The Tony Elumelu Foundation Launches ‘Africapitalism’ Institute | Bizness Watch

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Launches ‘Africapitalism’ Institute

The chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony O. Elumelu (CON), has announced the launch of the Africapitalism Institute at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The institute will serve as a pan-African think tank to focus on unlocking and promoting economic opportunities across the continent.

Africapitalism, coined by Tony Elumelu, calls on the private sector to commit to making long-term investments across Africa that generate both economic prosperity and social wealth.

Tony O. Elumelu (CON),The chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony O. Elumelu (CON),The chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation

“The Africapitalism Institute belongs to all of us” noted Mr. Elumelu.

It is the first pan-African think tank headquartered in Africa, and founded and funded by Africans.

The work of the Institute will codify the philosophy of Africapitalism across Africa and the world. As a fully African funded and led think tank, the institute will focus on academically rigorous, practically applicable research and multi-stakeholder engagement to advocate for public policies and business practices that will unlock opportunities for all Africans.


“I am here to salute a winning idea” noted Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, hailing the power of “ideas coming from African wealth creators and risk takers who act as role models” and offering the Bank’s full support in advancing the Africapitalism agenda.

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), highlighted the United States Government’s commitment to taking forward the principles of Africapitalism and noted President Barak Obama’s recognition of the vital role played by African entrepreneurs in transforming the continent.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Dr. Carlos Lopes, commended Tony Elumelu for “doing all the necessary things – both in terms of reflection which informs policy-making and execution, to ensure things happen”, adding “this is what makes Africapitalism credible.”

During the launch press conference, David Rice, the Director of the Institute presented an example of the institute’s preliminary research demonstrating that “not all growth is created equal.” The initial research emphasizes the difference between a county’s rate of economic growth versus the amount of growth from local value creation and multiplication. It also briefly explains some of the indicators that feed into its “Theory of Change” as a catalyst to drive Africapitalist investments across Africa.

Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief for The Economist and Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Energy Group also commended the Institute and reaffirmed their continued support.

Advisory Board

The innovative concept has already attracted a pool of renowned individuals globally, with their experience spanning business, economics, leadership and politics.

Members of the Advisory Board include: Jose-Maria Asnar, former Prime Minster of Spain, Jim O’Neill, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and coiner of the BRICS and MINTS acronyms, Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief, The Economist and Amir Ben Yahmed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jeune Afrique and President of the Africa CEO Forum.

Way Forward

Tandeka Nkiwane, Development Research Institute of South Africa and Special Advisor To the Chief Executive Officer at The NEPAD AgencyThe Africapitalism Institute believes that with the right investment approach and enabling environment, Africa can continue to grow economically and create new employment opportunities for Africans across the continent. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate and broaden economic prosperity and social progress throughout Africa by unlocking the private sector’s capacity to thrive, create and multiply local value.

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