As part of its efforts to encourage African young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, the African Development Bank (AfDB), is set to reward top agri-prenuers with seed funding prizes of $140,000 in its AgriPitch 2022 competition that kicked off last week.
In a statement obtained from its website, the multilateral institution said the competition is designed to instill a culture of innovation and nurturing for technology-led agribusiness innovations to create jobs and improve youth livelihoods.
Apart from the seed funding prizes, the agriprenuers would also get a slot in the competition’s business development boot camp, as well as receive mentoring and training.
According to the statement, the AgriPitch 2022 tagged, “The Role of African Youth Within African Food Systems,” is a competition established to support African agripreneurs by improving their business bankability and ensuring that they are “pitch ready” for potential investors.
AfDB added that the 2022 edition of AgriPitch would help competitors identify innovative solutions and develop ideas that contribute to strengthening Africa’s food systems, mitigate the effects of gender marginalisation, and enhance sustainable nutrition across the continent.
Held annually, the AgriPitch competition is a key activity of the bank’s Enable Youth Program that also provided technical capacity-building skills while facilitating youth access to financing.
The report, however, added that in response to the youth challenges facing the continent, the bank developed its Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy with the objective of creating 25 million jobs for young Africans and equipping 50 million youth with relevant skills by 2025.
According to the AfDB’s Director for Agriculture and Agro Industry, Mr. Martin Fregene, “the strategy aim is to increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship, strengthen human capital, and create durable labor market linkages – we’re proud to host the AgriPitch competition that contributes to the Strategy’s goals.” The Bank’s Chief Financial Economist and Enable Youth Coordinator, Mr. Edson Mpyisi, added that, “with the increased effects of climate change and the resultant impact on food systems within the continent, this competition serves to showcase timely and scalable youth-led opportunities.”