Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led and African-based organisation that seeks to catalyse agriculture transformation in Africa, has launched a call for applications for the 2023 Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA). The award recognises African female agripreneurs demonstrating remarkable innovation and business excellence in agricultural value chains. The winning agripreneurs, to be unveiled during the 2023 AGRF Summit, would receive a total of US$85,000 in grant funding. To be eligible for WAYA, according to AGRA, businesses must be operating in an agriculture or agribusiness value chain, be a legal entity registered in a country that is a member-state of the African Union, and at least 51 per cent owned and managed by one or more women, who are citizens of one of the 55 African countries while entries are to be submitted online until May 31, 2023.
AGRA’s Vice President for Strategic Partnerships & Chief of Party, Vanessa Adams, while speaking at the launch, which was done virtually said, “Women’s participation and recognition in the agriculture sector has been historically overlooked. That is why we believe it’s essential to shine a spotlight on women, who are making a significant contribution to the agricultural industry through their innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship. By recognising the undeniable contribution of women to African food systems, we hope to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in the agricultural sector”. She added that applications are being received in three categories: young female agripreneur for those under the age of 35 years and have demonstrated innovation and leadership in business.
Others are outstanding value adding enterprise for female-owned agribusinesses that are increasing the economic value and/or consumer appeal to agricultural products; and female ag-tech innovator for those championing technological advancement in agribusiness; and an overall grand prize winner would be determined as the candidate that demonstrates the best potential for scale. The Managing Director of Psaltry International from Nigeria, Oluyemisi Iranloye, had scooped the overall grand prize for her cassava processing initiative; the Founder of Jelmah Herbella, from The Gambia, Fatou Manneh, won in the young female agripreneur category; the Chief Executive Officer of Mahwi Tech from Rwanda, Uwintwari Liliane, won the female ag-tech innovator; while and the Chief Executive Officer of KIEL BIEN-ÊTRE from Benin Republic, Célia Chabi, won in the outstanding value adding enterprise category.