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TONY ELUMELU: Undisputed King of empowerment



Chairman, United Bank for Africa,   Heirs Holdings and Transcorp, Tony Elumelu, has over the years contributed immensely to socio- economic development of Africa through his foundation. The Tony Elumelu Foundation promotes entrepreneurship in Africa and no fewer than 15, 000 Africans have benefited incalculably from the foundation from its inception.

As a successful businessman, he has travelled across the globe and would ordinarily be expected to name countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany among other developed countries as his second home after Nigeria, his country of birth. But that is not the case for the astute economist, and philanthropist.

For him, Cameroon  serves as his second home after Nigeria. Not only does Cameroon serve as his second home, it also does for his United Bank for Africa, a leading bank in the African continent. Out of the more than 5000 entrepreneurs who were empowered with an amount of US$500 in 54 African States in 2021, 213 Cameroonians benefited from the programme.

“Cameroon is like a second home to me,” he said without mincing words.  “Cameroon is like a second home to the UBA Group. That is why the TEF supported about 700 Cameroonian young men and women. Each of the 678 getting the non-refundable circa 5,000 dollars. Each of them being trained, we call it the 12-week MBA. Each of them being appointed mentors to help mentor them to do good business. We do this because we see Cameroon and the young generation as holding a strong future for our continent. So, talking about investment, we are already investing in Cameroon. At the business level, UBA has over 20 branches in Cameroon and we are still expanding.”

To demonstrate how dear Cameroon is to him and the UBA, he noted during his recent visit during the AFCON 21 that he discussed having a regional head office here.

“I love football, and I love to see the unifying force for all Africans, especially our younger ones, and that’s football, Elumelu said during his visit to AFCON.

“I was happy, to see Cameroon hosting AFCON and UBA (United Bank for Africa), participating or supporting the government of Cameroon in building a great stadium. It was an exciting moment to see the stadium, to watch the beautiful game, and also to identify once again with the good people of Cameroon.”


“United Bank for Africa likes to support small and medium scale enterprises, likes to support government to provide infrastructure for social and economic development of the countries. And since we operate in Cameroon as one of our 20 countries in Africa, I thought it’ll be a good time of the year to come, sit down with the presidency, and see what more UBA can do to help the country drive its economic and social agenda and, of course, find out the Tony Elumelu Foundation. It helps to connect the dot. I like to see young entrepreneurs; I like to sit down with government and push for the enabling environment and conditions that will help younger entrepreneurs to do well.

 “One of the conversations I had at the presidency was about the issue of a regional head office. A regional head office for Central Africa here in Cameroon. We are waiting on the necessary authorisation to commence construction. We want to further explore tourism opportunities here, and of course the whole world has been talking about energy transmission. We also think that Cameroon, just like Nigeria, has some potential. We need to see how we can work together to realise these projects. There are areas of future investment and business collaboration.”

Within the seven years that The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been in existence, the amiable banker said the foundation has empowered over 15, 000 African entrepreneurs. The figure, according to him, is over 5, 000 above the 10, 000 the foundation committed itself to empower.

His words: “First, it is our commitment to empower 10,000 young African entrepreneurs. We have surpassed that already. This is the seventh year and we have surpassed that. We have empowered over 15,000 young African entrepreneurs. But we did not do this alone. We also have global partners, that is people who come to realise that in the 21st century, Africa needs a different kind of intervention. That it is not just about aid, it is by investing in young Africans who will help take Africa to the next level. And that is what we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation. We believe in giving people the opportunity to make their dreams come true. So, we have the United Nations Development Programme, the International Red Cross, the African Development Bank and in 2021, the European Union provided 25 million dollars for this programme just for one year to support the training of over 3,000 young African women.”

The programme, Elumelu said is growing and “we want to see more. For us, it is a call on successful African business people to show interest in our young ones. It is a call to the friends of Africa, development partners and agencies across the world that we need to train the young to be fishermen and not just eaters of fish.”

On his next plan, he said: “We want to see more of our people benefit from the programme. And when I say our people, I am talking of Cameroonians, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Egyptians, Algerians, in fact, all across Africa. As you know, the Foundation supports young African across all 54 African countries.”

In spite of his busy schedule, Elumelu is an ardent football lover and that was one of his reasons for visiting during the AFCON tournament. “ I am here for two reasons; first because I love football. I love to see a unifying force for all of Africa, especially our young ones. I was happy to see Cameroon host AFCON and the United Bank of Africa participated and supported the government of Cameroon in the construction of the stadium.

“Another reason is that UBA likes to support small and medium scale enterprises, and government to provide infrastructure for social and economic development of countries. Since we operate in Cameroon as one of our 20 countries in Africa, I thought it will be a good time of the year to come, sit down with the presidency and see what UBA can do more to help the country drive its economic and social agenda.”

Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau, Nigeria, on 22 March 1963, to Suzanne and Dominic Elumelu from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He studied Economics at the Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University) obtaining a BSc and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos.


“Deciding to study Economics at university is all about learning about the business world. Growing up around my parents and the other influences around us, I always felt that I would end up in the business world – what we call entrepreneurship today,” he said.

Elumelu hinted that his mother was a big influence in his career. “She owned a restaurant and during the holidays I would stay there and help. I used to think, imagine if she did this at a larger scale, she could get more customers and make more profits, so in essence I was becoming more aware of how the world of commerce worked. But these were not overriding thoughts at the time.

At that age, my aim was to finish my first degree in economics, do my masters and work in a bank. I wanted to dress like the power dressers in the banking sector – wear suspenders, brogue shoes, the whole outfit. I liked the lifestyle!

“In Nigeria, before you start work, you are required to join the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). I was posted to the country’s northern region where I found myself reading a weekly magazine column which explored business ideas such as bakeries or fish ponds.

“I started wondering how much setting up a bakery or any other enterprise would cost, how to manage it, how to make a profit and so on. I vaguely thought that perhaps one day, I would like to start a business myself. So, although I was more focused on becoming a banker and wearing my suspenders, my mind was subconsciously shaping and crystallising ideas that eventually led to where we are today.

Advising young entrepreneurs, Elumelu said: “My advice to budding young entrepreneurs when I interact with them is to be hardworking, don’t be scared to dream but know that dreaming is less than 1%; the 99% is about translating your dream into action, translating your dream to reality. That is what makes the difference.

“Also, I cannot repeat this often enough: that process of translating to action requires a lot of hard work, discipline, staying focused and making sacrifices for a better tomorrow. The Tony Elumelu you see today has not always had everything. In the past, for example, I have decided not to buy a car and planned instead to use the money to make investments and wait for the proceeds of that investment to help me buy the car, and that happened!

 “When I say sacrifices, I mean you have to learn to defer consumption. You need to think long term. It is when you visualise success that you can make the sacrifices, then you can apply the rigour and energy that will lead you to success. I think those are the values we need in our young ones and that we foster at the Tony Elumelu Foundation today. You can get there by taking that first step, the journey of one mile starts with one step. So start, count the steps consistently, and stay focused.”

In his early career, Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005 he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.

Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation.

In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed the chairman of the corporation.

Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.

He additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.

He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.

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Nigerian Community praises Consul General Clark-Omeru over resolving Resident Permit issues in Cameroon



Consul General Clark-Omeru hosts Nigeria Community

…urges them to be law abiding citizens in host country

The Consul-General of Nigeria to Douala, the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador (HRM) Queen Efe A. Clark-Omeru has hosted the Nigerian community in the Littoral Region for the second time to show appreciation for relentless services rendering to Nigeria nationals residing in the region of the host country.

It could be recalled that the executive of the Nigerian community paid courtesy visit to the Consulate General in May 2022 to express their maximum appreciation to the Mission who has been helpful in resolving pressing issues with the host country.

According to her speech, the CG welcomed the Nigerian Community executives led by the President, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku and provided details of the Consulate progress with the host country over pending issues concerning Nigerian residents in the region.

« It is my pleasure to welcome you to this event of New Year visit/wishes to me and the Consulate, » the statement reads.

« Since my arrival in June 2021, and with the presentation of my Exequatur which I assured you that the Consulate would not rest its oars by ensuring  that the issue of molestation  will be a thing of past in the history country. The Consulate has met several times with the officials of the immigration of the host country with particular reference to resident permit, exit Visa and the matter was resolved amicably as the immigration rights accorded to members of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

region is also accorded to Nigeria due to the already subsisting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. »
The Nigeria CG also highlighted the issues of non-issuance of Resident permits which is a great challenge to Nigerian residents in the Littoral region as it is contrary to it immigration law.

« The issue of non-issuance of Resident Permit has attracted my attention, on that basis, I directed my officers on 10th February 2023, accompanied by the president and some executive members of the Nigerian community to meet with new Commissioner  EMI-immigration Madame Gertrude Bikok and the matter was also resolved due to the subsisting bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Consul General was excited to proudly commend the Nigeria community over their successful business activities which were satisfied by the host authorities. But urges her compatriots to be more tolerance of each other and remain law abiding to the host country.

In responding to the CG’s speech, the President of the Nigeria Community, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku heaps praise on the first female Consul General in Douala for her breath of peace among Nigerians in the region.

