On the occasion of the 15th Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Annual General Meeting (AGM) that will be held 2-6 December 2019 at the Cape Coast, Ghana (West Africa); RUFORUM will mark this event with an opportunity to the youth from West Africa to showcase their innovations, enterprises and business start-ups. Applications have been received from 421 youth (110 females and 311 males) from 12 countries in West Africa including: Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo (see Table below). The first assessment level has found 48 applications as non-compliant and as such, 373 applications are now in the second phase of assessment. Thereafter, there will be a shortlist of 60 applications to be moved to the third and final assessment level for selection of the 20 winners.

RUFORUM believes in the transformative power of entrepreneurship in addressing youth unemployment in Africa. As such, empowering and involving young people in enterprise development will support youth integration into the economic growth for youth employment.  The twenty (20) competitively selected business enterprises will receive an all-expense paid trip (air ticket, conference registration, and hotel costs) to participate and pitch at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Cape Coast Ghana.

This call for applications with a focus on West Africa is the first edition of the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition that is sub-regional in nature. The first competition which was organised in 2016 attracted a total of 756 applications from 38 countries. The fifteen (15) most competitive youth enterprises were awarded during the Fifth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference that was held in Cape Town, South Africa.  The second competition was organised in 2018, it attracted a total of 1,332 youth from 42 African countries and 23 competitive youth enterprises were awarded during the Sixth Africa Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference that was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Evaluation of the applications is currently underway by a team of experts and professionals. All applicants will be informed of the status of their applications on a rolling basis. The final selection of successful applicants will be announced by 15th November, 2019.

RUFORUM extends its appreciation to all applicants for responding to the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs 2019 Competition (West Africa).

Summary of Applications to the RUFORUM Young African Entrepreneurs Competition 2019 (West Africa) by Country

Nationality

Number
Benin 103
Burkina Faso 8
Côte d’Ivoire 7
Gambia 6
Ghana 52
Liberia 2
Mali 7
Niger 6
Nigeria 205
Senegal 6
Sierra Leone 9
Togo 10
Total 421

Download the Press release Press Release. Young Innovators 2019

 

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