Generation Africa gives out $116,000 to winners of 2023 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize contest at Tanzania summit 

Two innovative agri-preneurs clinched top honours in the fifth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition finals held at the Africa Food Systems Forum Summit 2023. During the Youth Town Hall event attended by Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Generation Africa awarded two grand prizes of $50,000 to Hasina Andriatsitohaina, the founder and Manager of Mad’Arom in Madagascar, and Ikenna Nzewi, the co-founder and CEO of Releaf Africa in Nigeria.

Four more inspirational Impact Award Winners were announced at a separate youth celebration on the final day of the summit, receiving a $2,500 prize each. Recognising the extraordinary contributions of all the GoGettaz Finalists, Generation Africa partner USAID dedicated a further $1,000 each to the remaining finalists. The Gogettaz winners were lauded for their diligent preparation, expertly crafted on-stage presentations, and transformative businesses that embody the best ideals of the summit.

(TOP: Finalists of the 2023 Gogettaz Agripreneur Prize competition).

“This year’s summit theme is ‘Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation.’ Far from being a distant hope, these GoGettaz have demonstrated to everyone at the summit that they are Africa’s Solutions,” said Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA. “I hope the investors were paying attention, because I can clearly see how some of these businesses have the potential to impact millions of lives across the continent in the next decade.”

Amath Pathe Sene, the MD of Africa Food Systems Forum, underscored the significance of amplifying youth-led businesses at the AGRF Summit, stating: “We bring together policymakers and industry leaders, so conversations can evolve into actionable solutions. Youth-led business like these impressive Gogettaz finalists belong in the conversation, because their innovative ideas are pivotal to shaping the future food system.”

Innovative ideas are exactly what propelled the two grand prize winners to victory in the Gogettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. Among the women-led businesses, grand prize winner Hasina Andriatsitohaina from Mad’Arom came out top. Their team in Madagascar produces essential oils and aggregates spices for wholesale for local and international markets. By encouraging diversified agroforestry among their 2000 small-scale growers, Mad’Arom boosts their resilience and helps them achieve a year-round income. This agronomic approach also yields the highest quality produce.

The second grand prize went to Ikenna Nzewi of Releaf Africa. Their value-proposition is lowering food costs through efficiency, which they achieve with both software and hardware solutions, ensured victory among the male-led businesses. Their multi-pronged approach features geospatial software to find viable farms and a mobile platform to purchase oil-palm fruit from rural small-holders. To process the palm nuts, Releaf constructed the world’s most advanced palm nut de-sheller, named Kraken.

Beyond the grand prizes, Generation Africa recognised four Impact Award Winners who each received a $2,500 prize at the Youth Innovation Awards on the final day of the summit. Pelkins Ajanoh of CassVita in Cameroon impressed with a strong presentation and their proprietary process using microbes to drastically extend the shelf-life of cassava from 3 days to 18 months. Margaret Wanjiku of Pollen Patrollers in Kenya developed an IoT smart device to track beehive metrics that are analysed by AI to create actionable insights and precision pollination maps. Hailing from Sierra Leone, Martin Dainbaquee of Eco-friendly Incubator Company is reinventing the egg and poultry industry with high-capacity solar-powered incubators, their own chicken breeds, and quality feed. And Crescentia Mushobozi of Tanzania Vijana Agribusiness Enterprises is making an impact with a superior potato strain, engineered with Africa’s largest gene bank, to solve malnutrition and food insecurity.

The GoGettaz Impact Award winners were celebrated alongside the agritech-focussed Pitch AgriHack Awards and the AYute Africa Challenge. The Youth Innovation Awards highlighted the diverse solutions from youth-led business who are on a quest for a better food system.

Generation Africa founding member, Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International, emphasized the urgency of youth efforts in food systems transformation and the essential role of young entrepreneurs, stating: “In the face of mounting food security challenges, it is imperative to revolutionize our food systems. Young entrepreneurs are the torchbearers of sustainable solutions. We are proud to support their endeavours in reshaping the future of food.”

The twelve finalists in the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize travelled from all over Africa to present their businesses to the Gogettaz Judges. This year’s top contestants included the first finalists from the island nations of Madagascar and Mauritius. Along with online coaching and support to craft their presentations, finalists enjoyed in-person pitch training at the summit. Additional networking sessions and facilitated participation in the AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room gave the youth-led businesses a chance to connect with future partners, investors, and collaborators.

Generation Africa founding member, Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group and Cassava Technologies, expressed his admiration for the innovative spirit of young minds: “The energy and passion exhibited by these young agripreneurs are a testament to Africa’s potential. Their determination to build a healthier society through sustainable agribusiness resonates deeply with our shared vision.”

Echoing the sentiment, Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa called on the youth to follow the example set by the Gogettaz agripreneurs: “If you want to make a real difference, to help people and build a healthier planet, the agrifood industry is where your energy will find purpose. The truth about our future is that we need an African food system that is African-owned and African-led. And we want to reach as many young Africans as we can with this message.”

The 2023 GoGettaz campaign reached almost 7 million people, bringing half-a-million visitors to the Generation Africa website and GoGettaz community platform. The fifth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition received completed applications from 43 African countries, with 9 countries represented in the Top 12. Application data also shows an increase in female applicants this year. This is a very encouraging shift in an industry that is perceived as male dominated, while the reality of African food production is very much in the hands of women small-holder farmers.

