Youths and women key to upping Africa’s literacy rate

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, Tanzania ready to give grants of $100,000 to $1 million

A new round of funding for agribusinesses is up for grabs and Tanzanian businesses stand a chance of benefiting should they apply. The fund is known as Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) of the agribusiness and rural financing funding window.

The AECF third round agribusiness and rural financing funding window for Tanzania — launched on January 20, this year — aims at encouraging business ideas across the whole agricultural value chain and in solutions that increase rural financial services. The AECF director Hugh Scott challenged the private sector in Tanzania yesterday to rise to the opportunity offered by the fund. “I look forward to seeing broad participation of the Tanzanian business community in this competition,” said Mr Scott.

According to him, the third round will co-fund successful applicants via a combination of grants and repayable grants for a range starting $100,000 to $1 million. “To qualify, the business ideas must demonstrate a positive impact on the rural poor, deliver increased employment and income, reduce costs, and improve productivity,” he explained.

Mr Scott said in the third round competition, the AECF aims to catalyse private sector investment in agribusiness and rural finance and to cause a change in market systems in Tanzania and East Africa at large. “It seeks the best business ideas that will lead to growth in the rural economies of Tanzania,” he said.

Under the programme, the widest possible range of agribusinesses are eligible for support, including companies engaged in farming or processing, those setting up outgrower schemes, manufacturers and distributors of agricultural inputs, traders and merchants and other private sector service providers including market information services.

“I am very pleased with the opportunity that this third round in Tanzania offers for additional private sector and enterprise development,” said the director of KPMG International Development Assistance Services, Dr Alexandra Mandelbaum, who also doubles as the AECF director in Tanzania as its fund manager.

The competition is open only to for-profit making companies that include both African and International companies but their proposed business ideas must take place in Tanzania.

Source : The Citizen, click here to read more



David Okwara
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