The African Development Bank (AfDB), together with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, is organizing the 2nd edition of African Youth Agripreneur Forum (AYAF) and Agri-Pitch Competition to serve as a platform for bringing together agripreneurs from across Africa and scaling up the scope and impact of their activities.
The Forum is expected to attract over 400 participants from across the continent including youth agripreneurs, agribusiness companies, investors, academia and development partners, among others. The AgriPitch Competition will include a three-day (April 9-11) boot camp where the young agripreneurs selected through a competitive process will receive training on business models, market needs assessment, intellectual property rights (IPR), innovation development process, business financing, proposal writing and business pitching. They will also be mentored by investors and leaders of established companies. The AYAF (April 12-13) will then provide a platform for the youth to discuss thematic issues with experts, business leaders, investors and policy makers.
The specific objectives of the forum include:
Demonstrate/showcase success and business potential of agribusiness across Africa for job and wealth creation; and
Connect agripreneurs to business and development organizations.
Modalities of the Forum
A. AgriPitch Entrepreneurship Competition (April 9-11)
The AgriPitch aims to instill a culture of innovation and nurture technology-led agribusiness innovations to create jobs and improve livelihoods among the youth. The expected outcome of the competition is to select winning ideas that can lead to new products, programs, projects and processes and to engage the young entrepreneurs eager to tackle the challenges they face every day through ”technology-based solutions” that improve agricultural productivity and consumption.
Categories and Areas of Focus
Proposals for the competition will be submitted under two categories:
1. Early Start-up:
a. Individuals at very early stages of developing ideas/concepts for agripreneurship.
b. Must not have had any products introduced to the market
c. May or may not have a registered corporate entity.
2. Matured Start-up:
a. Individuals and firms that already have existing technologies/products/services in the market.
b. Applicants must be owners of the start-ups.
c. Should have a clearly defined prototype or proof of concept.
d. Must include information about the start-up: size, ownership, partners and funding history.
This call for proposals/Business plan is open to individual or teams who wish to submit innovative ideas in any of the following areas of agribusiness:
Technology innovation supporting different stages of the agricultural value chain;
Agricultural production and harvesting practices and tools;
Agricultural value-chain financing;
Agribusiness incubation and mentorship services;
Agricultural processing, packaging and marketing;
Agro-inputs and pest and disease management;
Enhancement to the agribusiness enabling environment;
The AgriPitch Competition will receive applications from Agripreneurs between 18-35 years old, resident in Africa. Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to Abidjan for the training, pitch competition and selection of final winners.
B. AYA Forum (April 12-13)
Speakers from public and private sectors will address different topics under the theme: “Technologies and Innovations for Youth in Agribusiness”.
Each region in Africa will have speakers to share experiences and connect the Forum with the socioeconomic realities in each region and prepare the way forward to increase success stories and impact of agribusiness on job and wealth creation.
Sessions will include keynote addresses, panel discussions and working groups to engage all participants.
There will be opportunities for the youth to demonstrate how they identify and developed solutions to typical challenges that they face in their business, e.g. accessing finance, land, technologies, skills, markets, supportive policy environment, etc.
There will be exhibitions by Agripreneurs and others to showcase their products, innovative solutions, research findings, financial products, etc. The exhibitions will promote pre-arranged Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings between the entrepreneurs and investors.
The AYAF is open to all young Africans interested in agriculture and agri-business. Please visit the event web page: https://www.afdb.org/en/african-youth-agripreneurs-forum/