Together with our cooperation partner enpact we launched the project enable West Africa on March 5th, 2019 at Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
The kickoff event brought together leading figures from startups, investors, corporate companies and policymakers in the region. The event promoted the benefits of collaboration between corporates and startups, as well as within the entire tech ecosystem.
The event featured a dozen promising startups in AgriFood and WaterTech that pitched their innovations giving a taste of the trends and new business opportunities in the region. In addition, startups presented themselves in a special marketplace in front of the leading figures from the industry, while the experienced corporates discussed lessons of working with startups and why collaboration is a win-win strategy.
We are very proud about our keynote speakers like John Kumah of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, Farmer Anthony Morrison of Chamber for Agribusiness Ghana, Dr. Hamed Beheshti of the award-winning startup Boreal Light, and Kay Hoffman of WILO, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pumps and pump systems for the building technology, water, and industrial sectors. Thanks also to our main sponsor WILO SE.
Why West Africa?
It’s one of Africa’s most important markets, with increasingly attracting foreign investment. It bears great opportunities but they come with great challenges. For instance, despite an abundance of natural resources and farmlands, West Africa has experienced some of the lowest per hectare crop yields in the world (USAID). Moreover, its population is expected to double by 2050 to 800 million putting enormous pressure on agrifood production.
And agriculture is one of the main drivers of growth across the region’s largest economies: Nigeria (with a population of 200m), Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The latter two economies grew at a 7-8% rate in the past two years and are undergoing a substantial transformation. Although the challenges are enormous, a digital revolution is expected to deliver sustainable solutions. Thus, providing innovation stimulus for the Agrifood Tech sector can have a significant socio-economic impact on the whole region.
Thanks to all attendees and supporters for making it happen. The kickoff event was very successful with a strong backing from corporates and stakeholders.