A Rwanda female entrepreneur in the agriculture sector, Lilian Uwintwali and Edmond Murindahabi have been selected for the regional incubation programme.
The programme dubbed Youth for Agribusiness that saw other four young entrepreneurs in the East African region nominated is aimed at empowering small land Medium enterprises and Starts – ups in Agriculture sector.
“Our main goal is to offer our young innovators an opportunity to scale up agribusiness activities through training initiatives with a view of stimulating enterprises that are investible, sustainable and competitive,” said James Shikwati, a director at Inter Region Economic Network (IREN).
Uwintwali who owns M-AHWIII Ltd Rwanda together with Murindahabi Edmond of PEBEC Ltd Rwanda wil benefit from seed capital mentorship that will enable them increase their competitiveness in the region.
“The key objective of the Agribusiness Innovation and Trade Fair is to create an ecosystem of trade, financing and capability support for the 30 start-ups and SMEs,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Others who were also selected for the incubation include; Noah Ssempija of YICE Uganda, Mercy Kitomari of Nelwa’s Gelato Tanzani Abrhame Endrias of Green Agro Mechanization Ethiopia, Anzazi Kiti of Taste Afrique Ltd Kenya.
Experts believe that there is need to support young entrepreneurs mainly in the agriculture sector which is still struggling with innovation and investments compared to other sector yet it employ large percentage of the population.
“There is need to empower the African youth through mentorship and also capital to enable them to be self-employed,” said Nelly Ngunguru, a sector analyst at the East Africa Trade Investment Hub.
The SMEs and Startups selected deal in in processing, finance, software and apps development, agro-mechanization, and packaging and export services in the agriculture which remains the largest sector in the region.