AGRA, through its Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA), has released the names of the top 15 contenders for 2023. These extraordinary women, hailing from a pool of 1,340 applicants from 42 African nations, have shown exceptional innovation and progress within the agri-food systems of the continent.
These top 15 contenders come from an assorted group of highly skilled women from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Their impressive accomplishments have contributed noteworthy to job creation, income increment, and food security throughout Africa.
This announcement is essential in identifying the final four victors, who will collectively receive USD 85,000 in prize money at the AGRF Summit 2023, scheduled for September 5-8 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The finalists were chosen for their significant contributions in three categories: Outstanding Value-adding Enterprise, Female Ag Tech Innovator, and Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star). These women have showcased unparalleled innovation and entrepreneurial skills in their communities and have inspired other upcoming agripreneurs.
An esteemed panel of distinguished women who are passionate about women’s economic empowerment conducted the selection process. The panel included Betty Kiplagat, Binta Touré Ndoye, Caroline Emond, Marieme Esther Dassanou, and Judy Matu.
This year’s WAYA saw an increase in the number of countries represented, from 38 to 42, reflecting the rising participation of women in innovation within the African agri-food systems.
Each of the Top 15 finalists has a shot at being among the final four victors who will collectively receive USD 85,000 in prize money. AGRA has assembled a panel of independent judges comprised of prominent women passionate about women’s economic empowerment to determine the winners. The panel consists of Betty Kiplagat, Government Affairs Leader for Africa & the Middle East at Corteva, Binta Touré Ndoye, a Pan-African banker, Caroline Emond, CEO of the International Dairy Federation, Marieme Esther Dassanou, Director of Gender Programs at MasterCard Foundation, and Judy Matu, National Executive Chairlady at AWAK.
The top 15 finalists per category and in alphabetical order are:
Outstanding Value-adding Enterprise
- Bernice Dapaah, CEO, Bright Generation Community Foundation-Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (Ghana)
- Jimoh Fatima, CEO, Nafarm Foods Ltd (Nigeria)
- Juliet Kakwerre Nyakojjo Tumusiime, CEO and Co-Founder, Cheveux Organique International Limited (Uganda)
- Miriam Kanyua Chabaari, Managing Director and CEO of Tharaka Honey Bee Products Limited (Kenya)
- Sabiha Rashid, CEO Rosho – Mastermind Ventures Ltd (Tanzania)
Female Ag Tech Innovator
- Cecilia Rolence China, CEO, AfriTech Organic Leather (Tanzania)
- Fatma Abdirizak Fernandes, CEO, Quincewood Group Limited (Tanzania)
- Joyce Waithira Rugano, Founder and CEO, Ecorich Solutions (Kenya)
- Maryanne Ruguru Gichanga, Director, AgriTech Analytics (Kenya)
- Mwende Gatabaki-Ndii, Founder and Managing Director, Africa Aquaculture Resource Center (Kenya)
Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star)
- Adelaide Mwasyoghe, Founder, AIS Solutions (Tanzania)
- Judith Endelesi Karia, Founder and Managing Director, Ava Group Investment Ltd (Tanzania)
- Lucy Chioma Aniagolu, Founder, Agrodemy Enterprises (Nigeria)
- Siny Samba, CEO, Le Lionceau (Senegal)
- Tracy Vongai Mapfumo, Founder and Managing Director, Eny’s Treats (Private) Ltd (Zimbabwe)
About WAYA and AGRA: The Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA), launched in 2021 under AGRA’s VALUE4HER program, aims to recognize and empower African female agripreneurs contributing to food security, climate resilience, and empowerment of women and youth. Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led initiative that transforms agriculture into a prosperous business that centers on smallholder farmers within Africa’s expanding economy.