Even as the pandemic inflicts a devastating toll on the global economy, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu insists that now is the time to invest in countries in Africa.

“Africa is a land of opportunity. Challenges exist in Africa, but we also have a huge return on investment,” Elumelu said during a TIME 100 Talks discussion.

“There’s no better time to make that bet than the time we live in.”

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe, killing hundreds of thousands of people and wreaking economic disruption, the idea of making a big investment may seem brazen. Countries in Africa face particularly grueling obstacles as COVID-19 cases across the continent continue to surge, locusts swarms in east Africa threaten food security and the African Development Bank warns of a looming recession due to the pandemic.

But while some may see investing now as a gamble, Elumelu, a Nigerian billionaire, knows how rewarding taking a bold risk can be.

In 1997, Elumelu led a small group of investors to take over a small, financially distressed commercial bank, Just a few years later, the bank became a top-five financial services provider in Nigeria and would eventually merge with UBA, according to Forbes.

After establishing the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Elumelu then used his earnings to make a bold pledge to commit $100 million to 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years in 2014, starting a Pan-African entrepreneur mentorship and training program.

Now, in spite of COVID-19, the 57-year-old is pitching investors to put their bets on Africa’s economy.