As part of the UBA Tour of Africa, Tony Elumelu – the Group Chairman UBA Plc, and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, visited Ghana and spoke to hundreds of Ghanaian youths, academics and entrepreneurs at the University of Ghana. His tour is also to strengthen his vision of engineering a robust economic and business relationship across the continent through Africapitalism as a necessary tool for the socio economic development of Africa. During his talk, he highlighted on the importance of preparedness and what makes a successful entrepreneur. “The first is dedication, then vison, focus, ambition, and our ability to do things when we want to do them. We must always remain laser focused and aim to execute to perfection,” Elumelu said.
Additionally, he stressed that entrepreneurship and not philanthropy, is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Africans to solve our challenges without dependence on aid from western countries. He also said, “Knowledge has no currency or value. It is priceless, and there is no greater gift than the gift of knowledge……Africans must come up with innovative, home grown solutions for challenges we continue to face.” He added that UBA embraces this innovation: “UBA was the 1st bank to encourage customers to come and bank with zero account balance.”
In sharing his story, he mentioned how he has seen his bank grow from 5 branches to have 1,000 branches with presence in 19 African countries and in Paris, London and New York. He advised that young entrepreneurs should be ready to start small, have a purpose, be disciplined, and think long term.