AFRICA – Generation Africa, a partnership initiative with a vision to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector in Africa has crowned Tracy Kimathi, founder of Tree_Sea.mals in Kenya and Nshimiyimana Alexandre, co-founder of Sanit Wing Ltd in Rwanda, as the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize winners for 2021.
The competition is undertaken in collaboration with industry leaders in the global and African agriculture sectors i.e., Yara International, Econet, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Corteva Agriscience, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, USAID, Heifer International, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and AfDB.
Additionally, influential new collaborators, Nourishing Africa and One Young World, have joined the exciting Generation Africa ecosystem development movement to reach and inspire agrifood entrepreneurs on the African continent in innovative ways.
The winners of the 2021 edition were each awarded the grand prize of the US$50,000 GoGettaz, alongside the prestigious Africa Food Prize.
Tree_Sea.mals are the developers of Baridi, an innovative solar-powered cold rooms and IoT remote access, with vision to reduce post-slaughter loss throughout East Africa’s livestock value chain.
“Imagine living in a world were 30% of the meat produced goes rotten each day. That’s the equivalent of losing a 100 million cows across Africa,” said Tracy Kimathi in her pitch to the judges. This is the problem she is solving with Baridi.
While, Sanit Wing Ltd is a community-focussed, socially conscious avocado processing and manufacturing company which markets oils, cosmetics and soaps.
Over 141,000 metric tonnes of avocado go to waste in Rwanda each year, to tackle this post-harvest waste, 30-year-old Nshimiyimana Alexandre decided to launch the company.
Nshimye says, “Five years ago, I realised that Rwanda was spending about US$35 million to import cosmetics. It was importing 125 metric tonnes of cooking oil, and Rwanda was ranked 3rd in Africa in avocado production.”
They have turned these numbers into a business that creates jobs and income opportunities for his community.
Beyond the two grand prizes, the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition values and awards contestants through four Impact Social and Environmental Awards, each with a cash prize of US$2,500.
The recipients of the Impact Awards for 2021 are: Agrowomen, a local cereals and oilseeds processing start-up in Mali which partners with women farmer cooperatives, helping them sell their products through supermarkets, food stores, social media and an e-commerce website.
The other recipient was NovFeed of Tanzania, developer of chemical-free biotechnology to upcycle organic waste to produce affordable, sustainable, and a high-quality bacteria-based protein ingredient for the aquaculture market.
The category also saw Rural Farmers Hub in Nigeria bag the prize. They have a flagship precision management solution called “Capture” which utilizes big data to help improve crop health and soil quality assessment capacity for smallholder farmers, plantations, and industrial out-growers.
AgriLife in Tanzania, also received the US$2,500 cash prize. The company produces insect-based alternative protein utilizing a pioneering waste-to-nutrient technology.
“I was so moved to see the passion and wide range of exciting agribusinesses these young entrepreneurs have launched in recent years, generating income for themselves and their nations, and also really positive social and environmental impacts through their climate-friendly innovations,” commented Svein Tore Holsether, CEO and President of Yara International
From its launch in 2019, the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition has quickly become one of the most anticipated events for youth-led agribusinesses across the continent.
During the application window from mid-April to mid-June 2021, the third annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition drew applications from 40 African countries and 3,298 eager agripreneurs began the application journey.
The high standard of applications made it impossible to choose a Top 12, as was originally intended so the early round judges opted instead to send 14 change making agripreneurs to face the GoGettaz judges in the final pitching contest, broadcast at the AGRF summit as well as other online platforms.
“Without a doubt, young entrepreneurs will be at the forefront of the transformation that we need. GoGettaz is much more than just a pitch competition. For me, it is fast becoming a tradition that celebrates the brilliance, the resilience, the audacity, of Africa’s young agrifood entrepreneurs,” exclaimed Ada Osakwe, founder and managing partner of Agrolay Ventures, founder and managing director of Nuli Juices, and Generation Africa Ambassador.
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