The Kingdom of Belgium has conferred the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, the country’s oldest and most important National Honour, on Africa’s leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, in recognition of his commitment to poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of young Africans.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, presented the royal decoration on Sunday, November 15 – the Belgian King’s Day and a symbolic national day of celebration, at the Belgian House in Abuja, with public and private sector leaders witnessing the ceremony.
Mr Elumelu has been responsible for initiatives creating millions of jobs and employment for young Africans across the continent, through his philanthropy, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The Foundation’s flagship intervention, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, US$100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. Over 9,600 young Africans are current beneficiaries, just six years since its inception. In addition to its own significant programme, the Foundation partners with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to bring its proven methodology to an even broader universe. Mr Elumelu believes that youth entrepreneurship has the potential to tackle global challenges such as forced migration, poverty, and hunger.