Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program

February 15, 2017 4 comments

tony-elumeluTony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the flagship entrepreneurship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded by the entrepreneur, respected investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu.

The pan-African programme is inspired by the Founder’s:

  • Inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, based on the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential,
  • Commitment to drive African economic growth through the fostering of African entrepreneurship,
  • Mission to institutionalise luck and create an environment where home-grown pan-African companies in various sectors can flourish.


Our vision is to establish the pre-eminent pan-African entrepreneurship programme and create 10,000 startups across Africa within the next 10 years that generate significant employment and wealth.


Identify 10,000 African startups and African entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to succeed

Grow the businesses through business skills training, mentoring, access to seed capital funding, information and membership in our Africa-wide alumni network

Create businesses that can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in revenues across Africa over 10 years.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is a tool for implementing this vision. The programme is open to young compelling businesses with strong market feasibility, clear financial models and run by capable teams.

Selection into the programme will be a thorough process with no quotas of any kind to simply identify the game changers in the continent. The programme will support selected Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs through the 7 Pillars of TEEP, a framework that includes mentorship, online and live learning, as well as access to information, networking and seed capital.

Africa’s development has become somewhat of a personal mission. It is my belief that Africans should take primary responsibility for our own development – because, to be blunt, no one is going to develop Africa but us. I also believe “charity” as conventionally defined is not the best solution for our continent. Instead, we need a “new philanthropy” that focuses on building the capacity of the private sector to create jobs and wealth – and that this leads to sustainable development.

I firmly believe that we should be strategic and catalytic in our philanthropy. It is not, and should not be, about simply providing funding, as this is only one of many possible tools for impact. I would encourage entrepreneurs to give their time and experience, and use their influence, to create impact. The projects we support, for instance the Nigeria Fast Growth 50, demonstrate our desire to embrace global opportunities and practices, while ensuring that as much as possible of the value adding aspects of Africa’s resource wealth stay on our continent.


A message from Tony Elumelu

I often tell the story of how a $5 million investment in a small, dying bank 17 years ago spawned UBA, a multinational, pan-African financial institution that has created 25,000 jobs, generated wealth in communities all across Africa, expanded finance for trade, created stronger financial infrastructure for investment and economic growth, paid taxes to national and local governments to support public services and given millions of customers control over their financial lives. Imagine if we created 1,000 home-grown, pan-African companies like UBA in Africa – now that is impact. That is what drives me, and that is why we started the Foundation.


I set up the Foundation to tackle some of the problems African entrepreneurs face, as entrepreneurship is my passion. I would also like to encourage more of Africa’s high-net-worth individuals to give and support their passions in an institutional manner. It is my belief that home-grown African philanthropy should be setting the agenda for the continent’s development. It is my hope that the Foundation will inspire businesses and entrepreneurs to actively play more of a role in Africa’s development. This is my vision of “Africapitalism”.




Tony O. Elumelu, CON



Categories: Business, General, Training

No more ZESA-Living of the grid

March 7, 2016 Leave a comment

2015 has been a particularly significant year for solar, seeing a dramatic drop in the price of solar panels, along with the refining of advantageous public funding models.

Why Solar Energy

Power outages have been a persistent problem in Zimbabwe for more than a decade now. Power cuts have become a way of life and people have learn to adapt to life without electricity. It is a hard life, one full of uncertainty and great inconveniences. Think about working on an assignment and you haven’t saved your work and the power goes. How about an undisclosed fault that leaved the neighborhood without electricity for a week, all the meat in the fridge rots. If you have been in Zimbabwe or have family in Zimbabwe, you will know about the ZESA woes.

The government in a bid to find solutions for the constant power problems have set to launch the solar water heating programme aimed at encouraging the 250 000 households with electricity geysers to consider switching to solar geysers or retro-fitting. The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has installed 425 solar mini-grid projects, at rural health centres, schools and chiefs’ homesteads across the country. REA has also distributed 437 solar mobile units countrywide.Solar is now catching up in Zimbabwe. A drive down Enterprise Road, is testament that the solar revolution has finally arrived, as you see a well lit road with solar powered lights.

Now, if you are tired of your changing appliances and gadgets failing because of power outages, or you are just tired of using a solar lamp or candle or missing you favorite shows on tv, going of the grid is for you. Below are some reasons why solar is a good option.

  • Lots of Sunshine

Zimbabwe’s climate is ideal for solar. Most areas in the country average more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, among the highest in the world, thanks to its Equatorial position. The more light the panels receive, the more electricity they generate and they work on cloudy days too.

  • Cost

Although initial costs of installing solar energy are high, the return on investment is well worth it on so many levels. Solar pays for itself  ZESA tariffs continue to go up and electricity bills are astounding even though there are so many power cuts.

  • Power Cuts

ZESA has a monopoly and will do not have any regard for customer. Businesses have been crippled by ZESA power cuts. Should your area have a fault with a transformer, there is no telling when the fault will be resolved. For companies this means loss of revenue. Businesses have had the worst end of the stick, with products going bad leading more losses in revenue.

Environmental concerns

A desire to use less energy and make as much as possible from renewable sources. Solar doesn’t rely on constantly mining raw materials, it doesn’t result in the destruction of forests and eco-systems that occurs with many fossil fuel operations.

Other motivations for going of the grid

  • Solar power is renewable, clean and has no direct emissions.
  • Independence from the electrical ZESA.
  • Political/social values, such as taking responsibility for your energy impacts;
  • Cost—depending on how far you are from the grid, it may make economic sense to stay disconnected.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar doesn’t work at night

The biggest disadvantage of solar energy is that it’s not constant. To produce solar electricity there must be sunlight. So energy must be stored or sourced elsewhere at night.

Beyond daily fluctuations, solar production decreases over winter months when there are less sunlight hours and sun radiation is less intense.

Solar Inefficiency
A very common criticism is that solar energy production is relatively inefficient.

Currently, widespread solar panel efficiency – how much of the sun’s energy a solar panel can convert into electrical energy – is at around 22%. This means that a fairly vast amount of surface area is required to produce adequate electricity.

Solar inefficiency is an interesting argument, as efficiency is relative. One could ask “inefficient compared to what?” And “What determines efficiency?” Solar panels currently only have a radiation efficiency of up to 22%, however they don’t create the carbon by-product that coal produces and doesn’t require constant extraction, refinement, and transportation – all of which surely carry weight on efficiency scales.

Storing Solar

Solar electricity storage technology has not reached its potential yet.

While there are many solar drip feed batteries available, these are currently costly and bulky, and more appropriate to small scale home solar panels than large solar farms.

Solar panels are bulky

Solar panels are bulky. This is particularly true of the higher-efficiency, traditional silicon crystalline wafer solar modules. These are the large solar panels that are covered in glass.

New technology thin-film solar modules are much less bulky, and have recently been developed as applications such as solar roof tiles and “amorphous” flexible solar modules. The downfall is that thin-film is currently less efficient than crystalline wafer solar.

Zimbabwe needs more awareness on the benefits and advantages of solar energy. Government involvement through incentives. By getting more people of the grid, or using less of ZESA there will be more ZESA left for others. Maybe this will reduce load shedding.


Categories: Development, General, Zimbabwe