Tony Elumelu – In an interview with Nigerian-based Arise News, the renowned entrepreneur said one major issue hindering Africa’s economic progress is power. – poverty
He argued that African governments must prioritise the need to fix the power sector.
“We need to fix the power sector. We need to prioritise it more.”
He explained that one major challenge most startups face is access to power. The founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation said most entrepreneurs who apply to the programme do not succeed because of power challenges.
“I through the Elumelu foundation, support entrepreneurs. If you ask them what are the challenges you face, they tell you it is poor access to electricity.”
“So any amount you give some of them will not succeed because they spend so much on electricity,” he added.
“If we really want to power Africa out of poverty and into economic prosperity, we need to fully capacitize power generation, transmission and distribution.”
Energy poverty is one of the most critical challenges for development in Africa. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2019, Africa had more than 580 million people without electricity access. That number is expected to grow to 660 million people by 2030.
Energy issues impact daily lives since infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and other essential services cannot be developed without it.
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu is included in Time magazine ‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
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