Generation Africa is an initiative with a vision of strengthening Africa’s ecosystem for youth agripreneurs by supporting them to successfully grow their agribusinesses from idea to scale, providing continued support to sustain growth, supporting scaling of various agri-food opportunities, and linking them to opportunities to increase their investments. Formed in 2019 by a few partners with similar vision, no one ever imagined it would have such a big immediate impact.
In the last three years, Generation Africa has invested over $520,000 in 42 African nations to support young agripreneurs to scale their agribusinesses. Every year, Generation Africa hosts two innovation challenges: the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition and the Pitch AgriHack Competition. Both Competitions provide a platform for selected top young agripreneurs with innovative business models to face off in an agribusiness pitching contest and winners receive a grand prize of $50,000 and a share of US $45,000 grand prize respectively. Now in its fifth edition of the competition, more than 20 agripreneurs have been awarded for their role towards food systems transformation.
Winners benefit from a myriad of opportunities, including but not limited to mentorship and coaching; funding and scholarships to pursue a master’s in Business Creation from the University of Utah in the United States of America, and an opportunity to join the Generation Africa Fellowship program.
About the Generation Africa Fellowship Program
Launched in 2022 in partnership with Bayer the Generation Africa Fellowship Program (GAFP) is a customised 6-month program for selected top SMEs from both GoGettaz and Pitch AgriHack Competitions, aimed at equipping them with top-notch entrepreneurship skills.
Recently, the first cohort of GAFP Fellows graduated after weeks of intense learning on Africa’s food systems and how to grow their different enterprises. Through mentorship, coaching, and incubation, the fellows received in-depth insights on topics such as accessing funding from different stakeholders, financial management, market linkages, and dynamics of value chains, as well as leadership and governance, policy and regulations. The program also included peer to peer learning and meetings with top industry players.
Meet the first Cohort of Generation Africa Fellowship Program (GAFP) Fellows
Baraka Jeremiah, Co-Founder and CEO of Kilimo Fresh Foods Africa, Tanzania
Kilimo Fresh, which means fresh agricultural produce is an e-commerce distribution platform that connects farmers directly to the market protecting them from exploitative middlemen. They have also revamped the value chain through partnerships with owners of vehicles that are fitted with cold storage facilities for proper handling and transportation of agricultural produce from the time it is harvested, to the time it reaches final consumers. This reduces post-harvest losses.
Plans are underway by the startup to venture into new markets and integrate technology into its business. Through the GAFP program, Baraka Jeremiah received coaching on how to enhance his marketing strategies and today he celebrates a margin profit rise from USD 25,000 to USD 100,000 every month.
Diana Orembe, CEO of NovFeed, Tanzania
NovFeed utilises cutting-edge chemical-free biotechnology to convert food waste into high-quality bacteria-based protein fodder in 48 hours. The conducive environment is suitable for the multiplication of bacteria that converts waste into protein feed. Bacterial remnants are extracted, inactivated, and dried into protein powder.
Diana received mentorship on how to improve her pitching and presentation abilities as a Generation Africa fellow. The startup is now an investor ready and recently she received a $10,000 grant from Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) after successfully pitching her business.
Emem Essien, Co-Founder of Crop2Cash, Nigeria
Crop2Cash is one of the leading technologies assisting financial institutions in determining a farmer’s credit score without traditional collateral security items such as title deeds or logbooks often required to secure finance. Financial institutions can authenticate information acquired by logging into Crop2Cash, finding groups of vetted farmers, and funding them.
The startup has partnered with various financial service providers to better understand their internal credit processes and risk management methods to develop easier and safer ways for them to lend to farmers using technology.
Recently, the startup adopted the Hub and Spoke model into its strategy with the support of mentorship from the Generation Africa Fellowship Program. With social media being a strong marketing tool for any business, the team is now providing relevant content through its social media channels. This has contributed to their expansion in terms of reach, engagement, and managing customer expectations.
Fily Keita, Founder of Agrowomen, Mali
Agrowomen is well-known for adding value to local grains and oilseeds by processing sesame and producing cold-pressed natural sesame oil, sesame snacks, cakes, and locally produced rice “Malodouma” (tasty rice). Agrowomen collaborates directly with women farmers and cooperatives to provide raw materials that are then processed into numerous sesame bi-products. This results in women’s empowerment, greater job opportunities, and increased food security.
