UN to Tap into Africa’s Potential for Sustainable Development

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed a strong desire to tap into the skill, energy, and dynamism of young Africans, particularly Nigerian entrepreneurs, in order to achieve sustainable development and combat hunger. She stated that the challenges of food insecurity in Nigeria can be overcome via innovation.

“When you come to Nigeria, you sense the energy, creativity, and potential,” WFP Country Representative Paul Howe remarked at the Zero Hunger Sprint Pitch. “To be successful in ending hunger, we need to tap into the dynamism of the nation”.

Hunger, violence, high food prices, and Covid-19 are all major issues in Nigeria, but the country’s potential is even greater. The United Nations is trying to use this occasion to address this issue.

Promasidor, TGI Group, Guiness Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, and Tolaram Group were the five corporations participating. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, Chair of the Zero Hunger Roundtable and CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, said WFP provided an enabling environment for the pitch and that it was a fantastic platform for the 10 finalists to gain recognition.

She noted that food insecurity has been on the rise for about a decade, owing to insecurity in the North East and communal strife. Due to food insecurity, WFP Nigeria collaborated with the government and the private sector in 2020 to convene the Zero Hunger Roundtable, which brought together key stakeholders to address Nigeria’s severe hunger challenges by exploring new ways to eliminate the causes of hunger and contribute to Nigeria’s effort to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

Nigeria can truly rise to the challenge of food hunger by embracing innovation. The private sector and entrepreneurs can pave the way for Nigeria to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030, increasing food production by connecting smallholder farmers to markets and speeding up the transformation and consumption of nutritious foods.

Ramesh Moochikal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), TGI Group’s Agri Division, stated that the private sector’s capacity makes a difference in how they interact with the community. They mentioned that some of the selection criteria included innovation, replicability, transformational, scalability, and value-added concepts.

 Zowasel (an online marketplace and crop testing service that connects smallholder farmers with premium buyers) received N 42 million, Colorful Giigles (a natural baby food company that works to combat hidden hunger by making baby food affordable and readily available) received N 21 million, and Agrorite, a company that helps smallholder farmers access to credit, data-driven advisory services, and premium markets, received N21 million; Koolboks, a company that makes environmentally friendly and easily accessible refrigeration solutions that are powered by solar energy and have Pay-As-You-Go technology, received N21 million.

Pricepally, a digital food cooperative that allows families and small businesses to share bulk food goods or buy food in bulk directly from farmers or wholesalers, making it cheaper and fresher than retail, has launched. N10 million was won. Crop2cash, a firm that provides farmers with solid, verifiable credit scores and risk profiles in order to unlock much-needed financing to increase their production and income, had N5 million.

Releaf, Footlocker, Chowberry, and Ecotutu were among the other firms that pitched.

Photo Credit: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/phase-1-un-headquarters-staff-member%E2%80%99s-walkthrough