Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- EMRC and the the Bamanga Tukur African Center for International Trade and Development officially signed a join agreement launch the EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award 2012 which promotes and provides a platform for innovative business projects in Africa with a cash prize of US$15,000 for the winner.
Four finalists will be selected and invited to present their projects to an audience of 400 people, composed of interested partners and investors from Africa, Europe, USA, India and beyond. The US$15,000 prize will be awarded at the Gala Evening of the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 to the entry that promises the highest level of economic and social impact for their immediate African communities.
Organised under the patronage of the Republic of Senegal and the Prime Minister and hosted by Senegal’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, this year’s AgriBusiness Forum will highlight the importance of Africa’s agricultural potential under the theme “Boosting African Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology,” bringing together delegates from across the world linked to the global Agri-Food industry, taking place from 25-28 November 2012 in Dakar, Senegal.
Last year’s Project Incubator Award winner, Everlyne Cherobon head of Emeden Kenya, was determined that the award would change the course of her business. “Winning the prize was a defining moment for me and my business. It is difficult to put in words, exactly how I felt when my project emerged the winner. Winning this prize means for me a vote of confidence on what I hope to do with smallholder farmers in the dry-lands of Kenya. It means there is business sense in working with smallholder farmers in Africa. It means a lot of attention needs to be focused on them.”
The Project Incubator Award is a platform to highlight what is happening across Africa and spotlights the importance of local and regional partnership. During this year’s WEF, a key topic was “Deepening Regional Integration Will Increase Africa’s Competitiveness” with political and trade representatives emphasizing the need for faster integration to ensure Africa is able to better leverage the interest in its markets by global investors who are attracted by economies of scale[i]. This is where the Project Incubator Award is critical as it sheds light on potentially lucrative business ideas and projects and most importantly partnership opportunities across Africa.
The Award’s sponsor, Rabobank Foundation, has been involved since the project’s inception. A global Dutch bank with branches across Africa, its emphasis is to provide access to funds and incentives for those who have innovative and sounds business projects. Importance is given to projects that truly make an impact on economic development and food security at the local, national or regional levels, whereby value chain partners can be integrated.
As past winners such as Everlyne Cherobon and Uganda’s Bee Natural Maria Odido, who was awarded the Project Incubator Award in 2010, say: “This prize will incite the future competitiveness of women entrepreneurs and male entrepreneurs because the presentations set a tone and generate enthusiasm from a large number of participants to invest better in their businesses and projects.”
The 2009 AgriBusiness Forum winner, COOGES, the Coopérative Générale de Sepingo, a small cashew nut cooperative from Côte D’Ivoire decided to enter the Project Incubator Award for a simple reason: “It was in line with one of our business needs – to gain industry exposure - and we knew that even if we didn’t win, the increased awareness of our business would make it worthwhile and reduce our need to advertise ourselves through other channels. Anyone from Africa that wishes to launch or improve a project, anyone who wants to have confirmation that their business idea is viable and who wants feedback from the business community should be involved in the AgriBusiness Forum”.
Interested candidates are invited and encouraged to register for the AgriBusiness Forum and to submit their sustainable business ideas that embody the inherent entrepreneurship and innovation of the African continent.
To register for the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 please visit www.emrc.be