February 2023


Deals worth Sh3.1Bn expected to be struck at the 6th Edition of Africa Agri Expo on 8th and 9th February 2023

Over 100 investors and potential business leads in the agriculture value chains from 35+ countries, are keen on setting up businesses and distribution set-ups in Kenya.

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 8th 2023 – Agriculture deals worth multi-million dollars will be struck in the next few days as investors throng the Kenyan capital for the 6th edition of Africa Agri Expo (AAE).

TAB Group Chief Executive Officer Tahir Bari said over 100 investors and potential business leads in the agriculture value chains from 35+ countries, are keen on setting up businesses in Kenya and East Africa.

“We have seen a lot of interest from investors in the Agricultural Value chains, some are coming to seek opportunities, others are coming to sign deals after successful discussions with Kenyan companies, a full figure of what will be signed isn’t very clear, but I am sure it will be more than $25 million (Sh3.1 billion),” Bari said during a press conference the opening ceremony in Nairobi.

The agricultural 2-day event – AAE 2023 from 8th February to 9th February at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), is designed to provide solutions to Farmers, Agribusiness professionals, Agronomists, and Government representatives to improve their yields and revenue.

The event themed ‘A Gateway to Agribusiness in Africa‘ will highlight the advancements in technologies for the agriculture value chain, food security, nutrition, crop protection, water management, and ways to mitigate post-harvest losses in Africa through the sustainable use of machines and technology as well as boosting productivity and profitability of farmers.

“The investors come from different parts of the world that include the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the USA with a keen interest in tackling major issues in the supply food chain by introducing new technologies to help the sector grow and become more attractive to the young people,” he added.

The agriculture sector contributes 51 percent of Kenya’s GDP (26 percent directly and 25 percent indirectly) and accounts for 60 percent of employment and 65 percent of exports according to the World Bank.

The sector is dominated by smallholder production on farms of between 0.2 and 3 hectares, which account for 78 percent of total agricultural production and 70 percent of commercial production.

Agricultural GDP is driven by horticulture and cash crops, but productivity is low, particularly for cereals. Given that most of the poor are in the agriculture sector, productivity also matters for poverty reduction.

“We are urging the youth to show up in big numbers and see new ways of farming, with new technologies that will be showcased at the event, We need to change the narrative that agriculture is for the old and the poor, there are many people earning a decent living in agriculture,” said Principal Secretary, Kello Harsama, State Department for Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development.

On her part, Agriculture Sector Network General Manager, Agatha Thuo noted there is low adoption of technology within the agricultural sector which is affecting productivity at the same time suppressing potential.

“Over 90 percent of the youth are exposed to agricultural technology but only 39 percent of them are using any form of agri-tech. Lack of access to innovation is also a major hindrance to the adoption of agriculture by the youth, we are excited that this expo is happening here in Kenya, opening up opportunities for the youth to take up the challenge,” she noted.

The World Bank projects that agriculture and agribusiness in Africa will grow to be a US$1 trillion industry in Africa by 2030. To promote this outcome, the continent must review its incentive structures.

The region holds about half of the world’s fertile and as-yet-unused land – and yet it spends US$25 billion annually importing food. It also uses only a tiny percentage of its renewable water resources.

 About the Africa Agri Expo 2023

“Africa Agri Expo” or “AAE” is a leading agriculture event in Africa – organized by TAB group, focused on gathering agriculture industry verticals like Agri-Technology, Food Security, Irrigation Solutions, Seeds, Agro Chemicals, Mechanization, Greenhouse, Post-Harvest, Storage and Distribution Solutions, Logistics and Transportation, Poultry, Dairy and Livestock, etc. for developing strategic dialogue and promoting agribusiness – targeting major African countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia and more.

With less than a month remaining, the show has garnered participation from some of the popular brands of the industry like CENSA (a WayCool Enterprise), ESRI, Godrej Agrovet,  OCP Africa, Saudi Drip, Biostadt, Lushbury Fertilizers, CEVA Logistics, etc. and along with stakeholder organizations in Kenya like Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET), KenInvest, Agrochemicals Associations of Kenya (AAK), IRRI,  International Institute of Tropical Agriculture – CGIAR, FAO, IFAD, etc. who will impart their experience and expertise to make Africa self-sufficient and achieve its SDG 2030 Goals.

