24 January 2022 marks the 4thInternational Day of Education”.  As societies around the world face the ongoing challenges of climate change, hunger and gender inequality, education is one of the key drivers of future sustainable communities.  Education, in its widest perspective, needs to be re-shaped so that it can “fully realizing the transformational potential of education as a route for sustainable collective futures” (Reimagining our futures together, UNESCO 2021). The Agripreneurship Alliance, with its partners across Africa, is demonstrating one way that creative approaches to education can enable university students in Africa to build upon their academic learning.  

The Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course, developed in partnership with the African Management Institute and supported by SIANI, supports participants to develop and launch small agri-food businesses across a wide range of value chains.  These businesses can make a real difference to their communities, creating wealth and employment and providing safe and nutritious foods while creating opportunities for women and youth.  In December 2021 the Agripreneurship Alliance, with its university partners, shared its work and impact at the RUFORUM Triennial Conference in Benin.  During a morning side-event, speakers from universities across Africa and young, dynamic entrepreneurs discussed the potential of African agri-food entrepreneurship and the impact of the Agripreneurship Alliance ‘Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness’ course. 

The Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course is a blended, participative course taught by university staff in several African countries.  The 10-module course takes the budding agripreneur through all the steps to build a solid business plan.  Since 2018, this training has been implemented in Universities in DRC, Kenya, Namibia, Somaliland and Uganda.  It is recognized that the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course has had a significant impact on the lives and aspirations of students who have participated in the course.  What is as important is the way that the course is strengthening partnerships and engagements between universities, building the capacity of staff, introducing new and different ways of teaching, and making fundamental differences to the outlook of universities.  As an example, because of this partnership one university has now opened its first incubation hub and is now drawing up the curriculum for its first post-graduate course in agribusiness management.  A different institution has now adopted a ‘whole university’ approach to embedding entrepreneurship into its culture and approach.  Another embeds the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course into its post-graduate courses which, since the course recruits’ students from across Africa through the MasterCard Scholarship scheme, increases the geographical impact of the course.  Since the launch of the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course in 2018, we have: 

  • Trained 50 facilitators from African universities
  • Had 400 participants completed the course
  • Supported 42% Women
  • Received 120 Business Plans prepared by the Teams
  • Supported 57 agri-food businesses operating across a wide range of value chains as result of the course

 If you want more details about the Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness course and would like to find out more about becoming an institutional partner, please reach out to steven@theagripreneur.org for more details.

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