By Our Reporter
The two winners of the 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize were announced this evening at the Africa Green Revolution Forum Virtual Summit in Rwanda: Moses Katala co-founder and CEO of Magofarm Limited (Tanzania) and Daniella Kwayu co-founder and CEO of Phema Agri (Tanzania). Each winner will receive US$50,000 to support and expand their agribusiness operations. Part of the Generation Africa youth initiative, the aim of this prize is to identify and inspire young people across Africa to seize the opportunities across the value chain of the $1Tn agrifood industry on the continent in the decades ahead.
Four entrepreneurs were also named to receive a $2,500 Impact Award: Elizabeth Gikebe, founder and CEO of Mhogo Foods (Kenya), Millicent Agidipo, co-founder and production manager of Achiever Foods (Ghana), Dysmus Kisulu, co-founder and CEO of Solar Freeze (Kenya) and Paul Matovu, founder and CEO of Vertical Farm and Micro-Gardening (Uganda). These entrepreneurs were selected by the judges for the notable environmental or social impact of their businesses, each striving to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and benefit their communities. All 12 top finalists will receive mentorship, program linkages and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journeys.
The second annual 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize competition began in April and closed in June of this year. Over 3,000 applicants between the ages of 18 and 35, from 29 African countries, registered to compete. Although their diverse ventures spanned the entire agrifood value chain from primary production to innovative digital technologies, all six young men and six young women entrepreneurs from nine African countries who made it to the Top-12 shared at least one thing in common: they saw problems and made bold plans to solve them by launching new companies in the agrifood sector across Africa.
Top-12 finalist ventures and entrepreneurs this year hail from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
At the finale pitch competition earlier this week, each finalist presented a live online three-minute pitch to eight judges who then had two minutes to ask questions. Here’s a link to view the pitch competition which was broadcast globally at the AGRF Summit and on social media on 8 September 2020.
This year the eight judges evaluated both the business founder and the venture based on five criteria: Innovation; Business Model; Social & Environmental Impact; Market Potential and Traction; Management Team.
To make it through to the Top-12, each finalist first had to submit a comprehensive online application by the June deadline. The Top-24 selected to be semi-finalists then had to produce their own pitch videos and participate in 30-minute online interviews with a panel of judges.
“Throughout all the COVID challenges of 2020, the GoGettaz agripreneurs remained focused and driven, caring not only for their businesses and employees but their countries and fellow citizens as well. In the face of the global crisis, they adapted their business models to new demands and challenges,” said Dickson Naftali, Head of the Generation Africa initiative based in Nairobi. “Our Top 12 young finalists this year are already driving forces for growth and transformation in their own communities. Their agribusinesses are each so different, but they are all steering Africa to become a continental superpower in agriculture”.