No less than 12 young agri-food entrepreneurs are set to benefit from a new partnership aimed at inspiring African business builders to embrace the many business opportunities presented by the sector.
Generation Africa has announced its GoGettaz competition, which will award approximately R1,5 million in prize money to two exceptional business ventures in the agri-food sector.
Generation Africa, a partnership initiative between Yara International and Econet to inspire young African entrepreneurs to join the agri-food sector, will support a cohort of 12 budding entrepreneurs to scale their ventures.
Africa’s agri-food sector presents a business opportunity that will be worth 1 trillion US dollars by 2030, especially when connected with the current technology revolution, says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International ASA, a global crop nutrition leader.
“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.”
GoGettaz is presented in partnership with Econet, a leading telecommunications, media and technology group. Econet’s Founder and Group Chairman, Strive Masiyiwa, says, “Africa is full of entrepreneurs. We have more entrepreneurs than any other continent. 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.”
ACCORDING TO GENERATION AFRICA, THE CONTINENT HAS ABOUT 600 MILLION HECTARES OF ARABLE LAND, YET IT IMPORTS FOOD FOR US $35 BILLION A YEAR – A FIGURE THAT IS ESTIMATED TO RISE TO US$100 BILLION BY 2025.
At the same time over 60% of young people across Africa are unemployed. Innovative entrepreneurship therefore could retain more value on the continent, helping to counterbalance migration from rural to urban areas, professionalize farming, generate employment and provide affordable, healthy food to Africa’s growing population.
According to Thato Moagi, award-winning Managing Director of Legae La Banareng Farms in Modimolle, young agri-food entrepreneurs need all the help they can get.
“The agri-food sector needs support in order to address the need to develop entrepreneurs entering the value chain. I am very excited about the Generation Africa competition as it is a great platform that will showcase the innovation of SA entrepreneurs who have been able to mitigate risks, make profits and employ people,” she says.
Moagi urges many young people to enter the GoGettaz competition and to link up with the networks that Yara and Econet can offer.
- Generation Africa’s GoGettaz competition is open to agri-food entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 from across Africa. Ventures can be submitted via genafrica.org by Monday, 15 July 2019. Twelve finalists will be selected by an expert jury to pitch live at the African Green Revolution Forum in Accra, Ghana in September this year. Two winners will each win US $50,000 to grow their businesses with guidance from Generation Africa.