Read The Biography of Tony Elumelu, His Early Life, Career and How He Made It

Read The Biography of Tony Elumelu, His Early Life, Career and How He Made It
August 10
20:00 2017

Biography of Tony Elumelu: Early Life, Career and How He Made It.

Biography of Tony Elumelu… Elumelu was born in 1963 in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He is a native of Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state.

Has a graduate from Nigerian universities, he has two degrees in Economics a bachelor’s degree from Ambrose Ali University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme.


The history Standard Trust Bank cannot be complete if the name Tony Elumelu is not mentioned; he was one of the major players in 2005 that played a notable role in the transformation of the United Bank of Africa from a single country bank to a PAN African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.

Sequel to his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded and established the Heirs Holdings; a company dedicated to the investment in all sectors including financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. He established Tony Elumelu Foundation in the same year, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organization bent on promoting excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship and to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa. In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.

Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He is a member of the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centers across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.

He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation

Elumelu founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation in July 2010 after his retirement from UBA. A foundation with the objective to “prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.” As a premier pan-African-focused not-for-profit institution, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of entrepreneurship and excellence in business leadership across the continent, with initiatives such as The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP).


Elumelu is the pioneer of the term Africapitalism. According to him, Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalization or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.

Developing interest in Michael Porter’s concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) philosophy, Elumelu studied under Professor Porter at Harvard Business School and Professor Porter is the Founding Patron of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. CSV refers to the idea that “companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together.” It asserts that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues (society) face(s).”

Awards and Recognition

  • The Federal Government of Nigeria granted Tony Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2003.
  • A national honour In 2006
  • Elumelu was voted African Business Leader of The Year by Africa Investor magazine
  • African Banker of the Year in 2008 by African Banker magazine.
  • In 2009, the then Nigerian President, Ahlaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua asked him to serve on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.
  • He was awarded the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise in 2012.
  • Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012″ by Forbes magazine.
  • 100 Most Influential Africans in Business” by New African magazine
  • He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from Benue State University and an honorary doctorate of business administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka UNN.
  • In 2013, he received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards and was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.
  • ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”, named Elumelu in its 2015 “ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power” list, in January 2015.
  • At the 5th edition of the annual Economic Forum of the Ivorian National Council of Employers, CGECI Academy, (CGECI) in Abidjan in April 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.


  • How to Excel at Work – Proven strategies for achieving superior work performance] by Bili A. Odum – a book inspired by Elumelu’s work ethics.
  • The Power of Vision: Insights on Tony Elumelu is a testimonial compiled on the occasion of his retirement as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at the United Bank for Africa.
  • He has written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa for several publications around the world including The Economist, The wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.
  • The TOE Way: A handbook that offers insights into Elumelu’s philosophies, business practices, values and secrets of success, written by the man himself.

Marital Life

Tony Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together. He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.


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David Chris

David Chris

David Chris is writer and a staff at He is also an internet guru who who loves reading and making new friends


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