A UMaT graduate, Mr Kwame Ababio, has emerged as one of 15 winners for the 2016 Young African Entrepreneurs Competition. He was the only Ghanaian among 15 other Africans. The Competition which was organised by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) attracted a total of 756 applicants from 38 African countries. Out of this number, 50 of them were Ghanaians and only 4 were shortlisted for the final selection and the only Ghanaian selected was a graduate of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa.
According to the organisers, the stages and processes that were followed were very rigorous and included the following:
1. All 756 applications were screened for compliance to the set guidelines and application rules.
2. A total of 663 applications were compliant. Each of these applications was evaluated by three independent reviewers.
3. A shortlist of 139 (20.9%) applicants was selected for Round two each of these applications was once again evaluated by three independent evaluators.
4. A shortlist of 20 (13.6%) applicants was evaluated by a panel of six reviewers to select the final list.
5. Owing to the competitiveness of the enterprises and innovations in Round 3, the panel made a decision to select 15 Young African Entrepreneurs instead of 10 that were originally planned for.
The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is a network of 60 African Universities with a mission to ‘strengthen the capacities of Universities to foster innovations responsive to demands of small-holder farmers through the training of high quality researchers, the output of impact oriented research and the maintenance of collaborative working relations among researchers, farmers and national agricultural research institutions’. RUFORUM was established in 2004, with a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Mr Ababio’s project was titled Green Afro-Palms (GAP). This is a young agro-organisation rising up in Ghana with the objective of creating sustainable agri-business driven by entrepreneurship, innovation and a desire for social change; selecting and presenting oil palm as a crop for vegetating Africa’s environment, generating jobs and incomes for sustainable livelihoods.
Mr Ababio graduated with a BSc Geomatic Engineering degree in 2012 but nonetheless sees agriculture as a solution to ending poverty in Africa and has passion for its development. He has optimism in the young African’s contribution to Africa’s development so together with his organisation he is geared up to implement his farming programme for sustainable development against all odds and distractions for Africa to contribute in feeding the world, reducing poverty and providing employment
Mr Kwame Ababio
for upcoming generations. He is an advocate for the youth’s involvement in modern agriculture with his vision described in one of his publications entitled “Why I must do Agric-An African Youth”. Some of his awards include the following:
• He has been honoured as “Young Entrepreneur of the year”in ADLER Entrepreneurship awards, Germany by the African Youth Foundation in 2015.
• He made a list of 40 Ghanaians under 30 years old making impact by Future of Ghana Organisation for 2016.
• He was selected as a fellow of President Barrack Obama’s YALI RLC Nigeria Pioneering Cohort for 2016.
• He is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, and belongs to the Kumasi Hub.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar (University Relations)