In additional endeavours to contribute to poverty reduction and social advancement in African nations, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is again set to help youthful African agripreneurs by giving concessional financing to their ventures and push for capacity building exercises through competition.

According to the media release, twenty-five young African agripreneurs have progressed to the last round of the African Development Bank’s AgriPitch competition, stepping closer to a share of US$120,000 in seed funding prizes, training, and other benefits.

AgriPitch coordinators got more than 2,500 applications and assessed 605 proposals from 30 countries under the subject of “Driving Sustainable Nutrition and Gender Inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-Food Systems: Youth Agripreneurs Seize the Decade.”

The last round offers young entrepreneurs in Africa’s agricultural sector the opportunity to pitch their agribusiness proposals online to a board of experts and investors who will choose the winners.

The finalists are from 12 African nations, and all aged under 35. They were chosen under the competition’s “Startup,” “Mature Business,” and “Women Empowered Business” categories

Those selected in the “Startup” category are Agripoa (Tanzania), Bringo Fresh (Uganda), Digifarms Africa (Cameroon), Farm Kiosk (Uganda), Farmspeak Technology (Nigeria), One Kiosk (Nigeria), Premium Hortus (Benin), Releaf (Nigeria), Solar Freeze (Kenya), and Tropic Coffee Company (Rwanda).

The “Mature Business” finalists are Agwenda Investments (Malawi), Bee Happy Enterprises (Kenya), Carl Group (Rwanda), Dasfarm (Ghana), Footlocker (Nigeria), Herdy (Kenya), Lentera (Kenya), Lono (Ivory Coast), Stawi Foods (Kenya), and Tilaa (Ghana), while the “Women-Empowered Business” finalists are AquaFarms Africa (Guinea), Baby Grubz (Nigeria), Farmz2U (Nigeria), INVXT Agro Investimentos (Mozambique), and Mhogo Foods (Kenya).

Finalists are currently enrolled in the AYAF/AgriPitch online training platform, a fourteen-day business development boot camp, before pitching at the champs’ ceremony on November 16 and 17.

 “It is encouraging to see that almost 62 per cent of all AgriPitch 2020 applicants self-described as being women-led businesses or having women make up at least 50 per cent of their management,” said Wambui Gichuri, the AfDB’s acting vice president for agriculture, human and social development.

“Word is spreading that AgriPitch is the competition where all qualified agripreneurs can get the training and support to grow their businesses.”

The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC). Since its establishing, AfDB has financed 2,885 operations for a sum of $47.5 billion. The African Development Bank Group has two other entities: the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).