The event’s keynote remarks will be delivered by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and Group Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc, Africa’s global bank with operations in 20 African countries and presence in UK, USA and France.
Mr. Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2011, Mr. Elumelu iterated the term Africapitalism, which has revived the African entrepreneurial landscape by positioning the private sector as a catalyst for growth across the continent.
Inspired by his philosophy of Africapitalism which mobilises Africa’s private sector to lead in the social and economic transformation of the continent, Mr. Elumelu committed US$100m to empowering African entrepreneurs and championing entrepreneurship in Africa. Through its flagship Programme, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is empowering over 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10-year period, supporting each entrepreneur with a non-returnable seed funding of $5,000, one-one mentoring, access to knowledge resources and key networks, and an intensive 12-week business management training.
Following Mr. Elumelu’s session, the Belgian Minister Philippe De Backer will engage in a Q&A session alongside the incoming CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, fielding questions from the audience on global technology trends, the digital economy, and strategies for African entrepreneurs to leverage technology for good in the 21st century. A new documentary chronicling the impact of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme will also be screened.
Select Belgian entrepreneurs in the “Silicon Mission Delegation” and Tony Elumelu entrepreneurs in attendance, will present fast-paced exciting pitches to the audience, showcasing the potentials of their business ideas. Participants will also be treated to a garden cocktail, where local tech influencers, investors, start-ups, accelerators, and other members of the ecosystem will closely network, igniting partnerships and cooperation between Nigerian and Belgian businesses.
The Silicon Lagoon Mission is organized by Startups.be and Close the Gap with the mission to create potential partnerships and raise awareness about Digital for Development opportunities, a goal also shared by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.