March 10, 2021
On 26 February 2021, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Nikkei, the largest economic daily newspaper in Japan, hosted an online pitch event focusing on new technology businesses in Africa. In the event, 10 African entrepreneurs, who were selected from more than 2,700 "startups" (new business enterprises) through pre-competitions held in 19 African countries, presented their business plans in front of thousands of web audiences mainly from Japanese companies and investors. One of these top 10 companies is Agrinfo, a Tanzanian startup with a mission of providing farmers with decision support systems allowing them to sustainably optimize their operations. As a result of this final competition, Agrinfo was awarded the 3rd excellent startup company in Africa.
JICA would sincerely like to congratulate Agrinfo for this amazing achievement, which was able to compete with a number of other excellent startups in Africa. As a prize of the competition, Agrinfo is going to be presented with a special visit to Japan, where Agrinfo will be able to have opportunities of interacting and matching up with Japanese companies and investors. Agrinfo's CEO and Founder, Ms. Rose Peter Funja, gave her pleasure voice as follows;
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, it is just by grace of God that we came up third amongst very well pitched startups, we feel indebted to continue putting in the work after so much trust and confidence. We continue to have Japanese companies reaching out to us, for a possibility of working together because of the exposure and for that we are humbled."
Since 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, JICA has been examining more than 2,700 startups from 19 African countries (incl. Tanzania) to encourage digital innovation in the continent. In Tanzania, the 3 companies (Tanzania Maji Jibu Company Limited, Toolboksi Technologies Limited, and Agrinfo) selected from 90 applicants were able to win the opportunity by having top innovative ideas. Moreover, competing with other winners from the rest 18 African countries, Agrinfo was chosen as the 3rd most innovative startup in the African continent.
In Africa, JICA intends to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop entrepreneurship, identify issues and struggles experienced by entrepreneurs, make policy recommendations for business environment improvement, promote collaboration among enterprises across industries, match up with Japanese companies and promote investment, contribute to "Industrialization", and thereby strengthen ties between African countries and Japan.
An incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan's ODA (Official Development Assistance). Itis one of the world's largest bilateral aid agency supporting socioeconomic development in developing countries in different regions of the world.
In Tanzania, JICA has been a long partner of Tanzania for more than 50 years in many sectors since 1962.
The woman in the lower line's second picture from right is Ms. Rose Peter Funja, CEO & Founder of a Tanzanian startup company called Agrinfo, and the Representative from Tanzania in the above JICA-NIKKEI online pitch event.