FAQs - Generation Africa


What is Generation Africa?

Generation Africa is a partnership initiative with a vision to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across the continent. Co-Founding Partners are the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led alliance to catalyse and sustain inclusive agriculture transformation in Africa; Corteva Agiscience, an agricultural inputs company; Econet, a global telecommunications, technology and renewable energy group founded on the African continent; and Yara International, a global crop nutrition company.

Syngenta Foundation and Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) are Technical Partners of Generation Africa.

Wasafiri Consulting and VC4A support Generation Africa as Implementing Partners.

What does the Generation Africa movement seek to do?

●       Inspire a next generation of African entrepreneurs through stories and examples.

●       Connect services, resources and opportunities to help entrepreneurs access education, technology, support and capital to move ventures successfully from idea to scale.

●       Draw attention to opportunities for technological innovation and disruption in the agri-food sector.

●       Increase access to diverse forms of finance along the entrepreneur’s journey.

●       Strengthen the continent-wide agenda for youth entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector.

By 2025, Generation Africa’s ambition is to catalyse demonstrable increases in:

●       Job creation along the entire agri-food value chain.

●       Young Africans inspired to become agri-food entrepreneurs.

●       Youth-led agri-food small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sustaining annual growth rates of over 20%.

●       Venture capital invested in high-potential agri-food SMEs.

●     Adoption of transformative innovations and technologies within the agri-food sector.

Why was Generation Africa launched?

A landscape study was commissioned in 2018 by Econet and Yara, Generation Africa’s founding partners, and first presented at Davos 2019. Research across several African countries highlighted four challenges:

●       Current initiatives put limited focus on entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector.

●       Support programmes and services rarely operate at scale and have highly variable quality.

●       There are gaps in support to the entrepreneurs’ journey, especially accessing growth capital.

●       Efforts in the sector are weakly coordinated.

The landscape study revealed a window of opportunity to mobilize solutions through partnership on the following question:

●       How can we unleash a dynamic cadre of youth entrepreneurs across Africa's agri-food system to launch, grow and mature agri-food businesses that will drive job creation, inclusive growth, and better supply of food?

Job creation for young people is a political and economic imperative for Africa

Over 10 million young people join the labour force every year, yet the continent creates only 3.7 million jobs annually. By 2035, there will be more young people entering Africa’s workforce each year than in the rest of the globe combined. Leaving 60% of young people unemployed is a tragic loss of human potential and could exacerbate hardship, amplifying conflict and insecurity, triggering humanitarian crises and accelerating migration.

Africa’s agri-food sector offers the greatest potential for employment creation.

Along with manufacturing, Africa’s modernising agricultural economy presents the most opportunities for new jobs and income sources, with scope for innovative new businesses emerging all along the value chain to energise the sector from seed to fork. Africa’s annual food import bill is US$35 billion and projected to reach US$110 billion by 2025. Innovative entrepreneurship could retain more of that value on the continent, helping to counterbalance rural-urban migration; strengthen diverse, resilient livelihoods; professionalize farming; and provide affordable, healthy food to Africa’s growing population.

Africa’s agri-food sector offers an estimated US$1 trillion opportunity, especially if connected with the current technology revolution

Across the agri-food chain in Africa, innovations are to be found in how we grow, harvest, process, store, transport, package, sell and consume food. Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) contribute significantly to the economic vitality of emerging markets.

Opportunities exist for partners to further strengthen the ecosystem.

Consultation has identified five key factors that could increase the volume, speed and quality of entrepreneurs as they journey from ideation to scale:

The time is ripe to build Africa’s century by supporting the agri-food entrepreneurship revolution

This requires a great deal more coordination and focus across the continent including policy reforms that enable, inspire and equip young entrepreneurs, recognizing the key role of policy and regulation in creating viable pathways for business creation and innovation. The future is now. Generation Africa is now!

How does Generation Africa plan to carry out its vision?

In the first quarter of 2020, Generation Africa will establish a small, dedicated secretariat based in AGRA offices in Nairobi, Kenya to manage programming and expand its partnership, delivering the following outcomes in 2020/21:

Change the Narrative

The 2019 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition inspired thousands of aspirant and early-stage entrepreneurs to sign up to the GoGettaz Community through our VC4A partner collaboration. In 2020 we intend this to evolve into a vibrant online platform linking entrepreneurs to the existing ecosystem of support, education, innovation, mentorship, business development services and capital.

Connect to Support

The 2019 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition inspired thousands of aspirant and early-stage entrepreneurs to sign up to the GoGettaz Community through our VC4A partner collaboration. In 2020 we intend this to evolve into a vibrant online platform linking entrepreneurs to the existing ecosystem of support, education, innovation, mentorship, business development services and capital.

