Thursday, February 9, 2023

Absa bank engages young innovators to improve agribusiness

Absa bank of Botswana has undertaken a commitment to improve the country’s Agribusiness through their second hackathon and incubation program which sought to bring together all young people from across the country to devise innovative strategies which can be adopted by farmers.

Absa bank Managing Director Keabetswe Pheko Moshagane stated that this year’s program challenged the young innovators to think critically and creatively to develop solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the Agriculture sector.

Moshagane highlighted that it was only viable to engage young innovative thinkers given that the bank has invested over P374 million in the Agriculture sector.

“I am challenging you that as you take this price and move on with your life, one day somebody like me who still has passion for corporate world, a hobby of farming. I want to be sitting here from the click of the button and be able to see whether my animals have been fed, pregnant etc,” added Moshagane.

She stated that the top 3 teams received further development attained through an incubation program that was fully supported and funded by Absa bank of Botswana.

“The finalists also attended learning lessons with industry experts who provided vital information that will assist them to better understand the business landscape in Botswana. Industry experts were drawn from various institutions like Botswana digital and innovation hub, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board, LEA and CIPA,” said Moshagane.

She further highlighted that a critical component of the incubation program was provided by Absa bank of Botswana IT staff who supported the developers with a solution.

Moshagane advised the 3 finalists to take risks in order to advance.

She stated that they will continue to invest in the youth in an effort to improve the country’s farming sector.

“We are deliberate in the funding and making sure we provide innovative solutions that back up government efforts in entrepreneurship such as our enterprise supply chain funding program,” stated Moshagane.

For his part, the inaugural program winner who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Innovateium, Botshelo Brandon encouraged the 3 finalists to utilize technology in order to come up with e-solutions strategies in order to empower small medium enterprises to grow.

Brandon stated that small medium enterprises are still faced with a series of running challenges which need young innovative thinkers in order to empower small businesses.

“There are so many opportunities within the technology space and it is only right that you explore and see what solutions you can bring to this ever changing digital world,” said Brandon.

On the other, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Lameck Nthekela advised the young innovators to ensure that they market themselves in order to attract the corporate sector.

He further said as government they are always ready to assist in fostering the growth of the economy through making the environment conducive for the private sector.

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