Press Release: AGRA announces 2022 WAYA awards winners
Women agripreneurs from the Gambia, Rwanda, Benin and Nigeria receive US85,000 in grants at the annual Women Agripreneur of the Year Awards 2022
Kigali: September 7, 2022 – AGRA, the African alliance for inclusive agricultural transformation, today announced the winners of the 2022 Women Agripreneur of the Year Award 2022 (WAYA) at the AGRF summit held in Kigali, Rwanda.
A total of US85,000 in grant funding was awarded to the four winners announced during a live ceremony, in the categories: Young Female Agripreneur, Female Ag Tech Innovator, Outstanding Value Adding Enterprise, and Overall Grand Prize.
An important part of AGRA’s VALUE4Her program, 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. Launched in 2018, the awards aim to promote female success stories and role models, trigger innovation and spur ambition among women agripreneurs.
This year, the competition has grown, welcoming applications from a total of 1,478 women from 38 countries across Africa. A shortlist of 15 finalists from seven countries was drawn up following several rounds of rigorous evaluation which appraised the candidates’ vision, innovations, business impact on the community and their growth potential.
The awards were judged by an esteemed panel comprising: Irene Ochem, Irene, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF); Marieme Esther Dassanou, Manager of the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa programme (AFAWA); Betty Kiplagat, the Lead of Government and Industry Affairs, Africa and Middle East at Corteva; Everlyn Musyoka, Smallholder Strategy Lead for Africa at Bayer Crop Science, Robynne Anderson, President and CEO of Emerging ag inc; and, Binta Toure Ndoye, Independent Non-Executive Board Director within the Attijariwafa Group in Senegal.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, president of AGRA said, ‘I would like to congratulate our 2022 WAYA winners. Each is a remarkable role model to the thousands of women across Africa working to make their mark on African agriculture, and embodies the ambitions of VALUE4Her. 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. See more information about why Fatou Manneh won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_YFA_Fatou-Manneh.pdf
Female Ag Tech Innovator – Uwintwari Liliane – CEO, Mahwi Tech (Rwanda)
The award recognizes female agripreneurs championing technological advancement in agribusiness. See more information about why Uwintwari Liliane won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_FAT_Uwintwali-Lilian.pdf
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. See more information about why Célia Chabi won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_OVE_Clia-Chabi.pdf
Overall Grand Award – Oluyemisi Iranloye – Managing Director, Psaltry International (Nigeria)
See more information about why Oluyemisi Iranloye won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_FAT_Oluyemisi-Iranloye.pdf
The VALUE4HER Women Agripreneur of the Year Awards (WAYA) recognises women agripreneurs who have excelled in different segments of the agricultural value chain and shown remarkable innovation in their businesses. Launched in 2018, this award aims to create visibility for successful women, trigger innovation and spur ambition among women agripreneurs and promote successful women entrepreneurs as positive role models. The Award goes to women who have achieved significant recognition and business success in the field of agriculture and agribusiness with great impact on food security in their communities or countries.
VALUE4HER is AGRA’s continental initiative aimed at strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises and enhancing voice and advocacy across Africa. The initiative aims to increase the performance of women entrepreneurs through access to markets and trade, access to finance and investments , through tailored online and offline match making activities, learning, networking, and global advocacy aimed at addressing some of the key barriers for women’s business growth and market participation in agriculture.
AGRA is a farmer-centered, Africa-led and partnerships-driven institution that is transforming Africa’s smallholer farming from a solitary struggle to survive to businesses that thrive. The goal is to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million smallholder farm households in 11 African countries by 2021.
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