth.” For ten year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has supported African entrepreneurs through their annual funding programme.

Like other years, application are now open for the 2022 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. Ends March 31st. Check here for further information.

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Created by Okey Obiabunmo

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