The Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA) is thrilled to announce its 15 finalists for the 2023 edition. Chosen from a pool of 1,340 applications spanning 42 African countries, these candidates represent an outstanding cohort of women who are driving innovation and growth in African agri-food systems.
The winners of the 2023 WAYA will be announced during the AGRF Summit 2023, from 5-8 September 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The finalists represent an outstanding cohort of women who are driving innovation and growth in the agri-food, agritech, and aquaculture sectors in Africa. These agripreneurs, from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, demonstrated unmatched innovation and entrepreneurial excellence within their communities and beyond. Their outstanding work has created jobs, increased incomes, and improved food security for many across the continent.
This year’s awards have seen an increase in the number of countries represented from 38 to 42 countries this year. This growth is a testament to the increased women’s participation in innovation within agri-food systems in Africa.
The Top 15 finalists each stand a chance to be among the ultimate four winners who will receive a total of USD 85,000 in cash prizes. To determine the ultimate winners, AGRA has brought together a panel of independent judges comprised of prominent women with a strong passion for women’s economic empowerment. The panel includes Betty Kiplagat the Government Affairs Leader for Africa & the Middle East at Corteva, Binta Touré Ndoye a Pan-African banker, Caroline Emond the CEO of Ithe nternational Dairy Federation, Marieme Esther Dassanou the Director of Gender Programs at MasterCard Foundation, and Judy Matu the National Executive Chairlady at AWAK.
The top 15 finalists per category and in alphabetical order are as follows:
Outstanding Value-adding Enterprise
1. Bernice Dapaah, CEO, Bright Generation Community Foundation-Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (Ghana)
2. Jimoh Fatima, CEO, Nafarm Foods Ltd (Nigeria)
3. Juliet Kakwerre Nyakojjo Tumusiime, CEO and Co-Founder, Cheveux Organique International Limited (Uganda)
4. Miriam Kanyua Chabaari, Managing Director and CEO of Tharaka Honey Bee Products Limited (Kenya)
5. Sabiha Rashid, CEO Rosho – Mastermind Ventures Ltd (Tanzania)
Female Ag Tech Innovator
1. Cecilia Rolence China, CEO, AfriTech Organic Leather (Tanzania)
2. Fatma Abdirizak Fernandes, CEO, Quincewood Group Limited (Tanzania)
3. Joyce Waithira Rugano, Founder and CEO, Ecorich Solutions (Kenya)
4. Maryanne Ruguru Gichanga, Director, AgriTech Analytics (Kenya)
5. Mwende Gatabaki-Ndii, Founder and Managing Director, Africa Aquaculture Resource Center (Kenya)
Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star)
1. Adelaide Mwasyoghe, Founder, AIS Solutions (Tanzania)
2. Judith Endelesi Karia, Founder and Managing Director, Ava Group Investment Ltd (Tanzania)
3. Lucy Chioma Aniagolu, Founder, Agrodemy Enterprises (Nigeria)
4. Siny Samba, CEO, Le Lionceau (Senegal)
5. Tracy Vongai Mapfumo, Founder and Managing Director, Eny’s Treats (Private) Ltd (Zimbabwe)
About Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA)
The VALUE4HER Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA) is a prestigious recognition initiative led by AGRA and launched in 2021 as part of AGRA’s flagship VALUE4HER program, which aims to empower women agripreneurs across Africa. WAYA honors exceptional African female agripreneurs who have achieved excellence within the agricultural value chains and showcased remarkable innovation in contributing to food security, climate resilience, and the empowerment of women and youth. These awards play a crucial role in increasing visibility for successful women, serving as positive role models, stimulating innovation, and fostering ambition among women agripreneurs. Through the WAYA initiative, AGRA strives to inspire and empower a new generation of women agripreneurs, driving sustainable and impactful change in the agricultural sector across Africa.