Generation Africa: Grow Entrepreneurs. Transform Food.
- Client: Yara International
- Location: Africa
The challenge : Driving tech-led and inclusive growth in agri-food systems in Africa
Africa is rising. Across the continent, from the most rural villages to the bustling megacities, entrepreneurs launch start-ups, cultivate growing businesses, and scale breakthrough ventures. They recognise untapped opportunities for strengthening livelihoods at the base of the pyramid and for skyrocketing productivity and innovation through private sector-led investment, diversification and competition at scale. It is these businesses that can deliver nutritious food to Africa’s booming urban populations.
Africa’s next generation brings a confident entrepreneurial mindset which, when matched with education, support and investment, accelerates technology-enabled, inclusive growth, job creation and food security. Much of this potential lies at the intersection of the agri-food sector and the current technology revolution. Never has there been a more powerful moment in history – nor a more digitally-capable generation – to leapfrog Africa’s agri-food sector.
Entrepreneurs thrive when multiple sectors and actors consciously work together to develop a supportive environment for business innovation and growth. Many pioneering initiatives already successfully support young entrepreneurs directly but tend to act in isolation and are not achieving meaningful scale. There is a strategic opportunity to increase their impact exponentially by linking these efforts together into a wider movement.
Africa’s next generation brings a confident entrepreneurial mindset which, when matched with education, support and investment, accelerates technology-enabled, inclusive growth, job creation and food security.
Our work : Building a movement that strengthens the ecosystem for agripreneurship
In September 2018, Yara, a global crop nutrition company, commissioned Wasafiri to identify opportunities to support young African entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector. Initially assigned to undertake a Landscape Study that highlighted priorities for action, the work quickly transitioned into a year-long effort to build and lead an ambitious partnership that is actively strengthening the ecosystem for agripreneurship. From initial research, to partnership development, strategy design, team leadership and project management, Wasafiri has played a central role at every stage of the journey.
The outcome : Generation Africa – a transformative partnership
By the African Green Revolution Forum in September 2019, Generation Africa had established itself as the leading partnership supporting youth agripreneurship on the continent. Leveraging the leadership of Yara International and Econet Group, the partnership is expanding to include other influential public and private sector organisations. Achievements to date include:
- A landscape study, launched at Davos, highlighted key opportunities to inspire and propel Africa’s agri-food stars of tomorrow.
- The GoGettaz campaign and prize reached over 50 million individuals with a positive message on youth agripreneurship, and lauded 11 inspiring finalists, providing both a practical and reputational boost to their high-potential start-ups. A cash prize for two winners was awarded alongside the Africa Food Prize.
- The GoGettaz community of current and aspirant agripreneurs has grown to over 25,000 social media followers and 2000 users of an online platform for accessing education, support and capital.
- An Ambassadors Group of influential leaders has formed to advocate for the needs of young agripreneurs at the highest levels. This includes the principals from Yara, Econet, IFAD, SACAU, and AGRA.
- A Members Group of leading institutions supporting agripreneurship is now sharing learning and coordinating action to strengthen ecosystems across the continent.