Accra, July 6, GNA - The French President,
Emmanuel Macron, has advocated a new partnership with Africa, prioritizing the
role of entrepreneurship in driving the Continent’s renaissance.
A statement issued by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, said the French President highlighted the importance of the private sector, saying Africa’s future was and should be in Africa’s hands.
“To young African entrepreneurs, never listen to people, who are telling you to wait, if you believe in your projects: just do it,” he said.
He said his government’s role was to help the new generation to seize opportunities and rise to the challenge, which was what underpins a new and balanced relationship.
Mr Macron offered this bold and new vision of France’s relationship with Africa, at an exclusive session hosted by the TEF in Lagos, Nigeria during an official visit.
Mr Tony O. Elumelu, TEF Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa (UBA), who moderated the event, said “The French President recognises the critical importance of African entrepreneurs to sustainable economic development on the continent.”
He said the French President knew that the African narrative was changing and will change, adding that “we want France and the rest of the world to realise that Africa is a continent of opportunities”.
The two leaders stood side-by-side, surrounded by emerging and established business women and men from across Africa, during an exciting and at times charged session.
The TEF took the opportunity to sign an agreement with the Agence Française de Development, the French development bank.
The agreement established a research partnership to examine the entrepreneurship ecosystem in West Africa, with a special focus on francophone countries, a risk-sharing guarantee framework and access to high-level mentors for TEF entrepreneurs.