Chairman of the United Bank of Africa, UBA, Tony Elumelu, was on Tuesday named the ‘Person of the Year’ award at the Africa Investor CEO Institutional Investment Summit hosted alongside the UN General Assembly in New York.
The entrepreneur and philanthropist who also double as the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, while receiving the award, applauded the stakeholders in the public and private sectors committed to improving access to power in Africa.
“In accepting this award, I want to dedicate it to Transcorp Power staff who remain committed to realizing our dream of improving access to electricity in Nigeria and making our vision of a well-lit, fully powered Nigeria come true,” he said.
“I also dedicate this to all stakeholders working hard to improve access to power in Africa. I call on others to please join us in this journey to powering Africa out of poverty.
He further explained that: “Africa has been faced with this same challenge, in my view, for far too long. I choose to look at the recent episodes of economic contraction across the continent as opportunities to diversify our economies and invest in building critical infrastructure, especially in power, to reduce our susceptibility to commodity shocks and break out of the perpetual boom-bust cycles.”
Elumelu stressed that to ensure a different type of growth trajectory for Africa, one that does not rely exclusively on the export of primary commodities, there must be reliable, accessible, affordable power supply to support industrialization.
“Industrialization must occur on a massive scale for our countries to be powered out of chronic dependency on commodities. We must power Africa’s next phase of development, by targeting and prioritizing growth of our manufacturing, industries and services. And power is the fulcrum that will make this happen,” he stated.
Transcorp Power has supported U.S. President Obama’s Power Africa initiative with a $2.5billion commitment, a statement made available to journalists said.