BY KAZIE UKO
Elumelu, whose investment portfolio through Heirs Holdings spans the various strategic sectors of African economy, including United Bank for Africa (UBA), Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and Transcorp Power, described the Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) initiative as another big step for African funded philanthropy.
The top banker who himself had years back floated the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme, that has continued to empower a lot of young African entrepreneurs, said the ASR fund is what Africa needs today.
He also commended the efforts of other wealthy Africans like Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and Mo Ibrahim, in trying to uplift young Africans, through their various individual foundations.
In a series of tweet on Wednesday, an obviously excited Elumelu reeled off: “Another big step for African funded philanthropy – Kudos to my friend Abdulsamad Rabiu @BUAgroup on the announcement of the ASR initiative.
“We @TonyElumeluFDN salute another bold initiative – as our mantra goes – “only Africa can truly develop Africa.”
“What Samad is doing with #ASR, as well as the work of @AlikoDangoteFdn, @MotsepeFoundtn; @Mo_IbrahimFdn, @HigherLifeFDN and that of @TonyElumeluFDN focused on empowering young Africans across all 54 African countries, is indeed what we need in Africa now.
“As I say, 21st century philanthropies for Africa, in Africa, by Africans!”
RELIABLESOURCENG.COM reports that Rabiu is specifically extending its work to the education, health and social development sectors, starting with infrastructure and capacity development in these areas.
According to him, the focus of the initiative is equipping facilities, researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level service providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come.
Rabiu said the ASR’s first cohort for Nigeria will be N1 billion each in grants to six universities in the six geopolitical zones, towards the initiation and upgrading of infrastructure, where applicable.
The universities in the first phase include Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, University of Benin, University of Ilorin, and University of Ibadan, according to the statement.
The fund is divided into two – $50 million to Nigeria and $50 million to the rest of Africa.