Kosmos Energy Ghana’s flagship social investment project, Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), has won the international Concordia P3 Impact Award.
The impact award celebrates the best public-private partnerships around the world and KIC, which is led by Kosmos Energy Ghana, partners with DAI Global and Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology to organise the social investment project to develop Ghana’s real sectors, beginning with agriculture.
The award is a partnership among three renowned organisations; Concordia, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering, elevating and sustaining cross-sector partnerships for social impact; the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and the U.S. State Department.
The KIC project began work by choosing the largest sector in Ghana’s economy, agriculture, and turned attention to its development.
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The project, therefore, won the award for its focus on investing in young entrepreneurs and small businesses with big ideas to transform key sectors of the country’s economy and to pursue and nurture the development of market-based solutions that address various development challenges.
280 Young people
In a statement, Kosmos said KIC was nominated for training over 280 young people, launching nine new AgriTech startups and driving more than $1 million external co-investment in Ghana since 2016.
The Vice-President of Kosmos Energy and Ghana Country Manager, Mr Joe Mensah, said KIC represented its steadfast commitment to investing in Ghana’s future.
“The KIC is distinctive, in that it is turning our homegrown, commercial solutions into development challenges. The Ghanaian start-ups emerging from this programme are tackling the most vexing issues facing agriculture today — from access to markets to soil quality to counterfeit chemicals,” he said.
The team at Kosmos, he added, was inspired every day by the young entrepreneurs and that “we can’t wait to see what business opportunities they will find next”.
Through its flagship innovation programme, the AgriTech Challenge, Mr Mensah said KIC had provided an annual cohort of around 100 Ghanaian youth with business training, mentorship and market research tours.
Over the course of the programme, the country manager said KIC entrepreneurs formed teams and built technology-based business concepts that tackled challenges across various agricultural value chains in the country.
For his part, the Director of External Affairs at Kosmos Energy, Mr George Sarpong, said through the KIC programme, the young entrepreneurs were provided the training, mentoring and introductions to contacts that young Ghanaians needed to create a business that transformed the agricultural sector.
“In just three years, the KIC has helped to launch businesses that tackle challenges at every point in the agricultural value chain. Our selection as finalist and eventual winners of the P3 Impact Awards is testament to all their success,” Mr Sarpong said.
One team that has found success from a previous KIC AgriTech Challenge is Trotro Tractor, which is a company that provides a mobile platform that connects farmers who do not have mechanised equipment of their own with local tractor operators in what has been billed as “Uber for tractors”.
TroTro Tractor currently has over 30,000 farmers on its database. They have also raised $252,500 grants from British Council and Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA). Their revenue is expected to be ¢10.9 million (about $2.5 million) by 2022.