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Lagos PR Stakeholders’ Conference: Elumelu Canvasses Africapitalism, Active Media Participation To Fight Poverty In Nigeria


Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation has advocated for Africapitalism and called on media stakeholders to embark on various sanitization programmes to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria and other African countries. 

Basically, Africapitalism is the economic philosophy that the African private sector has the power to transform the continent through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth.

Elumelu made the charge at the 9th Lagos public relations stakeholders’ conference theme: “leadership and poverty eradication” held recently where he was represented by Niyi Onifade, Managing Director/CEO, Heirs Life as keynote speaker.

He explained that poverty is the greatest enemy of humanity and apart from breeding hunger, it also opens up a flood of crime and conflicts. He added that poverty cannot be eradicated without directly tackling unemployment and the private sector has a role to play asides from the government. 

“Unemployment is undoubtedly a root cause of poverty. When people have no jobs, they get hungry and angry. They also become easy tools for criminal activities. At Heirs Holdings, we are guided by our corporate mission which is to improve lives and transform Africa. As a pan-African investment company with a presence in 4 continents and 24 African countries, each of our investee companies operates based on this same mission. 

“As mentioned earlier, we are proponents of Africapitalism, hence we believe that the private sector has a role to play in the economic transformation of African communities by investing in key sectors of the economy.” 

He stated that through his foundation they are making a difference in solving unemployment and poverty “We do not shy away from this responsibility. That is why, for example, our two insurance companies, Heirs Life Assurance and Heirs Insurance Limited, are both committed to democratizing access to insurance – which is a great tool for financial inclusion and poverty eradication.

“We also believe in the democratisation of luck and the creation of economic opportunities. Our Group, Heirs Holdings, demonstrates this through the work of The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“The Tony Elumelu Foundation was created to identify, support, and empower young African entrepreneurs from across the 54 countries on the continent, to fund and scale their business ideas.

“Thus far, over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs have benefitted directly from the Foundation, through the provision of a $5,000 non-refundable seed capital, alongside business training, mentorship, and market access to these young African entrepreneurs.

“Our fulfillment is seeing these young ones creating financial independence, creating jobs for their immediate communities, and breaking the cycle of poverty across the continent.”

He, therefore, urged media stakeholders to help drive financial inclusion and social welfare through various sanitization in the media. 

According to him, “Media stakeholders have a role to play in promulgating key messages that can influence people’s minds to make the right choices. The media is a very powerful tool that can be used to drive financial inclusion and social welfare in the country. 

“Many of our people are ignorant when it comes to why, what, where, and how they can get certain financial products. 

“Our media practitioners should actively utilize their platforms to sensitize, educate, and inform the public on ways financial products and services can help improve their living conditions.

“It is not enough to report news, the media must also be accountable for informing the public of life-saving information that will enhance the quality of life. All of us, from the public to the private sector, must see ourselves as stakeholders and work together to get the job done.”

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