Sunday, 5 July 2015

Nigerian Philanthropist Tony Elumelu Calls For an End to Africa’s Energy Poverty

image3-569x1024Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has called for an end to energy poverty in Africa.

Elumelu, who is the Chairman of African proprietary investment firm Heirs Holdings and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, made the call on Tuesday at a gathering in Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivoire where he joined Africa’s leading business and political leaders for the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG) summit.

“Providing access to electricity for schools, hospitals, businesses and industries is the single most impactful intervention that can be made to transform the continent. It has tremendous implications for job creation, health, food security, education, technological advancement and overall economic development,” Elumelu said.

The AELG, which was launched during the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is an initiative that brings together Africa’s most important political and business leaders to champion the reforms and investment required to end energy poverty and fuel Africa’s economic future. Among other things, the AELG encourage innovative public-private partnerships in the power sector and find ways to boost economic gains through the energy value chain.

Elumelu is a founding partner and Co-chair of the AELG. Other founding partners of AELG include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, President Allasane Ouattara of Ivory Coast and Ghanaian President John Mahama among others.

The Nigerian multimillionaire and key proponent of Africapitalism pledged to support the work of AELG with a donation of $150,000 over the next three years to support the operations of the AELG secretariat. He called on the governments of the member states of the ECOWAS region and AELG members and partners to step up with significant multi-year commitments to sustain the organization.

In 2013, Tony Elumelu pledged to invest up to $2.5 billion in Africa’s power sector through President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative. In 2013, Transcorp Plc, which is majority-owned by Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings, acquired one of Nigeria’s largest gas-powered generating plants, the 600 MW Ughelli plant located in Delta State. By the end of this year, the Transcorp Ughelli plant will be generating 1,000 MW and the company is in discussions with General Electric to add an additional 1,000 MW soon after.

Elumelu featured in FORBES’ 2014 ranking of Africa’s 50 Richest People with a fortune estimated at $1 billion. His net worth has since dropped as the stock price of Nigerian conglomerate Transcorp, his largest asset, has shed off more than 25% of its value since November last year.


Post a comment