« Last year, we came to say thank you for the ones you have done. We have come again to further demonstrate our joy for your constant support, caring and motherly advise and solidarity  to us as your fellow compatriots in Cameroon, » he said.

« History will record it that as the first female Consul General in Douala. Nigerians have benefited from your good leadership and skills of work, » he added.

Also appreciating the CG is Eminent philanthropist, HRH Eze Thomas .J. Onyengubo, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Cameroon, who also urged the Nigerian community members to remain united and be law abiding to the host country.

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From the 18th to the 21st August 2022, the Pastoral Centre St Joseph of Kribi (Cameroon) hosted the 10th edition of what has become an annual ‘rendez-vous’ of capacity building of young Cameroonian Leaders and Entrepreneurs selected on the basis of their civic engagement, professional achievement and patriotic spirit.
Through this Academy, the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF) by Go Ahead Africa Ltd has been contributing to the empowerment of hundreds of young people in the fields of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Management.
Held in partnership with some of the most influential stakeholders in the Cameroonian economic ecosystem (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media and Vox Africa); and despite unforeseen circumstances, this 10th edition succeeded to gather forty-six participants (23 boys and 23 girls) aged between 18 and 35 years old under the theme « Challenges and opportunities of youth in a VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) ».
For the Founder of the PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, these young Leaders are true ambassadors of the emergence and prosperity of Cameroon. « Our goal is to train a world class of Young Cameroonian Leaders/Entrepreneurs who are masters of their destiny and resolutely at the service of the emergence of our country and even of our continent, Africa » he said.

During four (4) intense days under the expert guidance of Leadership Coach/Trainer
Emile SINGEH and Assistant Coach Perrin KWENKEU, the 2022 batch developed through a tailor-made program:
·       Leadership and Management Skills
·       Entrepreneurial spirit
·       Spirit of Individual Social Responsibility and Active Citizenship
·       Knowledge and Valorisation of the Great Historical Figures of Cameroon
·       Appropriation of the Vision of a prosperous Cameroon
During this unique and extraordinary life experience punctuated by short nights (4 hours/day) and intense days of emotions, knowledge acquisition and teambuilding, the participants had the opportunity to meet and learn from their 2 Patrons:
·       Mr Patrice MELOM (GM PAK)
·       Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Founder and CEO Balafon Media Group)

They also had the great opportunity to interact with some of the Leaders and Managers who drive the economic scene.
Among them we can name Mr Abakal MAHAMAT (General Manager, BGFIBank Cameroon), Dr Elizabeth FON (General Manager, TESHO), Mrs Arielle WAFFO (General Manager, DKT Cameroon), Mr Dagobert TAHA (Design Thinking Expert), Mrs Pulton ARUNA (Consultant, Corporate Trainer in Management Skills, Customer Care, Food Safety, Quality Management, Training Techniques).
As key part of the program, the participants worked on reinventing the CLA model during the traditional ‘24 heures Chrono’ where they spend 24 hours in a row without sleeping in a journey to better understand (themselves) and learn how to surpass their self-expectations.

As the Cameroon Leadership Academy heads to new starts for its 10 years’ Convention on December, 10th taking with it an annual event that brought together hundreds of young Leaders and Entrepreneurs; it’s worth reflecting on its legacy and on the impact it made during the past ten (10) years that the event grew to empower 850 youth with the mission of training better Leaders in order to build better communities. 
Emile Désiré SINGEH
President, PLF

Du 18 au 21 août 2022, le Centre Pastoral St Joseph de Kribi (Cameroun) a accueilli la 10ème édition de ce qui est devenu un rendez-vous annuel de renforcement des capacités des jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs camerounais sélectionnés sur la base de leur engagement civique, de leur réussite professionnelle et de leur esprit patriotique. 
Grâce à cette académie, la Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF), une initiative du cabinet Go Ahead Africa Ltd a contribué à l’autonomisation de centaines de jeunes dans les domaines du Leadership, Entreprenariat et du Management.
Organisée en partenariat avec certains des acteurs les plus influents de l’écosystème économique camerounais (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, le Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media et Vox Africa) ; et malgré des cas de force majeure cette 10ème édition a réussi à rassembler quarante-six participants (23 garçons et 23 filles) âgés de 18 à 35 ans sous le thème « Défis et opportunités de la jeunesse dans un environnement VUCA (Volatile, Incertain, Complexe et Ambigu) ». 
Pour le Fondateur de la PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, ces jeunes Leaders sont de véritables ambassadeurs de l’émergence et de la prospérité du Cameroun.  » Notre objectif est de former une classe mondiale de Jeunes Leaders/Entrepreneurs camerounais maîtres de leur destin et résolument au service de l’émergence de notre pays et même de notre continent, l’Afrique  » a-t-il déclaré.
Pendant quatre (4) jours intenses sous la direction experte du Coach/Formateur en Leadership Emile SINGEH et de l’Assistant-Coach Perrin KWENKEU, la promotion 2022 a développé grâce à un programme taillé sur mesure :
-Des Compétences en leadership et Management
-L’Esprit d’entreprise
-La Responsabilité sociale individuelle et de citoyenneté active
-La Connaissance et valorisation des grandes figures historiques du Cameroun
-L’Appropriation de la Vision d’un Cameroun prospère
Au cours de cette expérience de vie unique et extraordinaire ponctuée de courtes nuits (4 heures/jour) et de journées intenses en émotions, en acquisition de connaissances et en Teambuilding, les participants ont eu l’occasion de rencontrer et d’apprendre de leurs 2 Parrains :

