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UNDP partners with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to empower young entrepreneurs

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Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Regional Director for Africa; Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation; at the signing of the TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme partnership at the AU Summit in Niamey, Niger

Ahunna Eziakonwa(L), UNDP Regional Director for Africa and Tony Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation at the signing of the TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme partnership at the AU Summit.

By Our Reporter

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations, has partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) — Africa’s leading philanthropy committed to empowering entrepreneurs — to train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa over 10 years towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, which is expected to mobilize support for businesses, aims to generate millions of new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.

This was announced at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), where TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa joined African Presidents at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Business Forum, where the agreement was signed. The President of Niger, H.E Mahamadou Issoufou joined UNDP and TEF to launch the programme.

The partnership will target young Africans in under-served communities, starting with the Sahel, given the region’s opportunity as the youngest population in the world with 194 million people under 25 years of age (64.5% of the total population).

The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme will be implemented through TEF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has already benefited 7,520 local entrepreneurs across 54 African countries in just five years of existence. Similarly, the programme builds on UNDP’s YouthConnekt initiative. The aim is to increase job creation through dynamic entrepreneurship and create sustainable economic growth that anchors the development of communities and states.

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