An offshoot of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the deal was signed at a Breakfast Roundtable hosted by TEF and Google Foundation in New York on Tuesday.
The deal is in line with the objectives of the TEF, which is to empower African entrepreneurs and alleviate the continent from poverty.
Founder of the TEF, Tony Elumelu reiterated his commitment to the cause, noting; “It is not how much we have in our bank accounts that matter, what matters is the impact we bring, the lives we touch, the ability to help take people out of poverty to prosperity so that we share. The more the merrier, that is the motivation.”
President and CEO of USADF, Travis Adkins, mentioned that he was proud of the deal, singing Tony Elumelu’s praise and referring to him as “The man after my heart.” He commended Tony Elumelu for his focus on empowering women and African youths, noting that it fell in line with what the USADF stands for.
“We live in a world where the majority of the population on the continent, women, and youth, are actually spoken of as if they are a small niche constituency, when in fact, they are the marginalized majority. To recognize that and make them central to everything we do: there is no mainstream, they are the mainstream. We are very excited to be here and to begin this work together.” Adkins said.
The issue of women empowerment in Africa was tabled in the meeting, “the catalytic role of investment in female African entrepreneurs for Africa’s transformation,” was the crux of the conversation.
CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Ugochuwkwu Ifeyinwa said; When you put the money in the hands of a woman, they’d go far, and that is why when we started the foundation, the first two years, we had 29 percent participation from women, and we said ‘no, that’s not enough if you were in school that is actually an F.”
He continued, “So we worked intentionally to increase the number of women participants, and I am so happy to say that in 2021 we had 60 percent participation from women, and that is as a result of our partnerships with the likes of Google, EU, who were empowering more women through our entrepreneurship program.”
She disclosed that around 380,000 applicants have reached out to the foundation, but they can only pick the best ideas.