Innovations by eleven Rwandan young entrepreneurs have high ability of contributing solutions to agriculture challenges across Africa – the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has selected them from a first competition it has organised.
The maiden competition dubbed African Young Entrepreneurs Competition Series 2016 organised by RUFORUM, attracted a total of 756 applicants from Africa.
RUFORUM is a Network of 66 Universities in 26 African countries – it was created by African Vice Chancellors.
The network wants to create a vibrant agricultural sector linked to African universities that can produce high quality graduates and high-quality research responsive to demands of Africa’s farmers for innovations to generate sustainable livelihoods and national economic development.
This competition invited applications from young African innovators, entrepreneurs and incubators aged less than 40 years with innovative business ideas, enterprises, and innovations.
Eleven Rwandans emerged among the top 140 young innovators and their innovations cut across several areas of intervention in agriculture sector.
Severe Weather Consult Ltd owned by Gilbert Mwangi was selected – it focuses on developing quality and sustainable weather products easily accessible. It also shows how to mitigate climate related risks and positively impact people’s lives.
Through an online platform ‘iHewa‘ accessible even on phone, provides weather information accessible to everyone, including farmers- it’s important in weather forecasting for Rwandan farmers exposed to climate change trends.
iHewa includes young ICT engineers mobilising for $ 150,000 to fund their operations.
Another Rwandan innovation selected includes Agro sustainable Industry (Agrosi) – it processes soya beans to produce calcium- fortified and flavored Soy milk and soy meat (Tofu). According to a statement by Ruforum , Agrosi products are becoming famous among vegetarian communities.
Investing in technology to produce high performing plants, Biotech Researchers and Consultants produce tissue plant and, writes Ruforum, “is the first of its kind among private companies in Rwanda.”
The company targets a number of progressive farmers, nurseries and government Agriculture Departments as major consumers of Tissue culture plants particularly for flowers, Macadamia, banana and medicinal plants that are being promoted for export.
The company is looking for capital investment of $ 1.2 Million.
Also selected is Eco Sound Solution Ltd that makes fish bread and fish flour -these nutritious products are required by expectant mothers and babies.
Cooperative Icyerekezo Kinigi established in Musanze District engaged in production of Irish potatoes is the only Rwandan cooperative on this list.
Meanwhile, no Rwandan young investor reached the final stage where 15 young investors were selected. Finalists were awarded space to present their projects at an important summit including over 800 researchers, investors and high profile decision makers on African continent to attract business partners.