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Gambia’s Fatou Manneh Wins WAYA 2022

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Fatou Manneh

WAYA 2022 Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) and Founder of Jelmah Herbella

(Photo: Fatou Manneh)

Fatou Manneh, a young Gambian entrepreneur, has won the Women Agripreneur of the Year Award (WAYA) 2022 Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) category.

The young Gambian was pronounced winner of the‘Young Female Agripreneur’ (Rising Star) category by African alliance for inclusive agricultural transformation (AGRA) at the AGRF summit in Kigali, Rwanda recently.

“Jelmah Fateema and her company on the frontline news in the African continent. Go Girl. This is an incredible achievement for you and Jelmah,” her enterprise rejoiced at theachievement.

The award recognises Fatou as one of the high potential young African females under 35-years demonstrating innovation and leadership in agribusiness in the continent

It aims to create visibility for successful women and promote them as positive role models, trigger innovation, as well as spur ambition among Agripreneur women in Africa.

Manneh, winner of the Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) award specialises in entrepreneurship and climate change mitigation training.

She currently runs an enterprise called Jelmah Herbella processing locally grown herbs and cereals into teas, honey, herbal seasoning and baby food with a blended recipe that gives customers a unique taste and healthy diet.

The young lady works with farmers to produce organic herbs on a large scale through a farmer’s platform that brings together groups of women farmers under one umbrella.

“So, I encourage women to engage in permaculture, grow herbs in the backyard using car tires, turn sacks, broken pans, and sell (Herbs & Cereal Crops) to a reliable market to earn extra income. I participate in ensuring a sustainable health community through organic farming. My enterprise contributes to unleashing the growth potentials of rural women and farmers as it contributes to the SDG 13 on climate action through climate friendly farming,” the young lady told this reporter.

Fatou holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies and completed her Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Università Degli Studi Di Milano Bicocca, Italy.

The WAYA 2022 winner is an UNCTAD Certified trainer at the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) in The Gambia, as well as Climate Change Mitigation Trainer, where she focuses on training women, youth, farmers, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial behavioural programmers using the UNCTAD Empretec Model to impact the lives of her participants for sustainable business growth.

The Gambian entrepreneur participated in a pitching contest for start-up and scale up for SDGs in Geneva during the Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2018 and Women in Africa WIA54, 2020 Laureates for Gambia.

The Women Agripreneurs of The Year Awards (WAYA) 2022 issued the Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star), Female Ag Tech Innovator, and Outstanding Value-Adding Enterprise categories.

According to WAYA 2022, 1478 women Agripreneurs from 38 African countries applied for the year’s awards; but a panel of judges selected the top 15 applicants from 9 African countries, including The Gambia.

“Although women comprise around 40% of Africa’s rural workforce and contribute up to 70% of food production, their efforts are still significantly under-recognised when it comes to business opportunities and investment. The unique stories of our four winners will help us to inspire and enhance advocacy for female agripreneurs across Africa, to build an environment that supports women to catalyse the needed transformation of Africa’s food systems,” Dr. Agnes Kalibata, president of AGRA is quoted as saying by FoodForAfrika.

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