KSh10 million initiative to inspire young Africans to become agri-food entrepreneurs

Pan-African telecommunications, media and technology group, Econet, and global crop nutrition leader, Yara International ASA, have launched a partnership initiative to inspire young African entrepreneurs to join the agri-food sector for its viable business opportunities.

Dubbed “Generation Africa”, the initiative will reach thousands of young people through its “GoGettaz” competition, which will award KSh10 million in prize money to two exceptional business ventures in the agri-food sector.

The initiative will support a cohort of 12 budding young agri-food entrepreneurs to scale and prosper their ventures.

“Africa’s agri-food sector presents a KSh100 trillion business opportunity by 2030, especially when connected with the current technology revolution
,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.

Seize opportunities

“Across Africa’s agri-food chain, innovations can be found in how we grow, harvest, process, store, transport, package, sell and consume food.

“Together with the pioneers of Africa’s next generation, we want to seize these opportunities. Generation Africa will help youth entrepreneurs launch, grow and mature agri-food businesses that will drive job creation, inclusive growth and better food supply.”

Africa has about 600 million hectares of arable land, yet it imports food for KSh350 billion a year – a figure that is estimated to rise to KSh10 trillion by 2025.

At the same time, over 60% of young people across Africa are unemployed.

Innovative entrepreneurship could retain more value on the continent, helping to counterbalance rural-urban migration, professionalize farming, generate employment and provide affordable, healthy food to Africa’s growing population.

“Africa is full of entrepreneurs. We have more entrepreneurs than any other continent,” says Econet founder and group chairman – Strive Masiyiwa.

Agri-food business offer

“But where the average age of an entrepreneur is 19, the average age of a farmer is 60! The time is now for Africa’s entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and embrace the incredible opportunities that agri-food businesses offer. If we do not, someone else will.”

Generation Africa’s vision is to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across the continent, allowing them to unlock this untapped potential.

Generation Africa’s “GoGettaz” competition is open to young agri-food entrepreneurs aged 18-35 from across Africa.

Budding ventures can be submitted to the competition via www.GenAfrica.org by 15 July 2019. 

Inspire one million

Twelve finalists will be selected by an expert jury to pitch live at the African Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana 3-6 September 2019.

Two winners (one man and one woman) will each win KSh5M to grow their businesses with guidance from Generation Africa.

Beyond the “GoGettaz” competition, Generation Africa’s ambition is to inspire at least one million young people to consider the agri-food sector as a viable and profitable business opportunity.

This can only be achieved through close collaboration with stakeholders across the continent to develop the entire ecosystem to support young entrepreneurs.

This is Africa’s Generation, concludes Masiyiwa, “Never has there been a more powerful moment in history – nor a more digitally-capable generation – to leapfrog Africa’s agri-food sector from a net importer of food to feeding the planet.”

Courtesy: APO Group


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