Generation Africa’s evaluators and judges have completed the difficult task of choosing 12 finalists from amongst the top 24 agrifood and agritech semifinalists who were asked to showcase their innovation and transformational prowess in a 2-minute video pitch and online interviews held in the past three weeks. Selection criteria included innovation, market traction, social and environmental impact, business model and management team, along with a demonstrated ability to adapt and impact the agricultural landscape of Africa, during the trying times of a historic global pandemic.
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the urgent need for sustainability, focus and strengthening of agriculture industries across the continent to ensure that each country can care for its citizens, and build a strong alliance of interconnectivity and support to tackle and survive tough times as both businesses and nations.
The evaluators and judges are now closing in on two innovative ventures, one led by a man and one led by a woman who founded or co-founded businesses in the agrifood and agritech sector in Africa. The winners will each be awarded a grand prize of $50,000 along with an industry-leading support network to take their businesses to the next level. This aligns with Generation Africa’s mission to create a network of ‘seed-to-fork’ industry leaders from startup-to-success-story in Africa and beyond.
“The agricultural and innovative future of Africa can now accurately be described as a cornerstone of world development as the planet has seen firsthand the physical and technological resources that the people of Africa can provide during a global crisis,” said Benito Eliasi, SACAU Program Officer. “The agripreneurs of this continent have provided for their people during these difficult times and we hope to help these same agripreneurs to now be able to help the rest of the world.”
In 2019 pan-African technology group Econet together with global crop nutrition leader Yara, co-catalysed the Generation Africa initiative. The success of the 2019 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize campaign attracted industry leaders in the global and African agriculture sectors. In 2020 the Generation Africa initiative has added two inspirational co-founders to its ranks: The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) which strives to grow agriculture on the continent to feed Africa and the world, and Corteva Agriscience which harnesses cutting edge science to build flourishing farms globally.
Generation Africa’s 2020 technical partners include the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) representing the shared interests of regional farmers and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture which links smallholder farmers to agri-services, insurance and quality seeds. All co-founding and technical partners are focused on growing African entrepreneurs and transforming the African food sector to enable it to be a net-exporter of food by 2050.
“We [the judges] have all been delighted and impressed by the caliber of participants in this year’s competition and found their work both exciting and inspirational,” said Barbra Sehlule Muzata, Corteva Agriscience’s Communications and Brand Leader for Africa and the Middle East. “It was challenging narrowing down to the Top 12 and we sincerely believe that their businesses are revolutionary for the agricultural industry.”
This year’s GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize finalists embody the vision of the founders of Generation Africa, managing their businesses with vision, resilience and innovation, even during these times of major global upheaval. The 2020 finalists are each driving forces for growth and transformation, already steering Africa to become a continental superpower in agriculture in the decades ahead.
Here are our 12 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize finalists hailing from 10 African countries
The female finalists are:
- Agnes Kanjala: The Farm is a social enterprise that trains farmers to boost their productivity by producing by-products to raise livestock and link them new markets. (Malawi)
- Brigitha Faustin: OBRI Tanzania produces local sunflower oil. To get quality seeds, they train smallholder famers in sustainable land use, and organic and environmental standards. (Tanzania)
- Daniella Kwayu: Phema Agri is adigital agriculture investment platform that provides smallholder farmers with blended finance with an aim to de-risk the value chain. (Tanzania)
- Elizabeth Gikebe: Mhogo Foods is a socially conscious cassava processor making gluten-free flour, crisps, starch and animal feeds while also training and supporting farmers. (Kenya)
- Ifeoluwa Olatayo: Soupah Farm-en-Market Limited designed and use USSD apps and blockchain technology to build an efficient, traceable supply chain connecting smallholders to food vendors and markets. (Nigeria)
- Millicent Agidipo: Achiever Foods Limited is on a mission to save lives with organic foods that promote blood health and a strong immune system. (Ghana)
The male finalists are:
- Kharbouch Barhoum: Lombrisol has designed and built a vermicompost machine that automates organic fertiliser production from food waste, using earthworms. (Morocco)
- Dexter Tangocci: Integrated Aerial Systems uses drones for precision crop spraying and multispectral surveys to give farmers actionable data about underperforming crops. (South Africa)
- Dysmus Kisilu: Solar Freeze helps smallholder farmers battle post-harvest losses with mobile, solar powered cold storage and “sharing economy” cold-chain logistics. (Kenya)
- Fadja Djiou Barry: GoMarkit SL is food supply and delivery business enabling food vendors, retailers and consumers purchase produce from smallholders via their GoMarkit app. (Sierra Leone)
- Moses Katala: Magofarmis an insect technology startup that turns food waste into insect protein for animal feed, which they deliver straight to farmers based on an individual needs analysis. (Rwanda)
- Paul Matovu: Vertical and Micro Gardening (VMG) builds autonomous farm towers to make urban farming a viable micro-enterprise for low-income households. (Uganda)
Generation Africa will continue to provide information and inspiration to its GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize finalists via social media as well as webinar educational programming run by the Agripreneurship Alliance and the African Management Institute to support the young entrepreneurs as they prepare for the final phase of the competition.
The grand finale competition will be an online pitch competition held online at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit between 8-11 September 2020.
At the conclusion of the competition, the two $50,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize winners will be announced alongside the awarding by AGRF of the prestigious Africa Food Prize. All twelve finalists will receive mentorship, programming linkages and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journey.
In recognition of the high-quality of the entries this year, and to strengthen support of these agripreneurs, Generation Africa will also announce four additional Generation Africa Impact Winners, for ventures who are making a notable impact in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Each Impact winner will receive US$2,500 to boost their business.
Generation Africa Co-Founders:
Yara International: https://www.yara.com/
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa: https://agra.org/
Corteva Agriscience: https://www.corteva.com/
Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions: http://www.sacau.org/
Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture: https://www.syngentafoundation.org/