Pitch competition awards cash prizes to youth technology innovators in Africa’s agriculture and food sectors
Nairobi: AGRF, Heifer International and Generation Africa today announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2022, marking the second year the organizations have come together to provide cash grants that accelerate entrepreneurial growth and job creation in Africa’s agriculture sector. Pitch AgriHack identifies innovative youth-led businesses with technological solutions to food security challenges, awarding the most impactful businesses with cash grants, media visibility and investor exposure.
“Pitch AgriHack is about promoting digital jobs and smart technologies that appeal to the youth. This competition calls on the innovative minds of Africa to empower themselves and their communities by harnessing and developing ground-breaking technologies in the agrifood sector,” said Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa. “We see a bright future on the horizon for the youth of Africa. Generation Africa, with the help of its partners like Heifer International, is working tirelessly to smooth out the obstacles that have traditionally prevented young people from embracing opportunities in the agriculture and food value chain.”
During Pitch AgriHack 2022, US$45,000 in prizes will be awarded to six winners in three open competition categories. Businesses can compete as Early-stage, Mature or Growth-stage, and Woman-led ventures. Farm equipment manufacturers, agricultural drone services for precision farming, data and analytics providers, mobile apps, online crowdfunding and finance platforms, e-commerce and logistics services, and more, have all featured strongly in previous Pitch AgriHack competitions.
“At Heifer International, we believe agriculture can be a major driver of economic growth and employment across Africa,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International. “African youth hold the key to unlocking this potential. Their innovation will transform the food and farming sector, providing new jobs and increasing food security. We were impressed with the young agritech entrepreneurs who pitched their businesses as part of last year’s competition, and we are excited to see the new innovations 2022 will bring.”
“There is a hope – a very real hope – that the youth of Africa will throw out the legacy problems created in the food system over the last 100 years and come up with tech-enabled, nature-positive solutions that fast-track Africa’s food production capacity to create jobs and make the continent self-sufficient,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Former Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit “High-profile competitions that reach millions of young people, like Pitch AgriHack, is playing a big role in agriculture.”
The Pitch AgriHack 2022 finals will see the Top 12 applicants face off in a business pitching contest at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit (AGRF) in September. Finalists will participate in the AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room, where over 800 companies, 15 government delegations and 150 public and private investors will convene to generate exciting new opportunities.
A fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, will award up to US$1.5 million in grants to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers. Winners from the 2022 AYuTe Africa Challenge will also be featured at the AGRF Summit.
Applications for Pitch AgriHack are open from 20 June 2022 to 29 July 2022 at https://genafrica.org/pitchagrihack. African founders or co-founders, aged 18-40, of technology-based and digital services businesses in the agriculture sector are eligible to enter the 2022 competition. The Top 12 applicants will be selected by an expert jury, followed by an award ceremony where three category winners and three runners-up will receive cash grants to grow their businesses.
ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities across Africa for 48 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For information, visit https://www.heifer.org.
ABOUT GENERATION AFRICA
Generation Africa is a thematic platform of the AGRF, whose mandate is to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across Africa. From its start in 2019, Generation Africa has brought together industry leaders, government institutions, NGOs, NPOs, and community platforms to collaborate on ecosystem development, curation and support of agribusinesses, research and advocacy, and the inspiration of young people to embrace opportunities in the agrifood sector. Find out more at https://genafrica.org
ABOUT THE AGRF
The AGRF is the world's premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF's current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the centre of the continent's overall development and progress. The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. For more information visit https://agrf.org
Contact: Jane Machigere