 About 45 percent of children in Kenya are living with one or no parents thus lacking support, guidance, and assistance.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Former Principal Executive Director at Britam PLC  Stephen Wandera has launched a mentorship programme aimed at equipping teenagers with the necessary skills to be prepared for the future.

Speaking during the launch of the programme , Wandera says the move was necessitated by the need in the market as the majority of teens in Kenya lack adult support and direction leaving them lost and unprepared for the future.

“Nearly half of the Kenyan teens will be ill-prepared for the future dampening the growth of the country that has 12.1 million teens. All children need caring adults in their lives, and although positive, sustained relationships with parents represent a critical resource for children, other adults can provide support that is similar to the support that a parent provides. This support from other adults can either be in addition to that provided by a parent or in place of support that a parent refuses or is unable to give,” said  Wandera.

The programme dubbed Maven Mentorship targets to mentor over a hundred secondary school students every year and is available to teenagers in national and county schools through the medium of school arrangements.

The transformational programme will see mentors engage with mentees one-on-one on a weekly basis for a year.

“Our model is based on volunteers. So far we have over 150 mentors registered and are going through the vetting process,” he explained.

Each mentor will be trained to carry out the mentoring as provided in the curriculum whilst using tools that are developed and continuously renewed for the programme. This includes research-based practices and evidence-based monthly reviews. Training for Mentors is conducted for one week with regular intakes of new mentors.

“We are driven by a dedication expressed through voluntarism but actively supported by partnerships. Our vision of helping the transformation of African youth and their future vis a vis the sheer size of the need means that Outreach is at the very heart of our work. The effectiveness of our outreach programme is intertwined with resources that can be mobilized by our partners and us. We welcome both interest and partnership agreement,” Wandera added.

Speaking during the same event, Apollo Group Chief Executive Ashok Shah says this is a worrying trend, as the teens are the future workforce of the nation.

“There is a need for the country to invest in mentorship for our kids. Our teens need  support  from other adults that can either be in addition to that provided by a parent or in place of support that a parent refuses or is unable to give. For example, other adults can provide financial assistance, enhance children’s learning skills, and help build their self-esteem and self-control. They can also provide emotional support, advice, and guidance about subjects that adolescents might feel uncomfortable, apprehensive, or fearful discussing with their parents,” Shah explained.

A 2019 report published by Transform Nations under the Man Enough programme shows that 45 percent of children in Kenya are living with one or no parents thus lacking support, guidance, and assistance.

In Kenya, teen pregnancy rates remain high, with close to 20 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 either pregnant or already a teen mother. Between January and May 2020, the total number of adolescent pregnancy cases recorded was 151,433, a 40 percent increase over the previous national average.

“Mentoring is a great tool used to shape and guide the youth on their journey to become responsible and productive members of the community. When powered by Voluntarism and targeted at the underprivileged the community can only develop,” added Njeri Njomo Jubilee Health Insurance Chief Executive.

The latest research from Walden University indicates that mentored youth are likely to have fewer absences from school, better attitudes towards school, fewer incidents of hitting others, less drug and alcohol use, more positive attitudes toward their elders and toward helping in general, and improved relationships with their parents.

“Mentoring programs can be seen as formal mechanisms for establishing a positive relationship with at least one caring adult. The foundation of mentoring is the idea that if caring, concerned adults are available to young people, youth will be more likely to become successful adults themselves,” the research states.

According to the African Development Bank report, by 2050 Africa will be home to 38 of the 40 youngest countries in the world, with median populations under 25 years of age. This will result in an estimated 10-12 million new people joining the labor force each year.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us and the rate at which technology is advancing, it is critical that we have a sufficiently educated and skilled workforce to be able to drive Africa in this direction.

“There is currently a mismatch between industry demands and the education curriculum. Education institutions need to update their curricula to align with the direction in which the world and Africa are going. If we ignore this, our young people will have irrelevant qualifications that the continent will be unable to benefit from,”said SNDBX Chief Executive Officer Joram Mwinamo.