·       Mr Patrice MELOM (DG PAK)
·       Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Promoteur et PDG du Groupe Balafon Media)

Ils ont également eu l’occasion d’interagir avec certains des leaders et des managers qui animent la scène économique.
Parmi lesquels, nous pouvons citer M. Abakal MAHAMAT (Directeur Général, BGFIBank Cameroun), Dr Elizabeth FON (Directeur Général, TESHO), Mme Arielle WAFFO (Directeur Général, DKT Cameroun), M. Dagobert TAHA (Expert en Design Thinking), Mme Pulton ARUNA (Consultante, formatrice en management, service client, sécurité alimentaire, gestion de la qualité, techniques de formation). 
Durant le traditionnel « 24 heures Chrono » qui est en réalité l’élément clé du programme, les participants ont passé 24 heures d’affilée sans dormir afin de mieux se connaître et apprendre ainsi à dépasser leurs propres attentes. Pour cette édition, le « 24 heures Chrono » était dédié à réinventer le modèle économique de la CLA.
Alors que l’Académie Camerounaise de Leadership s’apprête à prendre un nouveau départ avec la Convention de ses 10 ans le 10 décembre 2022, emportant avec elle un événement annuel qui a rassemblé des centaines de jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs, il convient donc de réfléchir sur son héritage et à l’impact qu’ elle a eu au cours des dix (10) dernières années durant lesquelles l’événement s’est développé et a autonomisé 850 jeunes avec pour principale mission de former de meilleurs leaders afin de construire de meilleures communautés.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Président, PLF

Pour plus d’informations sur la Fondation et ses activités, contactez :

Etienne Martial MVONDO
Directeur Exécutif, PLF
+237 6 96 79 99 60 / 6 51 51 40 59

Emile Désiré SINGEH
Président, PLF
+237 6 77 82 36 12

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The law society, is the student association of the department of English law of the University of Buea, Cameroon. It encompasses all duly registered students of this department. It has been existing since the creation of the university in 1993, and stands out as the largest departmental student association, with about three thousand (3000) students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. With the motto| “integritas veritas justicia” meaning integrity, truth and justice, the main objective of the student association is to maintain a link between the students and the administration. The association is made up of fourteen (14) executives elected through universal suffrage, representing the various levels. The association is headed by the president who together with his/her executive are elected for an unrenewable duration of one (1) academic year. During the course of the year, the association is charged with organizing activities such as moot courts, symposiums, debates, academic interactions etc.

As a student enrolled into the department of English law during the academic year 2019-2020 and consequently became a Bonafide member of the student association. I was then, immediately elected to serve as the class delegate of my class. As the class delegate, I was the representative of the over 700 students admitted as freshmen during that academic year. Due to my diligent service as class delegate, I got elected as vice president of the law society for the academic year 2020-2021. With my experience as class delegate and then vice president, I postulated for the post of president of the law society and eventually won the election in a historic election that saw the law society produce the first female president in its over 23years of existence.

During my tenure of office as president of the Law society, my executives and I, organized a series of activities to the benefit of the students. To promote harmony and enhance a sense of belonging amongst the students, we launched the T-shirt for the department of English law. To be worn by all the students in the department on Wednesdays. Also, to create awareness on sexual harassment which is a common phenomenon in the academic milieu, we organized a symposium that was well attended by officials in the university as well as the various heads of the judiciary in the south west region. To educate the students on how to avoid, overcame and tackle issues related to sexual harassment. We also continued the customary annual activities of the law society such as moot court, academic interactions and the Law society Gala. however, amongst the many activities and events we recorded, was the launching of the gigantic project to construct a Law society coffee stand. This project is aimed at building a spot that will enable law students of the university commune together out of the usual formal environment of the classroom. We equally championed advocacy campaigns at the level of the rectorate and the Nigerian consulate in Cameroon to inquire why Cameroonian students were not being admitted in the Nigerian Law school.

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