With the conclusion of the Africa Food Systems Summit, the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition is also completed for the year. The industry-leading partners and sponsors of Generation Africa are proud of the exceptional innovation, dedication, and leadership displayed by the entrepreneurs who participated in the fifth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. Coming into focus for the rest of 2023 are mentorship programmes, like the Generation Africa Fellowship Programme, and the important work of reshaping policy for better support of youth and women.

Full List of the 2023 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Top 12:

Women Agripreneurs

Jannifer Muthike, Dudu Masters, Kenya: Dudu Masters in Kenya is on a mission to restore Africa’s degraded farmland with their soil-enhancing Kijanni VermiCompost, a sustainable and affordable fertiliser bio-converted by insects from the organic waste of hotels and schools. They are sharing their skills and expertise by training 5,000 students in regenerative ag and insect farming.

Patience Ben, Farmavi Agro, Nigeria: Farmavi Agro in Nigeria brings social impact and agriculture together with a range of products that upcycle sawdust, cassava waste, and seaweed into food and fertilizers. Their goal is to reduce waste, tackle poverty and malnutrition, create employment opportunities (especially for women), and mitigate climate change.

Hasina Andriatsitohaina, Mad’Arom, Madagascar: Madagascar is home to a vast array of sought-after therapeutic, medicinal, and aromatic plants. Mad’Arom promotes agroforestry among their 2000 small-scale producers who supply these raw materials, which are used to produce their quality essential oils and wholesale spices for the local and international markets.

Patrice Wachira, Patvention Recycling Enterprise, Kenya: Patvention in Kenya transforms plastic waste into durable, weather-resistant, and pest-resistant beehives. Their capacity-building initiatives and training workshops are introducing new farmers, especially women, to beekeeping and improving beekeeping practices.

Margaret Wanjiku, Pollen Patrollers, Kenya: Pollen Patrollers is making beekeeping in Kenya smarter with an IoT device that measures temperature, humidity, sound, foraging activity, and queen status. They use AI and machine learning to analyse the data to create actionable insights and precision pollination maps for beekeepers and growers.

Crescentia Mushobozi, Tanzania Vijana Agribusiness Enterprises, Tanzania: Tanzania Vijana Agribusiness Enterprises (a.k.a. Viable) believes their superior potato strain, engineered in collaboration with Africa’s largest gene bank, is a key piece in solving malnutrition. Their first 1000 disease-free potato seeds yielded a 5-tonne harvest in six months, and they are ready to scale.

Men Agripreneurs:

Pelkins Ajanoh, CassVita, Cameroon: CassVita believes climate resilient cassava root is the key to food security in the face of climate change in Africa. Their post-harvest processing techniques extends the shelf-life of cassava from 3 days to 18 months, helping rural farmers in Cameroon get real value from their crops.

Tafadzwa Ron Chikwereti, eAgro, Zimbabwe: eAgro takes the guesswork out of farming in Zimbabwe by bundling complex technologies into a user-friendly WhatsApp chatbot. Their CropFix A.I. chatbot uses photos from a farmer’s mobile phone to diagnose pests and diseases and provide relevant, location-based agronomic advice in seconds.

Martin Dainbaquee, Eco-friendly Incubator Company, Sierra Leone: The Eco-Friendly Rechargeable Incubator and Local Animal Feed Processing Company has a name that says it all. They are reinventing the ailing egg and poultry industry in Sierra Leone with high-capacity incubators, their own specialised chicken breeds, and a consistent supply of quality feed.

Imani Bora, Hatch Plus, Rwanda: Hatch Plus in Rwanda provides automated solar hatching stations as a service, where they use AI and computer vision to track egg fertility. Their deep learning software, Agroid, delivers poultry farming advice via SMS, giving smallholders access to affordable, healthy chicks, and real-time assistance to thrive.

Ikenna Nzewi, Releaf Africa, Nigeria: Releaf in Nigeria is taking a holistic approach to eliminate inefficiency in the food value chain. They use their geospatial software, SITE, to find farms, their SALT software to buy crops from farmers, and Kraken, the most advanced palm nut de-shelling technology, to produce vegetable oil that is sold to food factories.

Yohan Gallet, Sealife Organics, Mauritius: Sealife Organics in Mauritius hopes to repair their soil and sea from the damaging effects of rampant chemical fertilizers use, and they are turning to the ocean for answers. They produce organic fertilisers that don’t poison the environment using sustainably sourced seaweed and organic waste.

The 2023 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize judges were: Marisa Soares, the Senior VP for Innovation and Impact, Yara International; Dr. Kelley Cormier, Food Safety Division Chief, USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security; Jean Muthamia-Mwenda, Global Lead, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, SNV Netherlands; Mildred Nadah Pita, the Head of Public Affairs Science and Sustainability Africa, Bayer; Agnes Asiimwe Konde, the VP, PID, AGRA; Jubilate Lema, Senior Investment Analyst, Africa Opportunity Fund; William Nyaoke, the East Africa Regional Director, Norfund; Paul Newnham, Director, SDG 2 Advocacy Hub; Wambui Chege, Director, Agriculture, PANA,  Mastercard Foundation.


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