The Tony Elumelu Foundation has said over 1,000 African entrepreneurs will converge on Lagos this month for this year’s edition of its entrepreneurship programme aimed at empowering the next generation of African business leaders.
The TEF, in a statement on Wednesday, described the third annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum as the most diverse annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.
It said the forum, scheduled to take place on October 13 and 14, would be attended by 1,300 African entrepreneurs, business leaders, and policymakers from 54 countries.
According to the statement, this is the first year that invitation to the forum is extended beyond the 1,000 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs from the 2017 cohort to include selected SMEs, media, hubs, incubators, academia and investors from diverse nations across Africa.
It said the assembled SMEs would build networks, share knowledge, connect with investors and link with corporate supply chains.
The TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu, said, “Since launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme – and committing $100m to empowering 10,000 African entrepreneurs in a decade – we have unleashed our continent’s most potent development force, its entrepreneurs.
“In just three years, our first 3,000 entrepreneurs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated considerable wealth. On October 13 and 14, the global entrepreneurship community will gather in Lagos to build a New Africa, a thriving, self-reliant continent capable of replicating the results of our ground-breaking programme.”
The statement said the forum would feature plenary panels, masterclasses, sector-specific networking opportunities and policy-led forums focused on enabling African business growth.
TEF Chief Executive Officer, Parminder Vir, said, “This is the first year we have opened the forum up to include the full pan-African entrepreneurship ecosystem. In doing so, we are enabling African SME communities to come together and expand the possibilities for intra-African partnerships.”
According to the statement, speakers will include Wale Ayeni of the International Finance Corporation; Stephen Kauma, Afrexim Bank; Andre Hue, African Development Bank; Stephen Haykin, USAID Nigeria; Heikke Reugger, European Investment Bank; Abdoulaye Dieye, United Nations Development Programme.