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Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa

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The French Institute for Research in Africa, Nigeria (IFRA-Nigeria) together with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed a partnership agreement on the programme “Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa”. Beginning in 2015, the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is a philanthropic initiative launched by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which goal is to identify and empower young African entrepreneurs. The research aims at studying the impact of the programme in four targeted countries, namely Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroun and Côte d’Ivoire.

The primary objective of this research collaboration is to assess the impact of the TEF entrepreneurship programme on four African countries. This research partnership shall enable to take a deeper delve into the impact of the TEF entrepreneurs across select geographies and within particular sectors.


Fieldwork research

Two junior researchers, a Nigerian trained as an economist and a French trained in political sciences, have been selected to look at those issues. The junior researchers are expected to spend a minimum of three months doing fieldworks in the targeted countries.

The selected countries for this research are Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroun and Cote d’Ivoire. The following countries are of importance to Tony Elumelu Foundation due to their thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and also because they account for the highest number of TEF entrepreneurs in Anglophone and Francophone Africa.

The scientific supervision of the research will be carried out by IFRA-Nigeria, who will also organise the fieldwork.

The two junior research will tackle the project with a different approach:

  • Luc-Yaovi Kouassi will look at the “Social and political impact of the Entrepreneurship Programme on the beneficiariesfrom the perspective of political sciences. He will explore the extent to which the Entrepreneurship Programme gives beneficiaries-entrepreneurs new resources they can convert in new social and political positions. He will do a case study comparison between Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Terhemen Justine Agabo’s research will investigate the “Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs’ and Living Standards in Rural Communities across Nigeria and Kenya” from an economical perspective. This study is focused on the economic impact of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurs operating in rural communities in Nigeria and Kenya looking at job creation, the provision of good and services and the use of raw materials. It seeks to uncover how they have improved the living standard of rural communities where they do business.

Expected research outputs

Following the fieldwork period and after data collection, the two selected students will write a Master Thesis based on their findings as well as two technical reports that will more specifically address the questions raised by TEF. The student will have access to the TEF foundation data and logistical support.


The project is expected to kick off beginning of 2019 and should be concluded in one year.

Meet the team

Research coordinator:

  • Dr. Elodie Apard, Director of IFRA-Nigeria
  • Clementine Chazal, Research associate at IFRA-Nigeria

Research team:

  • Luc-Yaovi Kouassi, Master in Political Sciences and African Studies at Panthéon Sorbonne Paris 1, France
  • Terhemen Justine Agabo, Master in Economics at University of Ibadan, Nigeria


Launch of the “Supporting Entrepreneurship in Africa” research programme at the Tony Elumelu Foundation. From left to right: Luc-Yaovi Kouassi, Clémentine Chazal, Parminder Vir, Terhmen Justine Agago, Dr. Elodie Apard, Folake Olu-Young


Tony Elumelu Foundation:

French Development Agency in Nigeria (AFD):

                   Logo TEF AFD



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