The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) announced the successful conclusion of the second year of its African Markets Internship Programme (AMIP), marking its continued commitment to the development and celebration of African business leadership. TEF’s second AMIP class graduated this weekend, an event which coincided with the Foundation’s fourth Advisory Board meeting.
A series of events were held to mark the occasion, including a lecture by TEF Advisory Board member and Kenyan agribusiness titan Vimal Shah, titled, ‘Building a Great African Agribusiness’ and an exclusive career fair organised for the graduating AMIP associates to discuss career opportunities in Africa with companies such as McKinsey, UBA Capital, and Africa.com.
Connecting Africa’s Present and Future C-Suites
Twenty-eight AMIP associates from across the continent and around the world shared their knowledge and received invaluable hands-on experience at fast-growing African companies in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; Douala, Cameroon; Kigali, Rwanda; Lusaka, Zambia; and Nairobi, Kenya. The associates are natives of several countries including Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Japan, China, India, Ukraine, Denmark, Ethiopia, Cameroon, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and the United States. Launched in 2011, AMIP’s goal is twofold: improving the competitiveness of Africa’s high-growth private sector businesses while introducing some of the world’s brightest young business talent to executive suites across Africa.
“We are really proud of this year’s crop of students,” said Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. “As the need for talented homegrown leaders, as well as international business partners that understand first-hand the continent’s unique business environment develops, these AMIP graduates are poised to fill that gap and fortify Africa’s entrepreneurial connection with the world.”
As part of the weekend’s events, the AMIP associates presented recently concluded high-level projects carried out during their internships. From delivering results for a fast-growing mobile marketing firm in Nigeria to devising a blueprint to manage the cash liquidity of a Zambian holding company, the associates developed solutions that will have a lasting, valuable impact on the companies and their operations.
“It has been a fantastic opportunity to apply my skills in a real-world environment and to learn at the same time,” said Emma Fofanah, an MBA student from George Washington University, who worked on building the Lagos business incubation ecosystem in Nigeria. “The business environment in Africa is rapidly evolving and getting a glimpse of the change to come has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The experience has been truly invaluable.”
Throughout their time with AMIP and their host companies, the associates displayed immense commitment to leadership values that embody the spirit of the programme.
“The associate who was matched with our company, Ope Onibokun, put in an incredible amount of hard work into his business project,” said Paul Richards, a Zimbabwean native and CEO of Lusaka-based Union Gold, one of Zambia’s leading local corporates. “He really helped us to identify ways to improve our processes and find more value-adding opportunities. His work ethic was fantastic, and we were privileged to have him with us.”
The closing weekend included a mini career fair, with companies such as Accenture, African Finance Corporation, Heirs Holdings, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, Transnational Corporation, UBA, and PwC actively recruiting from the pool of highly-talented associates.
Earlier this year, TEF announced that it would offer annual prizes in perpetuity to top-performing graduating students at several universities across Nigeria. The first-ever winners of the Elumelu Legacy Prize were also highlighted during the two-day event: three top scholars from the University of Jos who excelled in undergraduate and graduate studies in Economics and Medicine, and one professional selected by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) as the best student in its ‘Practice of Banking’ examination. The award recipients were recognised for their outstanding performance in their respective fields and received thunderous applause as they were introduced.
Africa’s Agricultural Revolution
Because of the Foundation’s commitment to learning, a significant event of the weekend was a lecture delivered by Vimal Shah, regarded as one of the continent’s most visionary business leaders. Bidco is an agribusiness company with operations in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, and is considered one of the fastest-growing manufacturing companies in East Africa. Mr. Shah’s lecture was titled “Building a Great African Agribusiness”, in which he emphasised the vital role that the burgeoning agricultural sector had to play in the developmental trajectory from Africa.
“Vimal Shah’s lecture speaks to the very essence of what African business leadership is today: finding immense success in situations that others find daunting,” said Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, Founder and Trustee of TEF. “Today’s business leaders see promise in the face of the challenges that exist in our environment, and programmes like AMIP allow young leaders to see the promise of Africa come to fruition and even flourish, and to realise that they can play an integral part.”
About The Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) was founded in 2010 with a mission to drive Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. As a premier pan-African-focused not-for-profit institution, TEF is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across the continent. The Foundation strives to deploy its resources to generate solutions to challenges that inhibit the African private sector. Through its commitment to catalytic philanthropy, TEF seeks to achieve its mission by building the capacity of fast-growing African businesses, supporting and driving policies that promote competitiveness, deploying financial capital through impact investments, and educating public and private sector actors through rigorous research. TEF is guided by global standards, strong governance, and a commitment to accountability. For more information, please visit: www.tonyelumelufoundation.org. Follow us on Twitter @TE_Foundation or like The Tony Elumelu Foundation Facebook page.
About the African Markets Internship Programme (AMIP)
The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s African Markets Internship Programme (AMIP) is a leadership programme designed to give MBA students with a passion for African economic development the opportunity to obtain first-hand experience with business in emerging markets, develop essential skills and build a network in the fields of professional entrepreneurship and business management throughout Africa. For more information, visit www.tonyelumelufoundation.org.