Econet and Yara International have just launched Generation Africa, a partnership initiative that aims to inspire young African entrepreneurs to join the agri-food sector for its viable business opportunities.
I am very excited about this partnership initiative. In a recent landscape study commissioned by Econet and Yara, we gained valuable insight into the current state agripreneurship in Africa.
While we were able to identify that the agri-food sector in Africa has the potential to offer a US$1 trillion opportunity, there are certain gaps that act as barriers for entrepreneurs to fully engage with this field. Firstly, even though there are other initiatives out there trying to bring the youth into this sector, there is a limited focus on entrepreneurship. Support programmes and services rarely operate at scale, and therefore there are gaps in support of the entrepreneurs’ journey, especially when accessing growth capital.
But we are here, with Generation Africa, to change that. We want to encourage young, innovative, entrepreneurial Africans to take charge and build Africa’s century. The time is now to make clever decisions and smart investments in a place that offers some of the most fertile ground on our planet.
I am proud to be a part of Generation Africa. As a representative of Econet, I am excited to take part in an initiative that will change the narrative of entrepreneurship in Africa and provide young agripreneurs with an opportunity to connect to the right support systems that will help them grow their business ventures, and in turn, create countless new job opportunities on the continent.
We are doing this through our exciting GoGettaz competition where one male and one female agripreneur will each win US$50,000 to take their business to the next level and make a real impact in the agri-food sector.
There is so much innovation in farming today, especially with the waves of new technology entering the market every day. Farming is no longer about toiling in the sun, day in and day out. Agripreneurship is all about working smarter, not harder. Tech has changed in ways we could not have predicted or even imagined ten, twenty or even thirty years ago.
The youth have a knack for harnessing these new innovations, and in turn, innovate in the agri-food sector. They are set to change the way we think about farming, about agri-food. And they will transform entrepreneurship forever, for the better.
I can’t wait to see what innovative agri-food business ventures are out there right now. And I am even more excited to be part of a movement that gives these innovative agripreneurs the support that will translate in a real, tangible, positive impact on the way we think of the agri-food sector.
About the author:
Dalumuzi Mhlanga serves as Group Chief of Staff at Econet Global Limited, a privately-held multinational conglomerate with operations and investments in mobile and fibre broadband telecommunications, cloud services and data storage, fintech, edutech, e-commerce, tech-enabled on-demand services and solar power to individual and enterprise customers across Africa.
In his role, he works closely with the Founder and Chairman of the Econet Group, and senior executives across its operating companies, helping to shape and drive an aligned corporate strategy. Previously, he has managed a multi-million dollar impact investment portfolio of over 30 innovative education projects across 50 countries for a leading corporate foundation, has taught Masters students at the Harvard Kennedy School while studying as an undergraduate, and has founded a non-profit that has helped develop the leadership and entrepreneurship capability of thousands of young people in Bhutan, Swaziland, USA, UAE and Zimbabwe.
Dalumuzi completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and holds two Masters degrees in African Studies and an MBA, both from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.