By Nkiruka Nnorom, Prince Okafor & Elizabeth Adegbesan
Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa Group, Tony Elumelu, has urged African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) heads of state to improve the business environment in their countries to drive industrialisation and wealth creation in member states.
He said this while presenting the keynote speech on the theme “Industrialization and Private Sector Engagement for Economic Transformation of ACP States” at the Presidential Dialogue of the 9th ACP Business Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.
Elumelu stated that industrialisation will not be achieved without support for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and improved access to electricity.
He stated: “We cannot hope to industrialise if we do not fix the issue of power, if our entrepreneurs spend so much of their resources to power their businesses.
“If we do not tackle these pertinent issues, we will be unable to achieve industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”
He listed infrastructure development as another critical area needed to achieve sustainable development, while highlighting the key role the United Bank for Africa Group plays in achieving this.
“UBA is a force for development in Africa through infrastructure investment and leading the way in cross border payments and services, with the objective of encouraging trade across the continent,” he said.