Chosen from thousands of applications from 38 countries, the winners of the 2022 Women Agripreneur of the Year Award 2022 (WAYA) represent the cream of the talented crop of female role models triggering innovation and spurring ambition across Africa.
AGRA, the African alliance for inclusive agricultural transformation, announced the four winners at the AGRF Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. They four will receive a total of US$85,000 in grant funding. WAYA recognizes women agripreneurs from across the continent who have excelled in different segments of the agricultural value chain and shown remarkable innovation in their businesses.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, president of AGRA said, ‘Although women comprise around 40% of Africa’s rural workforce and contribute up to 70% of food production, their efforts are still significantly under-recognised when it comes to business opportunities and investment. The unique stories of our four winners will help us to inspire and enhance advocacy for female agripreneurs across Africa, to build an environment that supports women to catalyse the needed transformation of Africa’s food systems.”
The winners of the Women Agripreneurs of The Year Awards 2022 are:
Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) – Fatou Manneh: Founder, Jelmah Herbella (The Gambia)
The award recognizes high potential young females (below 35 years) demonstrating innovation and leadership in agribusiness.
Fatou Manneh is a professional trainer specialising in entrepreneurship and agricultural training. She runs an enterprise called Jelmah Herbella, created to add value to products produced in the Gambia and contribute to unleash the growth potential of rural women and farmers. She’s the first to run a tea company in the Gambia.
Jelmah Herbella processes locally grown herbs and cereals into teas, honey, herbal seasoning, and baby food, using blended recipes that give customers a unique taste and healthy diet. The business works with farmers to produce organic herbs on a large scale through a farmers’ platform that brings together groups of women farmers under one umbrella, encouraging women to engage in permaculture, grow herbs in the backyard using car tyres, sacks, broken pans, and sell to a reliable market to earn extra income.
Female Ag Tech Innovator – Uwintwari Liliane, CEO, Mahwi Tech (Rwanda)
The award recognizes female agripreneurs championing technological advancement in agribusiness.
Lilian Uwintwali is the 40 Chances Fellow jointly awarded by Howard Buffet foundation, Tony Blair’s AGI and the World Food Prize Foundation. She was honoured among the top three young innovators in agribusiness across East Africa and Ethiopia and she won 1st place for People’s Choice Award for best app awarded by Broadband Commission and the office of the president of the government of Rwanda.
MAHWI Tech is an agritech firm based in Rwanda with a mission to digitalise agriculture in Africa. It currently serves 20,000 smallholder farmers providing access to high end markets and financing via the MLIMA digital market place and consequently increasing farmers’ incomes and sales. Over 60 farming cooperatives benefits from MLIMA cooperative management system to digitise their operations and keep digital records of their finances, production, sales, stock and a database of all their member profiles and farm records.
Outstanding Value Adding Enterprise – Célia Chabi, CEO, Kiel Bien-être (Benin)
The award recognizes female-owned agribusinesses that are increasing the economic value and/or consumer appeal to agricultural products.
Célia is a trained socio-psychologist who is passionate about nutrition and healthy eating. It was imperative for her to take action in the face of problems linked to poor diet, hence the creation of Kiel Bien-être. She is an activist who works with the most disadvantaged in order to contribute to the improvement of their living conditions.
Kiel Bien-être works withrural women and one of its objectives is contributing to the protection of the environment through ecological production systems, in particular, the valorisation of baobab. The company has set up a unique production technique that allows having fresh baobab leaves throughout the year, at the same time restoring the species. The company transforms baobab leaves and fruits into several by-products such as baobab coffee, whiskey, biscuits, croquettes, oil, soap, and many other products rich in nutrients and trace elements for children from 6 months and adults. The business also contributes to improving the nutritional health status of children, pregnant women, and the elderly while empowering rural women.
Overall Grand Award – Oluyemisi Iranloye – Managing Director, Psaltry International (Nigeria)
Yemisi Iranloye is the founder and CEO of Psaltry International Ltd, Oyo State, Nigeria. She was the first African Women Entrepreneurship Programme President (Nigeria Chapter) and is currently a member of Board of Directors of IITA-Business Incubation Platform (IITA-BIP).
Psaltry International Company Limited was incorporated in 2005 to process cassava into food grade starch and high quality cassava flour used by multi-national companies in the production of breakfast cereals, seasoning, biscuits etc. Presently, it is the first in Africa and second in the world to use cassava in the production of sorbitol used in tooth paste industry. Psaltry operates an inclusive business model where over 10,000 small holder farmers produces its cassava.
ALSO READ: Agreement links food companies to smallholders
Get the FoodForAfrika.com newsletter: Your bi-weekly take on the news, inspiration and agri innovation from the united voice of Africa’s food growers.