French President Emmanuel Macron signs the ‘gold book’ at The Presidential State House in Abuja on July 3, 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Abuja for a meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, in his latest attempt to forge closer ties with English-speaking Africa. / AFP PHOTO /
By Emeka Anaeto
The French government has signed a development finance agreement with Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, for development finance and entrepreneurship in Africa.
The agreement worth one billion Euros was executed yesterday in Lagos at the instance of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who announced the deal yesterday during a talk show with nearly 2,000 TEF alumni during an exclusive interactive session.
TEF set aside $100 million in 2015 for an entrepreneurship programme to train, mentor and fund 10,000 young entrepreneurs across Africa by 2024.
The session was hosted and moderated by the founder of TEF, Mr Tony Elumelu, principally to give the Foundation’s entrepreneurs a platform to closely engage Macron and learn from his experience as one of the youngest Heads of State in recent times while networking and forging partnerships with French and African business leaders and policymakers in attendance.
Announcing the deal Macron had said the program was aimed at building on the current achievements of TEF across Africa.
Earlier Elumelu had emphasized the objective and program of TEF to include building a new generation of entreprenures in the continent with a view to changing the narratives of the African socio-economic experience from dependency, underdevelopment and unemployment to a private sector driven and sustainable growth led by the young population.
He also emphasized the digital strategy of the Foundation’s capacity building activities amongst African youths and the impact in creating an inclusive economic growth in the region.
He had noted that the collaboration between the French President and TEF is a result of President Macron’s recognition that African entrepreneurs are the key to Africa’s economic transformation and his desire to connect with and elevate the voices of future leaders.