The Board of Trustees of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), which is leading charge of entrepreneurship in Africa, has announced the appointment of Somachi Chris-Asoluka as its new Chief Executive Officer.
According to a statement by the foundation, the appointment, which takes effect from March 1, 2023, comes after the retirement of Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, the current CEO.
“Somachi, who joined the foundation in 2014, has served as the foundation’s Head of Research, Head of Policy and External Relations, and most recently as the Director of Partnerships and Communications,” it said.
It said in her new role as CEO, Somachi will leverage her expertise, experience and network to provide strategic leadership in consolidating and deepening the foundation’s work of transforming Africa through entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the appointment, Tony Elumelu, founder of TEF, said Somachi’s experience in partnership development will be particularly relevant.
“Somachi, as Director of Partnerships & Communications, has demonstrated strong leadership, commitment, and strategic thinking, in delivering the Foundation’s mission to transform Africa. She is the perfect candidate to build on Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu’s impactful contribution,” he said.
Elumelu added that on behalf of the board, he thanked Ifeyinwa for her considerable achievements, significant sacrifice and commitment to building and empowering the next generation of African business leaders.
“As the tenure of Ifeyinwa draws to a close, I look back on the last five years and pay tribute to the impact she has made, first as Director of Partnerships, and later as the CEO.”
In response to her appointment, Ugochukwu said the foundation has grown its partnership capability, opening its platform and process to third parties, who share in our commitment to growing the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, and transforming Africa by empowering entrepreneurs.
“As CEO, it has been my profound joy to lead the dynamic team to empower the next generation of young people whose ideas are transforming Africa,” she said.
Accepting her appointment, Chris-Asoluka said she was honoured to be appointed to lead the foundation, particularly at a time when they will be launching a new Coalition for African Entrepreneurship.
“This coalition will bring together global and African partners to significantly increase the impact created by TEF’s unique platform for identifying, mentoring, training and funding young African entrepreneurs,” she said.
“I look forward to working with the team, our partners, and all stakeholders to achieve our common goal of a strong, confident, self-reliant Africa.”
Chris-Asoluka graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Mary’s College of California with a BSc. in Economics and minor in Mathematics, and received the “Adam Smith” award given to the highest performing graduating student in Economics.
She also has a Master’s Degree in International and Development Economics from Yale University. She is a Deputy Champion of the World Economic Forum EDISON Alliance.