Give a Voice

Generation Africa has convened an Ambassadors Group, composed of pre-eminent leaders and dynamic entrepreneurs, to give voice to agripreneurs’ needs and opportunities at the pan-African and national levels. Ambassadors are asked to undertake: 1) Advocacy for catalytic changes, at the continental, national and sub-national levels, in support of agripreneurs’ needs; 2) Messaging that inspires and guides young agripreneurs; and 3) Learning, via engagement with the Landscape Report. The inaugural Generation Africa Ambassadors Group includes:

  •  Ada Osakwe, Founder and CEO, Agrolay Ventures
  • Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  •  Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Chief Happiness Officer, blueMoon
  •  Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  •  Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
  •  Mohamed Ait Kadi, President, General Counsel of Agricultural Development, Government of Morocco
  •  Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chair, Econet Group
  •  Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO, Yara International

How is Generation Africa funded?

Whilst Yara International and Econet co-catalysed this transformative initiative in its inaugural year 2019, the team has now engaged in wider collaboration, drawing on the

strengths and resources of different sectors and stakeholder groups, to ensure Generation Africa delivers its potential as a true driver of large-scale system change. A committed group of Co-Founding Partners now jointly resource and steer the initiative. In 2020 and onward, as a partner-led initiative, Generation Africa is open to expressions of interest from potential Strategic Partners to join efforts to propel the impact and reach of the initiative.

Where is Generation Africa based?

Generation Africa, a pan-African initiative, is in the process of registering as an independent non-profit entity based in Nairobi, Kenya. A governing board of strategic partners will provide oversight and accountability. The dedicated secretariat will coordinate partners and deliver priority activities.

Generation Africa’s work is currently carried out by professional teams drawn from the Founding Partners (Econet and Yara International) and Technical Partners (Wasafiri Consulting and VC4A) who together provide a strong operational infrastructure to support the initiative.

What is the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize and how does it work?

The Gogettaz Agripreneur Prize is an annual competition to identify innovative entrepreneurial ventures in the agri-food sector founded by young people (age 35 and under) from across the African continent.

The 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize will be launched in April 2020 with the Grand Finale Pitch contest taking place at the Africa Green Revolution Forum annual meeting in September 2020.

Further details for the 2020 competition will be announced shortly!


  • ●      Applications open until Thursday, June 18, 2020.
  • ●      Expert reviewers will examine all applications, considering the above criteria.
  • ●      24 semi-finalists will be notified via Facebook and email by 22 July 2020. Semi-finalists will each be interviewed and asked for further information.
  • ●      12 finalists, six male, and six female will be selected and notified via Facebook, in person or by email, by 5 August 2020.
  • ●      Finalists will be invited to compete in the final live or virtual pitching contest at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) meeting between 8-11 September 2020. Depending on the coronavirus situation this will be part of a full week of activities that finalists will be expected to attend, from 8-11 September 2020. Should you not have a valid passport and plan to enter GoGettaz, please apply for one now.
  • ●      All 12 finalists will be awarded mentorship, programming linkages, and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journey.

Who is eligible to compete?

The Entrepreneur

• Entrepreneurs must be age 35 or under on the day of submission to the online GoGettaz Afripreneur Prize competition, and be legally recognised as an adult in the country of his/her nationality.
• Entrepreneurs must hold nationality (with official ID) from any of the 54 nations of the African Union.
• Entrepreneurs must be the founder or co-founder of the enterprise he or she represents in the competition and play an active role in its operations and leadership.
• Entrepreneurs must have no criminal record related to corruption, tax evasion, financial impropriety, felony or other offences, and be willing to provide a signed declaration to that effect, if requested.

The Venture

●       Your venture must have its headquarters in one of the 54 countries of the African Union and must be officially registered in an African country.

●       Your venture must be designed to be financially sustainable, either as a for-profit business or a market-based social venture with a business model that includes revenue generation – at least in part – and aiming for non-donor-based sustainability over time.

●       Your venture must play a role in the agri-food sector or support the development of the agri-food sector through an innovation, disruption or original process improvement across the food value chain from seed to fork.

●       The “agri-food sector” may be defined as businesses including:

▪        Agri-food research & development

▪        Primary food production

▪        Crop nutrition

▪        Irrigation

▪        Mechanisation, automation or robotics

▪        Crop protection

▪        Hydroponics or urban farming

▪        Transport, distribution, storage or logistics

▪        Food processing

▪        Packaging or marketing

▪        Food retail or service

▪        Waste management or recycling

▪        Digital or technology solutions/services to the agri-food sector

▪        Innovative finance solutions/services to the agri-food sector

▪        Renewable energy or environmental solutions/services to the agri-food sector

Can I compete in the GoGettaz competition if my venture is only an idea?

