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CTA Handbook: An ICT Agripreneurship Guide


West Africa Flagship Project

This Handbook provides a step-by-step roadmap designed to equip aspiring ICT entrepreneurs, with the information and knowledge they need to start an ICT-based business in the agricultural sector, outlining key opportunities and challenges that will be encountered along the way. Using real-life examples, it provides strategies and pathways for averting common mistakes faced by early-stage entrepreneurs.

Scaling up e-agriculture entrepreneurship to accelerate socio-economic growth. [1]

Agribusiness is one of the priority themes in CTA’s Strategic Plan 2016–2020. This calls on the Centre to “strengthen the significant and growing pool of entrepreneurial and innovative people … by supporting the organisational and entrepreneurship capacities of young people.” This is the focus of this publication, which builds on CTA’s experience of working with young people in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.The populations of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are growing rapidly and people are living longer, driving increases in demand for food. In Africa, urban food markets are set to quadruple to US$400 million a year by 2030 and total food and beverage markets are projected to be worth around US$1 trillion by then. This represents huge opportunities to create wealth and employment in the agri-food sector, especially for young people. Provided that conducive frameworks are put in place to support their endeavours, today’s youth can, not only seize these opportunities by trading in agricultural products, but also by offering innovative and income-generating services to the sector. Work by CTA – such as the AgriHack Initiative – and others has demonstrated that ICT has a key role to play in supporting and enhancing the performance of economies, including in the agriculture sector. However, young innovators interested in entering this sector commonly lack key skills and knowledge. Many of them lack the basic business development knowledge needed to launch successful start-ups, in large part because they have not benefited from adequate business education. In particular, they lack knowledge on the agricultural value chain stakeholders and their needs, and on how to design successful ICT services for the agricultural sector.

This guide has been prepared to provide introductory knowledge and recommendations to young people interested in developing e-agriculture businesses. It is the first publication of its kind focusing specifically on needs of ACP countries. It provides key insights into how to generate e-agriculture service ideas, customer discovery, hypothesis testing, strategies for developing successful business models, recommendations on how to formalise the business, and strategies to scale up services and ensure their financial sustainability. It also suggests key institutional and documentary resources.Support for innovative youth agripreneurship is central to CTA’s programme. We hope that this guide will encourage young entrepreneurs to enter the agricultural arena. We look forward to collaboration with institutions willing to support such young entrepreneurs in order to consolidate youth employment and accelerate agricultural and socio-economic growth in ACP countries.

West Africa Flagship Project

West Africa Flagship Project


[1] Foreword CTA Handbook An ICT Agripreneurship Guide by Michael Hailu

CTA to showcase and support young agribusiness entrepreneurs at African Youth Forum

The AYA Forum is being organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with CTA, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN). The Forum takes place on 25 and 26 April, with a preceding partner event on 23 and 24 April.

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