YARA International partnering with Econet Group have recently introduced ‘Generation Africa’ competition programme to inspire young African entrepreneurs to join the agri-food sector for its viable business opportunities.
Yara’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Svein Holsether, said Generation Africa will reach thousands of young people through its “GoGettaz” entrepreneurship competition, which will award 100,000 US dollars in cash prize to two outstanding business projects in the agri-food sector.
He said the partnership initiative will support a cohort of 12 budding young agri- food entrepreneurs to scale and prosper their projects. The two winners (female and male) will each win 50,000 US dollars to grow their businesses with guidance from Generation Africa.
“Across Africa’s agrifood 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.
The programme will help young entrepreneurs launch, grow and mature agri-food businesses that will drive job creation, inclusive growth, and better food supply,” he said.
According to him, beyond the “GoGettaz” competition, Generation Africa’s ambition is to inspire at least one million young people to consider the agri-food sector as a viable and profitable business opportunity.
This can only be achieved through close collaboration with stakeholders across the continent to develop the entire ecosystem to support young entrepreneurs.
The Founder and Chairman of Econet Group, Mr Strive Masiyiwa said Africa has about 600 million hectares of arable land, yet it imports food for 35 billion US dollars a year – a figure that is estimated to rise to 100 billion US dollars by 2025.
At the same time, over 60 per cent of young people across Africa are unemployed. Innovative entrepreneurship could retain more value on the continent, helping to counterbalance rural-urban migration, professionalise farming, generate employment and provide affordable, healthy food to Africa’s growing population.