The Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA) has announced its 15 finalists for the 2023 edition. These finalists were chosen from a pool of 1,340 applications from 42 African countries.
They are remarkable women driving innovation and growth in the agri-food, agritech, and aquaculture sectors in Africa. The finalists come from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and they have demonstrated exceptional innovation and entrepreneurial excellence within their communities and beyond. Their work has had a significant impact, creating jobs, increasing incomes, and improving food security across the continent.
The finalists are divided into three categories:
1. Outstanding Value-adding Enterprise:
• Bernice Dapaah, CEO, Bright Generation Community Foundation-Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (Ghana)
• Jimoh Fatima, CEO, Nafarm Foods Ltd (Nigeria)
• Juliet Kakwerre Nyakojjo Tumusiime, CEO and Co-Founder, Cheveux Organique International Limited (Uganda)
• Miriam Kanyua Chabaari, Managing Director and CEO of Tharaka Honey Bee Products Limited (Kenya)
• Sabiha Rashid, CEO Rosho – Mastermind Ventures Ltd (Tanzania)
2. Female Ag Tech Innovator:
• Cecilia Rolence China, CEO, AfriTech Organic Leather (Tanzania)
• Fatma Abdirizak Fernandes, CEO, Quincewood Group Limited (Tanzania)
• Joyce Waithira Rugano, Founder and CEO, Ecorich Solutions (Kenya)
• Maryanne Ruguru Gichanga, Director, AgriTech Analytics (Kenya)
• Mwende Gatabaki-Ndii, Founder and Managing Director, Africa Aquaculture Resource Center (Kenya)
3. Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star):
• Adelaide Mwasyoghe, Founder, AIS Solutions (Tanzania)
• Judith Endelesi Karia, Founder and Managing Director, Ava Group Investment Ltd (Tanzania)
• Lucy Chioma Aniagolu, Founder, Agrodemy Enterprises (Nigeria)
• Siny Samba, CEO, Le Lionceau (Senegal)
• Tracy Vongai Mapfumo, Founder and Managing Director, Eny’s Treats (Private) Ltd (Zimbabwe)
The ultimate four winners, who will receive a total of USD 85,000 in cash prizes, will be announced during the AGRF Summit 2023, which will be held from 5-8 September 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The winners will be selected by a panel of independent judges, all prominent women with a strong passion for women’s economic empowerment.
The increase in the number of countries represented, from 38 to 42, in this year’s awards is a testament to the growing women’s participation in innovation within agri-food systems in Africa. These awards aim to recognize and celebrate the incredible contributions of women agripreneurs to the continent’s agricultural sector.