Building a Resilient Innovative Africa in a COVID-19 world

Potential sectorswith thehighest scalingopportunities The highest number of respondents to our study are entrepreneurs from the agriculture sector. This is not surprising given that it is the continent’s largest industryemployer. The sector offers enormous potential for value chain enhancement through high quality food production, innovative farming technologies, higher quality crop output and improved access to markets for millions of Africans working in agriculture, predominantlywithin the informal sector.

Infrastructure Construction (1%) Tourism & Transport (2%)

Retail (2%) Transportation (2%)

Infrastructure (1%)

Natural Resources (2%)

Real Estate / Construction (2%)

Fintech & Finance / Banking (2%) Manufacturing (3%)

Agriculture & Agrobusiness (23%)

E-commerce (5%)

Goods & Services (6%)

Other (16%)

Healthcare (6%)

Education (11%)

Technology / Telecommunications (15%)

Fig. Breakdown of respondents’ current sector

While the continent offers numerous opportunities for young start-ups to scale beyond borders, the African agriculture sector is where some of the most inspiring innovations can be seen. According to Business Insider , venture capitals’ interest inAfrican agritech start-ups has spiked since as far back as 2016 with over US$20million raised in investment from 80+ start-ups focusing on supply chains and optimizing output for farmers 3 . COVID-19 is further giving rise to a spike in innovative agritech solutions on the continent with Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana dominating the market at present. Through Djembe Consultant’s own network of innovators and start-ups, we are witnessing an explosion of agritech solutions and artificial intelligence to help farmers better manage potential risks and disasters such as droughts, pests and diseases with the aim of improving sustainability, efficiency and profitability. For example, Hello Tractor’s award- winning software helps equipment owners manage their entire operations, from monitoring their assets, scheduling jobs and managing their crews, to route optimization and fuel management. Meanwhile, Sanku is supporting communities vulnerable to malnutrition by equipping and incentivising small-scale, local millers to fortify their flour via technology-led methods, as well as adding micronutrients that are scientifically proven to improve health and vitality in foods commonly consumed by Africans. Besides playing a role in transforming the future of African agriculture, these types of agritech innovations are particularly important in helping governments ensure food security during the COVID-19 crisis. African public and private sector investors should therefore consider targeted programs to help scale African agritech entrepreneurs.

3 Business Insider Africa – InnovativeAfrican agritech start-upsworth investing in


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