On March 20, 2018, the Feed the Future and USAID East Africa supported East Africa Seed Network hosted its second live presentation and webinar, “Unlocking Financing for Seed Company Development.” The network and webinar series facilitated by Africa Lead, Feed the Future and USAID’s primary food security capacity building program for sub-Saharan Africa, is an online collaboration and learning platform that links together the important stakeholders in East Africa, across the private and public sectors, to improve cross-border seed trade in the region.
The recent webinar focused on private sector financing of the seed sector was organized and moderated in partnership with network partner the Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa (AGRA). Dr. Richard Jones, Chief of Party for USAID’s Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnerships (SSTP) implemented by AGRA, presented and led the panel discussion on the current finance landscape for seed companies. The event was hosted at network partner East Africa Trade and Investment Hub’s offices in Nairobi, Kenya.
The live in-person and online webinar panel comprised of Ashley Olson Onyango (Mastercard Foundation), Fiona Kyomugisha Lukwago (African Enterprise Challenge Fund), Robert Opini (Harbor Point Investments Ltd) and Hedwig Siewersten (AGRA). The panelists discussed and answered questions from over thirty participants from around East Africa on financing needs for small and medium-sized enterprises seed companies, accessing non-grant finance, technical assistance support needed to address access limitations and plans to address these limitations within the organizations represented.