02 July 2015, Lagos – The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has noted that providing access to electricity for schools, hospitals, businesses and industries is the single most impactful intervention that can be made to transform the continent.
This, Elumelu said, has tremendous implications for job creation, health, food security, education, technological advancement and overall economic development.
Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said this in Abidjan, when African leaders, under the umbrella of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG) gathered.
The AELG was launched during the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The group brings together political and business leaders at the highest level to drive the reforms and investment needed to end energy poverty and to ensure sustainable fuel supplies on the continent.
Elumelu is a founding partner and Co-chair of the AELG. Other founding partners of AELG include Ivoirian President Allasane Ouattara; Ghanaian President John Mahama; President, African Development Bank Dr Donald Kaberuka; President & CEO, The Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; President ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo; and President UEMOA Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumare.
Providing access for all Africans to reliable, affordable energy services and efficient appliances by 2030 is a key goal of AELG. The AELG objective of ensuring universal access to modern energy is in line with those of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative run by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Kandeh Yumkella, one of the champions of the AELG.
Elumelu pledged to support the work of AELG, saying “I am making a pledge to provide $150,000 over the next three years to support the operations of the AELG secretariat,” he was quoted to have said in a statement.
“I want to call on the governments of the member states of the ECOWAS region, and AELG members and partners to also step up with significant multi-year commitments to sustain the organisation.”
Pop superstar, Akon, who was also in attendance at the event to promote his Lighting Africa Initiative, pledged $200,000 to support the work of the AELG secretariat.
– This Day