Kosmos Energy has provided support for Agricbusiness Bootcamp aimed at equipping participants with better understanding of how to scale up agribusiness ventures to meet both local and global markets.
The three-day bootcamp, an initiative of Diaspora Angel Investment Network (DAIN Network) Bootcamp, afforded the participants the opportunity to learn how to partner, scale and integrate themselves into a multinational’s supply chain as well as how to acquire tools.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Vice-President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy Ghana, Mr. Joe Mensah, said the initiative aligns well with its social investment programme, Kosmos Innovation Centre which seeks to invest in the country’s future by creating one entrepreneur at a time.
The KIC, he said, is an exciting new social investment program that was arguably the most important corporate effort in the history of Kosmos Energy in Ghana.
The KIC represents the same out-of-the-box thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that helped it to be successful as a company, saying “except this time we play the role of an angel investor who is ready to support an entrepreneur who shows an exceptional desire to succeed; and that success translates into solving some of Ghana’s most pressing developmental challenges.”
The focus of the bootcamp on early-stage agribusiness entrepreneurship and vocational training designed for young energetic youth, farmers, start-ups and SMEs in the agribusiness sector had come at the right time.
“We have to take advantage of all the opportunities around us to develop the agricultural sector in Ghana. We have to seize the opportunity to tap from the enormous experience and knowledge that these experts and resource persons in agribusiness and other sectors, from the diaspora bring to us,” he said.
Currently, he said, the first challenge KIC is undertaking was the focus on the connection between ICT innovation and agriculture, with the objective of inspiring promising entrepreneurs to use technology to transform the country’s agricultural sector.
“We launched the KIC programme in March 2016. With the KIC integrative approach, we are using collaboration, incubation and acceleration all at the same time to create a systemic change as an overall impact for the country,” he said.
Mr Mensah said the move involves activities that target the entire value chain - from innovation challenges that stimulate new ideas (exploration); to funding expansion of existing commercial enterprises (production).
Since its launch March, the programme has carried out a number of activities which has brought in young entrepreneurs with ICT and agribusiness backgrounds to participate in the Agritech Challenge to pitch for seed funds.
Kosmos Energy’s collaboration as lead sponsors of the Bootcamp underlines the value it attaches to the agriculture sector as an important catalyst to boosting the country’s economy through youth development and job creation.
He urged stakeholders not to see the Bootcamp as another talk shop but as a foundation to build better agribusinesses across the value chain, saying “Let us all support this venture to build Ghana’s future, one entrepreneur at a time.”
For her part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Muniru Limuna in speech read on his behalf by Dr Hanna Bissiew, Deputy Minister in charge of Livestock, commended Kosmos Energy and DAIN Network for the initiative aimed at addressing the challenges facing the agriculture sector.
He said government would always be in support of initiatives that support the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.
The Programme Director at DAIN Network, Nii Simon, said focus was on agribusiness entrepreneurship training for youth, start-ups, SMEs and co-operatives in the agribusiness value chain.
He said it would use professionals in the African Diaspora to provide mentorship and technical assistance for the growth of the sector.