Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Member profile

Mr. Alex Ariho

Organization: African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN)
Country: Ghana
I am working on:

I am the CEO of the African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) which is an apex body of incubators operating in 55 African countries. I hold a PhD in Development Management with special focus on agribusiness value chain development and business incubation and are an expert in business incubation, jobs and employment creation business modelling.
Je suis le directeur général du Réseau africain des incubateurs d’entreprises agroalimentaires (AAIN), organe principal d’incubateurs présent dans 55 pays africains. J'ai un doctorat en gestion du développement, avec une spécialisation dans le développement de la chaîne de valeur agroalimentaires et l’incubation d’entreprises et je suis un expert en incubation d’entreprises, en création d’emplois et en modélisation d’entreprises.

This member contributed to:

    • Thank you all for this very vibrant and excellent contributions to this important discussion. African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) as a private sector network has a mandate of incubating incubators for job and wealth creation. The incubators and incubator hubs target to support startups whose composition is mainly educated, uneducated ,rural and urban youth in Africa .The network is composed of incubators that supports the setup of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), Small Scale Agribusiness Incubator hubs (SSAIH) and offer  mentorship Programme in Africa. The Mentorship program is designed to support startups, individuals, SME’s, groups or cooperatives from across Africa engaged in diverse value chains, with the aim to make them competitive in their respective value chain, business, country or region. 

      Qn: What post-capacity development support do the youth need?

      As noted from other contributors. I think, in addition the following areas are critical towards capacity development of youth in agriculture and agribusiness in Africa:

      1. Hand holding support through mentorship provision by incubators to address transitional challenges faced by the youth in agriculture sector. This can be done by strengthening and creating relevant Incubators to improve their service delivery through human and institutional capacity development leading to increased support to youth at various levels. The incubators also join a Peer Network for extended knowledge sharing among youth and associated actors.
      2. Support youth and associates to map out the business ecosystems, define the operational parameters, the targeting of the value chain, the business models and sustainability plans to youth related enterprises and startups.
      3. Financing Incubation. Currently there are no funds that are designed to respond to the incubator/incubation needs. Agribusiness to support Youth requires structured financing and AAIN works with its partners to redesign how existing resources can be modelled for the benefit of agribusiness incubators and for impact, based on the establishment of an African Agribusiness Incubation Fund (AAIF).

      Qn: What can the youth do to support each other in developing their skills and capacities?

      • Formation of peer to peer youth technical advisory clubs and associations by developing youth driven solutions to meet the needs of Agribusiness Value Chain actors and those of their peer groups. The solutions can range from capacity development, technology pipelining, business development, enterprise development, input and output market development as well as business modelling.
      • Start peer to peer saving and investment clubs to kick start enterprises with high potential for growth and development .This will attract joint investment options, equity, credit, risk grantee and bankability of youth related enterprises leading to more jobs and employment opportunities.

      QN: What enabling environment is needed to ensure sustainability of youth in agriculture capacity development initiatives?

      • Following a renewed international focus on the economic development potential of the African agricultural sector, there has been a growing interest in finding approaches that can support, accelerate and sustain the development of agricultural innovation systems and promote the growth of agribusiness enterprises. Among other business development instruments, business incubators and public-private partnerships have been promoted as two important policy tools.
      • There need for increased investment in agriculture , Agribusiness and infrastructure development to attract youth in the sector .This investment must be driven by public and private sector partnership models.
      • Both government and private sector need to develop a clear reward system with clear incentives and benefits along agriculture and agribusiness value chain development that is attractive to youth in Africa