AFRICA – Generation Africa, a partnership initiative with a vision to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector in Africa has launched the second annual US$100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize.

Bringing on board influential co-founders, members and ambassadors, the 2020 competition aims to find, inspire and support the best business models during the COVID-19 crisis and pave the way for new businesses embracing technology and innovation in the agrifood and agritech sectors.

It is backed by its founding partners Econet, a global telecommunications, media, energy and technology group and Yara International, a global crop nutrition company.

The other supporter of the 2020 competition are The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Corteva Agriscience, The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.

The 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition will acknowledge two innovative ventures, one led by a man and one led by a woman who founded or co-founded businesses in the agrifood sector.

The winners will each be awarded a grand prize of US$50,000 together with the prestigious Africa Food Prize and along with an industry-leading support network to take their businesses to the next level.

The competition launches as the coronavirus pandemic is having a severely negative impact on health, well-being, and livelihoods of billions of people throughout Africa and the world.

While the ultimate costs of this crisis are unknown, tremendous effort and innovation is needed to keep agribusiness going and ensure the health crisis does not translate into also a severe food crisis.

Leadership and coordinated action are required at global, national, and local levels to find solutions for agrifood systems that are responsive to, and supportive of, health measures. Africa’s youth agripreneurs have a huge role to play. 

“We have decided to go ahead with the 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition.  Not despite the coronavirus, but because of it,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International.

“Now, more than ever, we need to support African agrifood entrepreneurs and the small and medium agribusinesses on the continent. They are the people who produce food and get it to the people who need it. They will be the people who help to rebuild our economies after the pandemic is over,” he added.

“Agrifood is more than an essential business in this global pandemic, it is urgent for survival,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet.

“Our African agribusinesses must stay strong and innovate to meet growing food needs locally, across the whole value chain. With forex income impacted by COVID-19, our nations can no longer rely on imports to feed our people. Now is the time for Africa’s entrepreneurs to see and seize new opportunities,” concluded Strive.

Launched on 14 April 2020, the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition is open to young, agrifood entrepreneurs, aged 18 – 35 from across Africa. Applications can be submitted via GoGettaz Africa official website.

10 Finalists will be invited to compete in a live or virtual (online) pitching contest at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit between 8-11 September 2020.