ASBF Webinar Series: Agritech Opportunities in Africa
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Home to more than 60% of the world’s arable land, Africa will be an important source of mankind’s future food and nutritional needs. Across all 54 African countries, agriculture is an important engine of economic growth and is a source of livelihood to more than 55% of the population in mostly small holder farming structures.
While Africa has seen many technological advancements in recent years, more can be done to improve yields through better inputs and sustainable farming practices, minimise supply chain losses, and increase transparency across value chains to provide better livelihoods for farmers. There is also scope to deploy digital solutions to remotely monitor crop and livestock health, predict real-time weather patterns to deliver precision farming solutions and more. This presents opportunities for Singapore companies to leverage their expertise to capture a slice of the growing agritech industry in the continent.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are unique innovations emerging from Africa that can be useful for Singapore’s 30-by-30 food production target, such as using black soldier flies to minimise food wastage and developing insect-based protein alternatives.
Join us for this webinar to hear from industry experts on the key agritech trends and opportunities in Africa.
- Gather deep insights into Africa’s agritech landscape and how Singapore companies can leverage the gaps in the market
- Hear from Africa-based agritech companies and practitioners on how to navigate the local market nuances and overcome challenges
- Understand the degree of technology adaption required and local business models that work in an African context
Mr John Scicchitano (President, Pangea Ventures)
John Scicchitano is the President of Pangea Ventures Inc., a consulting company that promotes African private sector growth and builds bridges between investors and opportunities. He has served as an Advisor to Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Center an as an adjunct professor at the State University of New York. Previously, he was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Director at The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority where he built innovative public-private-philanthropic partnerships (PPPP) to invest in solar, efficiency, workforce, and other opportunities generated by New York’s Green New Deal.
John has also served in an appointment at the United States Department of Agriculture, managing global hunger activities in the Office of Food for Peace. He has worked at USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and with the non-profit organisations World Vision, World Relief, and the International Rescue Committee. Over 15 years of his career were spent in Africa in Burkina Faso, Chad, Senegal, Burundi, Rwanda, and Kenya. Prior to his international assignments, John worked as an Environmental Engineer with the global consulting firm Environ. John has an Executive Masters in Leadership from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University. He has been recognised by the United Nations as an expert in strategy and partnership, publishes articles in peer-reviewed journals, and speaks to diverse audiences such as the BBC, Green Investing Summit, and the British Parliament Committee on International Development.
Ms Michelle Adelman (Founder, Accite)
Michelle Adelman is a seasoned strategist, recognised business leader and fierce for mission-driven investor. She is the founder of Accite, a boutique firm focused on building sustainable food and agriculture technology business in Sub-Saharan Africa and growth markets that spur economic diversification and employment of youth and women, enabling the continent to be more food-secure.
Accite’s investment philosophy brings together proven technologies with world-class operational teams and localised business models to create pioneering businesses. Accite’s flagship, Go Fresh!, a controlled environment, hydroponic horticulture operator, is the premier organic and sustainable vegetable brand in Botswana. Go Fresh! has received numerous awards, including Botswana’s National Horticulture Grand Champions in 2017.
Accite’s latest ventures include: Infinite Foods, a go-to-market platform for plant-based food brands like Beyond Meat and Oatly to reach Africa and emerging markets faster, with lower risk.
Infinite provides a turn-key capability to enable its brand partners to increase revenue and impact by reaching the African consumer and tourism market. Crossover Quality Meats is innovating more environmentally sustainable protein to meet a growing global population’s demand through nutritious blended meat products that use simple processing and all-natural ingredients.
Ms. Adelman has 30 years of business experience as a former Global Managing Director for Accenture, CEO of a US-based home health services company, and Group Strategy Executive for the pan-African Econet Group. In 2017, Ms. Adelman was named by CEO Global as Africa’s Most Influential Woman – Business & Professional Services and in 2019, Ms. Adelman was named to the Forbes Africa “20 New Wealth Creators” list.
Ms. Adelman is a speaker and consultant on agricultural transformation in emerging markets and serves on the advisory board to Cornell University’s Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences and FoodNext Africa. Ms. Adelman serves on the Boards of Directors Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation, and the Impact Fund. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Agricultural & Environmental Engineering.
Mr Ikenna Nzewi (CEO, Releaf)
Ikenna Nzewi is Releaf's CEO. He started his first company at 16 and studied Computer Science at Yale. Before Releaf, he worked in Bain San Francisco's Private Equity Group. He speaks Spanish, enjoys red wine, and is an audiophile.
Started in 2015, Releaf is a tech-enabled producer of crude vegetable oil in Nigeria. It buys palm kernel nuts locally and crushes them into palm kernel oil. Palm kernel oil is the primary ingredient used in vegetable oil. Releaf works directly with traders and local farmers to secure the goods. Now operating profitably, Releaf focuses on increasing the supply chain of direct farmers and experimenting with alternative approaches to create greater efficiency.
Mr Peter Njonjo (Co-Founder and CEO, Twiga Foods)
Prior to taking up his current role, Peter spent 21 years with The Coca-Cola Company with his last role being President of the West and Central Africa Business Unit, made up of 33 countries, based in Lagos, Nigeria. He also led the acquisition of Chi Beverages Nigeria in a $550M transaction.
Previously, Njonjo also led the Coca-Cola business in East Africa, overseeing six countries including Kenya. In this role, he stewarded investments of more than $1 billion over five years and led the restructuring of Coca-Cola’s route to market across East Africa. He also led bottling mergers and acquisition activities across the region, including serving on the global team that created Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
Njonjo was President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya, a director of the American Business Council in Nigeria and has been voted among the top 100 young leaders in Africa by Forbes Afrique and “Top 40 under 40” by The Business Daily in Kenya. He currently serves on the Global Board of Junior Achievement and is the Vice-Chair of the COVID Advisory Board to the ICT Ministry in Kenya.
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