By Adeyemi Bamidele Ezekiel
The maiden edition of the African Youth Agripreneurs Forum and Agri-Pitch Competition, with the team: Demonstrating Success of Agribusinesses in Job and Wealth Creation in Africa, kicked off yesterday, in grand style at the headquarters of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, South-West Nigeria.
The forum, which is planned to end today, and organized in collaboration with the African Development Bank, AfDB, is organized to attract and showcase the youth in agribusiness across Africa, mentors and incubator managers for training, investors in agriculture, national governments, agribusiness development organizations, universities and other leaning institutions teaching agribusiness and development partners.
Aimed at showcasing numerous successes and business potentials of agribusiness across Africa for job and wealth creation; connect youth agriprinuers to business and development organizations and linkages with potential markets as off-takers within and outside Africa, organizers of the event also aim to promote linkages among entrepreneurs with possible letters of intent to collaborate between clusters of agripreneurs; and run an agripitch competition where the three top competitors will be invited to the AfDB annual meetings in India in May to present their proposal and receive an award, while connecting agripreneurs to business and development organizations on the continent.
Notable personalities at the forum were; Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, Director General, IITA, Mr. Ken Lohento, Manager, CTA, Dr. Alex Ariho, a representative of Tony Elumelu’s Foundation and Mr. Adim Jibunoh, Business Dev. Director, Heirs Holdings. Others are: Mr. Francis Shobo, Deputy MD, First Bank of Nigeria plc, and Dr. Chiji Ojukwu, Director AfDB Group, who delivered the welcome speech on behalf of the President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adeshina.