The United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Transcorp Plc Chairman, Tony Elumelu, is among three Nigerians named by the Time Magazine International on the 2020 TIME100, the annual roll of HONOUR of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The other two Nigerians include Tomi Adeyemi and Tunji Funsho.
Mr Elumelu is acknowledged as one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists for his achievements in business, industry and development not only in Nigeria in particular, but also in Africa in general.
The list, now in its 17th year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals in their respective fields of human endeavour.
Mr Elumelu, who is also the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, is only one of four Africans on the 2020 list, recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.
Heirs Holdings, Mr Elumelu’s family-owned investment company, is committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare.
Mr Elumelu is also the Chairman of a pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), operating in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, and France.
UBA is reputed to be the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States.
The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally.
Also, Mr Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.
On the plain of entrepreneurship Mr Elumelu, who is the most prominent champion in Africa, in 2010 created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication.
Since its creation, the TEF has ensured the creation of millions of jobs for youths across all 54 African countries, particularly the funding not just under 10,000 entrepreneurs, but a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, $100million commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
The Foundation, which is a self-funding institution, has increasingly shared its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the ICRC and leading European development agencies.
Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November. Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
Ms Adeyemi, a Harvard University-trained born Nigerian-American novelist and creative writing coach, is also on the celebrated roll.
She is acknowledged by Wikipedia as the writer of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Children of Blood and Bone, the first in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.
The book won the 2018 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, the 2019 Waterstones Book Prize, and the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. In 2019, she was named among Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Mr Funsho, the third Nigerian to be honoured, is a Lagos-based cardiologist and first Rotary member to be bestowed with this honour for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, following his role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August of 2020.
See the full list of the 2020 TIME100
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Ibram X. Kendi
Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
Julie K. Brown
Michael B. Jordan
Bong Joon Ho
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Mary Kay Henry
Ursula von der Leyen
Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum
Yousef Al Otaiba
Robert F. Smith
General Charles Q. Brown Jr
Black Lives Matter Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi
Sister Norma Pimentel