TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu,Â one of Africaâs leading investors and philanthropists,Â in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the worldâs most influential individuals.Â
Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.
Tony Elumelu isÂ the Founder and Chairman ofÂ Heirs Holdings, his family-owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy, technology and healthcare.
He is also the Chairman of pan-African financial services group, theÂ United Bank for AfricaÂ (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit-taking licence in the United States.
He also chairs Nigeriaâs largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, Â whose subsidiaries includeÂ Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria andÂ Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeriaâs foremost hospitality brand.
Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa.Â In 2010, he createdÂ The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropyÂ empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creationÂ across all 54 African countries.
Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten years, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.Â Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the 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 Elumeluâs economic philosophy ofÂ Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs,Â as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
The full list of 2020 TIME100 and tributes appear on time.com/time100.