Lagos-based philanthropic platform Tony Elumelu Foundation has appointed Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu as its new Chief Executive Officer. The incoming leader who holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Wales, and a Postgraduate Degree in Business and Executive Coaching from the Integral Africa Institute, Cape Town, previously sat on the Board of Women Empowerment and Children Relief in Africa, a Cape Town-based non-profit focused on enhancing the economic welfare of women.
Ifeyinwa (right-hand side of the featured image) who is the Foundation’s third leader and first African CEO will lead the team in scaling the impact of the Foundation which is globally recognized for pioneering a new approach to philanthropy with its USD 100 million commitment to empowering African entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s mission is rooted in Africapitalism, which positions the private sector as the key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa.
The new appointee will as well take responsibility for the positioning of TEFConnect, a digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs. She will see to making sure it becomes the go-to hub that will forge business relationships, share experiences and distribute knowledge across the continent.
Ifeyinwa who is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria, assumes the CEO seat with nearly two decades of corporate experience, save her most recent role as the Director of Partnerships and Evaluation in the Foundation. Proven leader with a vision for business, she has the emotional intelligence and ability to bring people together. According to the Foundation, she’s enabled to shape the group’s position, partner and engage with the wider development ecosystem.
TEF is about to enter its next stage of scale, expanded impact, monitoring and evaluation, and intelligent mining of its proprietary data on African entrepreneurship. Crucial to this preparation, Ifeyinwa’s predecessor Parminder Vir, OBE (left-hand side of the featured image), has been elevated to the Advisory Board of the Foundation. In her new role as CEO, Ifeyinwa will leverage her expertise, experience, and network to provide strategic leadership in realizing the Foundation’s goal of transforming Africa through entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the appointments, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Founder, the Tony Elumelu Foundation stated: “As Director of Partnerships, Ifeyinwa demonstrated strong leadership and strategic thinking in delivering the Foundation’s mission to transform Africa, securing major partnerships that scale the impact of the Foundation beyond its targeted 10,000 entrepreneurs. She is the perfect candidate to build on Parminder’s immense contribution.”
“On behalf of the Board, I also commend Parminder, fondly known as the mother of African entrepreneurs, for her notable achievements, significant sacrifice and commitment to building and empowering the next generation of African business leaders. I warmly welcome her to the Board,” Mr. Elumelu concluded.
In response, Parminder said: “In the last five years, we have empowered a generation of young Africans with the training, tools, and opportunities to launch the continent into prosperity. As CEO, it has been my profound joy to support thousands of young people whose ideas are transforming Africa. I am therefore honored to join the Tony Elumelu Foundation Advisory Board to contribute to the many more success stories that will emerge out of Africa.”
Accepting her appointment, Ifeyinwa said: “In my former role within the Foundation, I witnessed first-hand the potential of entrepreneurship in tackling Africa’s key challenges – unemployment and poverty. Our recently launched TEFConnect, the digital networking platform connecting African entrepreneurs, investors and mentors for business success will further achieve our Founder’s goal of democratizing luck across the continent and fostering business beyond physical borders.” “I am honored by the opportunity to build on Parminder’s legacy and launch the Tony Elumelu Foundation into its next phase of growth.”