Business ventures in the pre-launch stage may be considered. However, it is very important that you do not share commercially sensitive or proprietary business details of any kind, especially if your venture is only in the idea stage.

If in doubt, do not share the information online in this competition, and wait until next year. If you have an invention ready to patent, be sure to apply and get the patent process underway before sharing any details in this contest or any online platform.

Who are the Co-founding partners of “Generation Africa”?

Whilst Yara International and Econet co-catalysed this transformative initiative in its inaugural year 2019, the team has now engaged in wider collaboration, drawing on the strengths and resources of different sectors and stakeholder groups, to ensure Generation Africa delivers its potential as a true driver of large-scale system change. A committed group of Co-Founding Partners now jointly resource and steer the initiative.

The Co-Founding Strategic Partners of the Generation Africa initiative are the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Corteva Agriscience, Econet and Yara International. Technical Partners of Generation Africa are the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.

Who is Yara?

Yara International is a global crop nutrition company pioneering new and scalable models to drive the transition to sustainable food and land use.

Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet, to fulfil its vision of a collaborative society, a world without hunger and a planet respected. To meet these commitments, Yara has taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming and works closely with partners throughout the whole food value chain to develop more climate-friendly crop nutrition solutions. In addition, Yara is committed to working towards sustainable mineral fertilizer production. Yara fosters an open culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes the safety and integrity of its employees, contractors, business partners, and society at large. Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has a worldwide presence with about 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries.

Yara is also the founder and sponsor of the Africa Green Revolution Forum convening 2,000+ leaders to transform agriculture. In 2005, Yara initiated what is now the Africa Food Prize, awarded each year to an outstanding individual or institution leading efforts to change farming. It is also a founding partner of the Farm to Market Alliance providing holistic value chain solutions that is demonstrably raising incomes for 145,631 African farmers.

Who is Econet?

Econet is a privately held, diversified telecommunications, technology and renewable energy group with operations and investments throughout Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, internet, satellite and fibre optic networks. The company also has investments beyond the traditional telecoms sector, which include financial services, insurance, e-commerce, renewable energy, education, Coca-Cola bottling, hospitality and payment gateway solutions.

Econet was founded in 1993 by Strive Masiyiwa, who first came to international prominence when he fought a five-year constitutional legal battle leading to the removal of the state monopoly in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications sector. The landmark ruling is regarded as one of the milestones in the opening up of African telecommunications to private capital.

Technical Partners:

Who is Corteva Agriscience?

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions.

With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the Company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come.  We do this through an extensive portfolio in seed solutions, crop protection, and software and digital services focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. 

At Corteva Agriscience we grow progress by putting farmers and consumers at the heart of agriculture, to help reshape the industry for the 21st century. We believe that the future of farming depends on aligning the food chain from end to end, so that we can work together to build agriculture into an industry that is more financially secure, sustainable, innovative and responsive. We are helping to shape an industry better able to understand and react to global market demands, that can effectively harness science, technology and innovation to optimize productivity, and which has the know-how and resources to help chart its own long-term success in the face of challenge and change.

More information can be found at www.corteva.com.

Who is Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture?

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) works to strengthen smallholder agriculture in developing countries. It helps farmers improve their harvests and sell their produce in lucrative markets. 

SFSA puts particular emphasis on smallholders’ resilience in the face of climate change. An important feature of its work is the encouragement of entrepreneurship in the young rural generation. The overall aim is to give small-scale farming a brighter future as a profession of choice. 

SFSA is a Swiss-based non-profit created by the global agribusiness Syngenta. The foundation is independent of the company and has its own Board. SFSA and its predecessor foundations have been working in Africa for almost 40 years. 

Today’s initiatives are grouped into Access to Seeds (Seeds2B), Agricultural Insurance Solutions and Agriservices. All three streams are supported by activities in R&D and Policy. 

Further information is available on www.syngentafoundation.org

Twitter @syngentafdn 

Who are the technical partners of Generation Africa?


VC4A is the leading African online platform connecting start-up entrepreneurs with knowledge, support programs, mentors and investors. It includes 12,500 registered start-ups across 46 countries, networked with 90,000 community members, 900 support programs, and 2000 active investors. VC4A start-ups with ecosystem support raise 2.5x more capital, and on average create seven jobs, mostly for youth.


Wasafiri is an international consultancy supporting system change on complex problems. It has provided a decade of strategic management support to establish Africa-wide architecture through which cross-sector partners now collaborate on agricultural transformation, including Grow Africa, a partnership platform to accelerate inclusive investment into African agriculture with US$2.3 bn invested and 88,000 jobs created.