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We Partnered With Tony Elumelu Foundation To Create Economic Opportunities In Conflict Prone Regions – ICRC President Says

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At the just-concluded Forum organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), key speakers Tony O. Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) proffered entrepreneurship as the most sustainable solution to accelerating Africa’s transformation. During a one-on-one conversation at the event, both speakers called for a new private-sector-led approach to human development in Africa.

While speaking at the Forum, Peter Maurer commended the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s private-sector-led approach as the gold standard of humanitarian development in Africa focused on impacting lives at scale and transforming the continent.

Mr. Maurer said: “On one side, it is important that we assist and protect people when they are disrupted by violence and war. But what brought me together with Tony is not the white shirt and the blue suit, it is his deep conviction that with longer and protracted conflict we need to bring people much earlier into independence.”

He added: “We need, more than ever, in the most fragile, violent parts of society to show the pathway to independence and to a dignified life and this goes with income-generating activities, productive activities, with small businesses. This is why we partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation”.

On his part during the discussion themed “Private Sector Partnerships with Humanitarian Organisations: Putting People First”, Mr. Elumelu commended Mr. Maurer’s leadership and the decision to partner with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to eradicate extremism and violence.

He said: “Through the partnership between TEF and ICRC, a lot is happening that shows the catalytic impact of your vision. Ours was the first-ever partnership that ICRC had explored using a different approach to humanitarian development, from the angle of empowering the private sector. Today, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has partnered with AfDB on empowering 1000 beneficiaries, UNDP which started with 1000 entrepreneurs and has now been scaled up to empower 100,000 African entrepreneurs starting with the Sahel region. The most important thing is that we give economic hope and opportunity to our people and reduce the causes of fragility that we see across the continent.”

In 2018, ICRC and the Tony Elumelu Foundation partnered to sponsor 200 entrepreneurs from the North East and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria to catalyze and accelerate transformation while scaling impact in conflict-prone areas. The intervention is built on the existing Tony Elumelu Foundation’s USD100million commitment to empowering 10,000 young African entrepreneurs in 10 years across the continent. Driven by the economic philosophy of Africapitalism,  it represents a bottom-up approach with the goal of creating millions of jobs and increased revenue on the continent.

The ICRC Forum took place in Lagos yesterday and gathered key stakeholders in government and humanitarian development to explore alternative approaches to impacting lives on the continent.  Present at the event were Princess Aderemi Adebowale, representing the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Mr. Babtunde Paul Runwase, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Juan Luis Coderque Gallego, Head, New Financing Models, ICRC; and Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation; amongst others.

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Mouka Provides Comfort To Nigerians During Crisis, Donates 700 Mattresses [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Mouka, Nigeria’s leading manufacturer of mattresses and bedding products, has brought relief to victims of the Abule Ado gas pipeline fire explosion in Lagos with the donation of 200 mattresses.

In the same vein, 500 mattresses were donated to Lagos State towards equipping its isolation centres used for the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The socially responsible organisation has risen to the occasion by providing comfort to victims as the well-being of Nigerians is at the core of its mission.
Commenting on the donation of 700 mattresses, the Chief Executive Officer of Mouka, Raymond Murphy, said “The well-being of the Nigerian people is the reason why we are in business. Mouka exists to provide comfort to Nigerians and we stay true to our mission even at this period of national crisis”.

The donation to Abule Ado victims was made through the Lagos State Government to affected families who are in dire need of assistance due to havoc wrecked by the pipeline explosion.

The 500 mattresses for the isolation centres were presented to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salaam, who represented the Commissioner of the Ministry, Dr. Wale Ahmed, at the State Secretariat Complex, Alausa.

Present to receive the 200 mattresses for Abule Ado victims, was the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Dr. Damilola Oke-Osanyitolu; at LASEMA office. Both donations were made on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Murphy affirmed that as a responsible organisation, the management of Mouka deemed it necessary to assist the government in bringing succour to victims of the Abule Ado pipeline explosion that led to the loss of lives and property, as well as Nigerians infected with the COVID-19 virus, who are currently being treated at the various isolation centres in Lagos.

“Mouka sees itself as a partner of the government during this crisis. We need to play our part in providing the necessary support required by victims of the gas pipeline explosion. We commend the effort of the Lagos State Government in rehabilitating the victims of the fire. We pray for the departed souls, may they rest in peace. We also pray for those who were injured, may God perfect their healing, and for those who have lost their property, may God replace in many folds”.

The company’s CEO mentioned that the donation of mattresses to isolation centres for COVID-19 was aimed at enhancing government’s effort in providing appropriate treatment for infected persons and also at curtailing the pandemic which has been at the front burner of world leaders.

While receiving the products, Salaam, who was elated at the enormous support, said the intervention was timely, as assistance from private organisations is needed at this crucial time to boost the state’s healthcare facilities.

Also, Oke-Osanyitolu commended Mouka’s effort towards reducing the anguish of victims of Abule Ado fire disaster which has rendered many homeless and in severe health conditions, stating that the donation would be distributed effectively.

Mouka has also joined the Federal and State Governments in appealing to citizens in the country to adhere to measures at combating the spread of COVID-19.

As far back as early February 2020, Mouka had begun raising awareness for Corona Virus prevention on its social media platforms. The company advises citizens to wash their hands regularly, stay at home, and keep to social distancing guidelines when in public, among others.

Mouka manufactures quality brands such as Wellbeing orthopaedic mattresses, Dreamtime water-resistant mattress and Mondeo Spring mattress.

Other products on its stables include Mouka Mozzi, an innovative brand of insect repellent products and wide range of pillows for a comfortable sleep.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.

The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursements from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648 entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiarieof its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000 to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.

 With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing list of global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year “Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.

The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the mission to empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating

 billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.

The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.

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Dangote Farms Commissions Tomatoes Nursery To Provide Seedlings For Farmers

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In a bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production, Dangote Tomatoes Processing Limited, owned by the younger brother of Africa’s richest man, Sani Dangote, has unveiled a N2.8 billion greenhouse nursery in Kano to supply the best quality tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers.

Speaking on the project, Sani Dangote said the nursery is designed to use the automated Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capacity to process 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12,000 hectares of tomato farm. The pat moose process takes three weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

He stated that Nigeria consumes about 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually and with the establishment of the nursery, “we have created a capacity to triple tomato production, attaining self-sufficiency in tomato production as well as a potentially exporting surplus to neighboring countries.

“Furthermore, this nursery will produce the highest quality tomato seedling available meaning that the farmers can grow the highest yield tomatoes. Currently, the yields produced by Nigerian farmers are less than the global standard. As a result, farmers will be able to earn more income from selling higher volumes of harvests each season.

“Nigeria is on a trajectory to becoming self-sufficient in rice, tomatoes and poultry production. This means that millions of jobs will be created for her citizens.”, Sani Dangote explained.

The African continent imports $40 billion of food annually despite having 65% of the world’s arable land. The public-private model on-going in Nigeria could be adopted by other African countries to also attain self-sufficiency in food production.

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