A Nigerian, Mr Kenneth Obiajulu-Okonkwo, and five other Africans have been selected among 10 startups by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The other five are from the UAE. Obiajulu-Okonkwo, who is the co-Founder and Managing Director of FarmCrowdy Nigeria, prior to their selection, participated in the first-ever Chamberthon, which took place in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this year. During the Chamberthon, 20 UAE and African startups worked together to develop the structure and criteria of the Global Business Forum (GBF) Mentorship Programme. FarmCrowdy is focussed on providing major processors and international buyers the opportunity to buy commodities directly from farm clusters through technology.
Obiajulu-Okonkwo said at the forum in Dubai that his company had optimised the market access to African farmers and also improve their income by at least 40 per cent. “FarmCrowdy Africa brings the farmers closer to the processors and off-takers by eliminating the layers of intermediaries in the value chain. Our business model focus on identifying major processors and international buyers for certain commodities through their platform and identifying the production clusters and building relationships with local farmers in those areas. It also involves getting major processors to place orders via the platform and aggregating the commodities from smallholder farmers. The forum pays attention to the unique specifications of the buyers and delivery of the commodities to the major processors or the international buyer’s agent,’’ he said. Obiajulu-Okonkwo said that he was excited with the opportunity given to him by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to speak at his stand. “It also afforded me the opportunity to showcase my business concepts and solutions at the forum,’’ Obiajulu-Okonkwo said.
The President of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Hamad Buamim, said the selection of startups was an important step forward in establishing bridges of communication and cross-border cooperation between UAE and African startups. Buamim pointed out that many of the selected startups specialised in advanced technologies, smart solutions, artificial intelligence and fintech. He added that collaboration in these key areas would pave the way for mutual benefits and growth for both business communities. “Startups are playing an active role in fostering innovation as they leverage and test out cutting-edge technologies that improve the way we live and work. The GBF Mentorship Programme provides an ideal platform for high-potential startups to develop their business concepts, benefit from collaboration, access new growth opportunities through the Global Business Forum on Africa platform and build valuable partnerships. Such efforts complement Dubai Chamber’s programmes and initiatives offered to entrepreneurs through Dubai Startup Hub,’’ Buamim said.