It is my pleasure to welcome you all again to the First Business Plan Pitch of the 2017 Kosmos Innovation Center AgriTech Challenge. This is the second year of the KIC programme.
Over the past six months, the teams have been through a series of training programmes to build their capacity to get to this point of the challenge. An AgriTech Exchange forum also put them face-to-face with the real players and experts in the industry, to interact and glean from them the needs in the sector. In January and March market research tours across eight regions in the country also helped them to validate business concepts which they are pitching today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the commitment of these young entrepreneurs, to go through all these trainings and activities provided for them by the KIC programme shows their aspirations to really do something for themselves and for their country. And this is commendable.
On our part as a partner in energising Ghana, we are have demonstrating that by looking beyond our core business, which is oil and gas production, to another sector which we believe has the potential of changing the fortunes of Ghana.
Ladies and Gentlemen, In fact, we demonstrated our leadership as pathfinders when a year and a half ago we saw that it was necessary to take a closer look at agriculture. We engaged the youth to use innovation and ICT to solve some of the country’s development challenges.
Taking a serious look, we realized ICT has been applied almost to every sector in Ghana and at Kosmos Energy, we believed that it is time to look at agribusiness through the lens of ICT and innovation.
We are happy that a year later after the launch of the KIC, the whole country sees agriculture as the next big thing.
Ladies and gentlemen, as pacesetters that found oil for Ghana ten years ago and de-risked Ghana’s oil fields, we can comfortably tap our shoulders again for helping to de-risk the agribusiness space for companies to follow suit. This, we can testify by the number of discussions with different business entities who have expressed interest in either collaborating with the KIC or replicating something similar.
Today, your counterparts who were pioneers of the first KIC Programme in 2016 are ready to go to market in the next few months. In fact, one of these companies is ready to take on as much as a $3.5 million dollar business opportunity. We see a tremendous growth on the part of these companies that were created through the establishment of the Kosmos Innovation Center.
Today is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment and hard work that have gone into the KIC activities for the past six months, by showcasing the various business concepts you have formulated.
I wish you all a successful pitch. And to the Ideation Team, I wish to thank you for your continuous support and I would like to encourage you, not to shy away from drilling down your questions. Our goal is to refine and make these hard working entrepreneurs, ready and capable to pitch to any international investor.
Thank you all for being present today and I hope you will enjoy the programme.