Generation Africa: Celebrating Africa’s young agripreneurs

Generation Africa: Celebrating Africa’s young agripreneurs

__Case studies: Moving from pitches, to prizes, to profits!

Today I wanted to share this video from Davos in January and also to update you on some of the exciting achievements of our young finalist #agripreneurs since the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Finale Pitch contest last year in September in Ghana. These young entrepreneurs are the future of our continent and I am so proud of them!

Now most of you here know that 19 of the world’s 20 youngest nations are in Africa and that about 10 million young people enter the African job market each year (whilst the age of the average African farmer is 55-60 years of age). You also know that according to recent projections by the World Bank, Africa’s food and ag market is set to hit $1Tn+ by 2030! As an entrepreneur when you hear numbers like this, I hope by now you jump over the challenges straight into #Imagining the #Opportunities

#Opportunities… This is why we got together last year with Yara International to launch Generation Africa, a partnership to “Grow Entrepreneurs” and “Transform Food” across Africa. As I mentioned to you last month, we are really excited that new partners have now joined as co-founding partners: Corteva Agriscience/@Corteva and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), along with technical partners, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and the Syngenta Foundation/@Syngentafdn!

Stay tuned for more!

The second year of the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition is set to launch next month. Meanwhile let me share what some of last year’s GoGettaz finalists have been up to for the past six months…

Wow!!

__Leah Bessa, co-founder, Gourmet Grubb, South Africa

# Closed 6-month pop-up shop (“The Insect Experience”) in Cape Town, gathering a huge amount of consumer data. She’s now busy raising capital.

# Won prize for Pioneering Dairy Alternatives Company 2019 & LUX Culinary Innovation Award 2019: EntoMilk™ Ice Cream: https://www.lux-review.com/winners/gourmet-grubb/

__Piwai Chikasha, co-founder, Alley Capital Group, Zimbabwe

# Top-10 Finalist, African Drone Business Challenge, Rwanda in February 2020.

# Winner, Public Vote Prize, African Drone Business Challenge: https://www.africandroneforum.org/

__Starlin Farah, co-founder, Ecodudu Ltd, Kenya (https://twitter.com/EcoduduKe)

# Received investment from GreenTec Capital: https://greentec-capital.com/…/greentec-capital-invests-in…/

__Bertin Fokou, co-founder, Distribution Express (DITEX) Cameroon

# Now launching his “WhatsNear” App nationwide in Cameroon, after having completed a consistent, connected transport service providers database.

__Lilian Nakagozi, founder, Women Smiles Uganda, Uganda

# Won Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award 2019

# Won yHer Africa Entrepreneur Judges Award 2019

# Featured by Spore Magazine: https://twitter.spore_mag/status/1184412916361125892

# Selected to represent Uganda at the Global Students’ Entrepreneurship award competition in Cape Town.

__Bonolo Monthe, co-founder, Maungo Craft, Botswana (competition winner)

# Secured a regional distributor for Maungo Craft products to scale business.
# Featured in Spore Magazine: https://spore.cta.int/…/bottling-the-flavours-of-botswana-s…

# Won business plan competition and secured finance from US Africa Development Foundation (through the Mandela Washington Fellowship).
# Featured on BBC International, “Business Africa”.

# Hired more staff members and moved into a new factory shell to better enable business to scale.

__Siny Samba, co-founder, Le Lionceau, Senegal

# Featured interview in Forbes Afrique, November 2019 edition: https://forbesafrique.com/le-lionceau-des-aliments-pour-be…/

__Isaac Sesi, co-founder, Sesi Technologies, Ghana (competition winner)
# Won Most Impactful Pitch prize at the World Food Programme Innovation Bootcamp – https://www.cnet.com/…/the-un-world-food-program-is-lookin…/ and currently working with the World Food Programme to scale GrainMate across Ghana.

# Featured by Spore – https://spore.cta.int/…/isaac-sesi-be-persistent-success-is…

# Shortlisted for 2020 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. https://www.raeng.org.uk/…/africa-prize/current-and-re…/2020

# Signed deal with a distributor to distribute GrainMate in Kenya.
# Hired more people to join the Sesi Technologies team.
# Completed hardware design for new generation of Grain Moisture Meters.
# Signed an agreement with a government agency to provide post-harvest loss training services to Farmers in 170 districts in Ghana.

__Job Oyebisi, co-founder, FarmCorps, Nigeria

# Improved product and finalizing partnerships required to scale his Farmcorps platform.

https://www.farmcorps.net

# Full roll out scheduled in 2nd quarter 2020, some is still in beta.

__Affiong Williams, founder, ReelFruit Nigeria

# Won Village Capital Agriculture Program prize, including an investment of $50K https://technext.ng/…/nigerian-agritech-startup-reelfruit-…/

# Secured Series A lead investor and will be closing our $2M round by April 2020.

Wow again!

There’s more but this is just to inspire you today. Please Google their companies if you want to know more. Congratulations to one and all!

Now some of might be wondering what it really means to be an “Agripreneur”? Do you have to be a farmer growing crops in the field? Not necessarily! As you can see from these finalists, #Agripreneurs are #Innovators!

Maybe you produce food packaging, and even better… it can be recyclable? Maybe you transport food, and even better… in environmentally-friendly ways? Maybe you are a scientist and have invented a new type of plant-based protein? Or a water- and energy-efficient way to irrigate crops? Or ? Maybe you have #Imagined a new way to grow food in urban areas where there’s not much land? Or??

#ReImagineRural#ReImagineFood#GoGettazAfrica

End.

Image caption – Davos, Switzerland, 24 January 2020: “Empowering Youth in Africa: Employment and Entrepreneurship in the Food Sector”: a breakfast discussion held together with Generation Africa and Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge; Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM; Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara International; Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF; Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU; Gilbert Houngbo, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); and Adegboyega Asanpaola, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and co-founder of Tunyise Ltd, Nigeria. For more info you can go to https://genafrica.org/

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

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