Keita describes the mentoring sessions facilitated by Generation Africa Fellowship Program (GAFP) as life-changing because it helped her define her business and have a clear vision board which has led to increased visibility of the startup.
Gabriel Eze, Co-Founder of Rural Farmers Hub, Nigeria
Rural Farmers Hub assists farmers in growing more nutritious food profitably by guiding them on the best agricultural decisions and timing using a tailored crop intelligence system popularly known as CaptureTM.
CaptureTM utilizes big data to give trustworthy, detailed, and granular information on a farm in order to reduce risks and optimize output.
The Generation Africa fellowship program was an eye-opener to numerous facets of financial modeling and agribusiness. One of his team members, an accountant, also benefited from the financial management and record-keeping training.
Jeffrey Appiagyei, Co-Founder of Sayetech, Ghana
Sayetech’s flagship product, the multi-crop thresher, decreases the time it takes to thresh an acre of cereal field using manual labor from two weeks to less than two hours, relieving women of the drudgery of threshing by beating with sticks and sparing rural children valuable school-going days.
The thresher is 60 times faster than hand threshing, decreases threshing post-harvest loss to less than 2%, and increases the income of smallholder farmers (particularly women) by up to 50% per year. It further helps to maintain grain quality, in order to reduce aflatoxin contamination from grain-to-ground contact.
Sayetech intends to expand its operations to Kenya. As a beneficiary of the GAFP program, Appiagyei’s mentor assisted him to verify his registration documents for registration of his startup.
Jolenta Joseph, Managing Director and Founder of Sanavita, Tanzania
Sanavita manufactures biofortified crops (sweet potatoes, maize, and beans) with Vitamin A, Zinc, and Iron to minimise deficiency of Vitamin A among women and children in Tanzania.
The GAPF program enabled her to identify fundraising and marketing as Sanavita’s primary needs. With this knowledge, Joseph developed a communication and marketing strategy that has resulted in increased website traffic and new followers on various social media platforms.
Nana Yaw Antwi-Boasiako, Founder of Prosect Feed, Ghana
Using waste generated from local farmers and households, Prosect Feed formulates waste into protein feed. This model ensures farmers have an affordable alternative for their feed and generate additional income from waste that would have ended up in landfills and increasing carbon footprint to the environment.
All waste obtained is put into a solar-powered drying tent, where moisture is taken out, dried and milled into powder before being stored in hermetic sacks or plastic storage units. This ensures that there is no stench or moisture to attract pests or support breeding in the case of houseflies. The residue after bioconversion is high-quality frass that can be used as an organic fertiliser for vegetable and fruit farmers.
One of the startup’s biggest challenges was creating a proper financial structure. The GAFP program enabled the team to gain technical expertise and knowledge for being investor ready.
Nomaliso Musasiwa, Managing Director and Founder of Fresh in a Box, Zimbabwe
Fresh in a Box is one of Zimbabwe’s largest e-commerce platforms that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to many households.
A beneficiary of the GAFP program, Musasiwa successfully designed a business model for her business with clearer goals.
Alexandre Nshimiyimana, CEO and Founder of Sanit Wing, Rwanda
Sanit Wing Ltd adds value to avocados by manufacturing various products such as oils, cosmetics, and sanitation products at an affordable price. Waste leftovers are recycled and used as animal feeds.
In 2020, the startup processed 300 kg a day of avocado value-added products and used bicycles for deliveries. A grand prize winner of the 2019 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition and recipient of the Generation Africa Fellowship program, Nshimiyimana has scaled his business operations and today is processing up to 4 tons of avocado a day.
Ore Alemede, Co-founder and CEO of Grow Agric, Kenya
Grow Agric is an AgTech platform that connects farmers to funding, financing, insurance, training, and access to digital record-keeping tools allowing them to scale, satisfy buyer demand, and grow their business operations.
The GAPF program was instrumental in that it enabled the team to gain adequate skills to tell their impact story better especially when seeking grants and investors.
Read more about the General Africa GAFP Impact Stories at: https://genafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Generation-Africa-GAFP-Impact-Stories.pdf
Here is a recap of the Generation Africa Fellowship Program (GAFP) graduation!