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Invitation to the African Youth Agripreneur Forum (AYAF) - 3rd Conference and AgriPitch Competition

Climate Smart Agriculture: Business and Employment Opportunities for Africa’s Youth
Holiday Inn Cape Town Hotel, South Africa

The African Development Bank), in partnership with the Western Cape Government, is organizing the 3rd annual African Youth Agripreneur Forum (AYAF) Conference and AgriPitch Competition under the theme: Climate Smart Agriculture: Business and Employment Opportunities for Africa’s Youth. The AYAF serves as a platform for bringing together youth agripreneurs from across Africa and scaling up the scope and impact of their activities.

The AYAF is an annual event of the African Development Bank’s Enable Youth Program and is expected to attract over 200 participants from across the continent, including youth agripreneurs, agribusiness companies, investors, environmentalists, academia, development partners and government agencies.

It includes a three-day boot camp (24th–26th June) during which some agripreneurs, selected through a competitive process, will receive training on business models, marketing, the innovation development process, business financing, etc. by coaches and mentors. The agripreneurs finally pitch their business proposals to a panel of judges and impact investors. The event also includes a two-day conference (27th–28th June) which provides a platform for the youth agripreneurs and key stakeholders to discuss issues that affect youth employment with experts, business leaders, investors and policy makers. The event will also include a number of Master Classes to equip the agripreneurs with concrete agribusiness skills.

The specific objectives of the forum are to:

  • Demonstrate and showcase the success and business potential of agribusiness across Africa for job and wealth creation, in particular for youth; 
  • Connect agripreneurs to investors, mentors, business partners, development organizations and other agripreneurs in Africa.
  • Provide the youth agripreneurs with critical business skills and expose them to new and innovative ideas and technologies for business creation. 

Modalities of the AYAF  

A - The AgriPitch Competition (24th – 26th June) 

The objective of the AgriPitch Competition is 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, businesses, projects and processes and to engage the young entrepreneurs eager to tackle the challenges they face as well as global challenges through “climate smart solutions” that transform agriculture and protect the climate and environment. The business proposals submitted for the AgriPitch Competition will undergo a rigorous screening process based on specific criteria.

Categories and Areas of Focus

Proposals for the competition will be submitted under three categories:

  1. Early Start-ups (0-2 years) – eligible for the AgriPitch competition grant prize for Early Start-ups.
    • Individuals who are at the very early stage of developing ideas/concepts for agripreneurship or a newly established business.
    • Must have a clearly defined prototype or proof of concept.
    • May or may not have had any products introduced to the market.
    • May or may not have a registered corporate entity.
  2. Matured Start-ups (above 3 years) - eligible for the AgriPitch competition grant prize for Matured Start-ups.
    • Individuals and firms with existing market traction: technology, product, service, etc., already on the market.
    • Must have a clear investment ask and growth plan/strategy.
    • Must be a registered corporate entity.
  3. AgriPitch All-stars - past AgriPitch Competition finalists. These will be pitching before investors and not for grant funds.
    • Must be a previous top-10 finalist of either the 2017 or 2018 AgriPitch competitions.
    • Must have a clear investment ask and growth plan/strategy.
    • Must be a registered corporate entity.

The AgriPitch Competition is open to agripreneurs between the ages of 18-35 years old, resident in Africa. Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to Cape Town for the training and pitch competition. The proposals should address innovative ideas that demonstrate the use of climate smart practices in any of the following areas of agribusiness that help to create jobs and address food and nutrition security.

  • Technology innovations supporting different stages of the agricultural value chain;
  • Agricultural production (e.g. conservation agriculture, agro-inputs, pest & disease control);
  • Agricultural harvesting, processing, packaging and marketing;
  • Agricultural value chain financing;
  • Agribusiness incubation and mentorship services;
  • Enhancement to the agribusiness environment.

B - AYA Forum (27th – 28th June) 

  • Speakers from public and private sectors will address various topics under the theme: Climate Smart Agriculture: Business and Employment Opportunities for Africa’s Youth.
  • Each region of Africa will be represented by speakers to share regional experiences, socioeconomic realities, success stories and the impact of agribusiness on job and wealth creation.
  • Sessions will include ignite talks, panel discussions and working groups to engage all participants.
  • There will be opportunities for the youth to demonstrate how they identify and develop solutions to typical challenges that they face in their business, e.g. accessing finance, land, technologies, skills, markets, supportive policy environment, etc.

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/ 


Edson MPYISI, Chief Financial Economist and Enable Youth Coordinator, T. +225 20 26 42 91 / Email: E.MPYISI@AFDB.ORG

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