April 12, 2017
In 2016, DAI partnered with Kosmos Energy to launch the the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) in Ghana. Now in its second year, KIC is supporting a group of 80 young entrepreneurs in developing innovative, technology-driven business concepts to address Ghana’s pressing development issues.
KIC currently focuses on agriculture, the largest sector in Ghana’s economy. KIC “agripreneurs” are solving problems such as limited capital access to capital for smallholder farmers, low technology transfer, and communication gaps within the value chain. Through an annual KIC Challenge, agripreneurs team up to create startups and compete for seed funding and entry into a local incubator, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. Last year, the two winning startups were TroTro Tractor Limited, a platform connecting farmers and tractor operators through a pay-as-you-go model, and Ghalani Limited, a mobile and web-based agricultural supply chain management system.
In addition to building participants’ knowledge of the agriculture sector, the KIC model also empowers young entrepreneurs by improving confidence, teamwork, presentation skills, critical thinking, and business acumen—skills that will serve them well in any sector. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, who leads the technical implementation of the KIC Challenge, describes this holistic KIC framework as, “a way to turn a lot of young people into creative thinkers, coming together and building businesses.”
Watch a video of Gyan-Kesse discussing the program:
KIC has received national recognition for its innovative model. Kosmos Energy was named the 2016 CSR Extractive Company of the Year at the Ghana Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Awards (GHACEA) and the 2016 Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company of the Year at the Oil and Gas Ghana Awards (OGGA). Kosmos Vice President and Ghana Country Manager, Joe Mensah, was nominated as the 2017 Oil and Gas Exploration Corporate Executive of the year by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana and Ministries of Trade, Industry and Finance. This award is bestowed on a successful corporate executive who has demonstrated vision, business excellence and innovation.
Luckshmi Sivalingam—a development practitioner with 10 years of professional experience in project design, development, and management in South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East—has been named Practitioner of the Year by the SEEP Network, a global membership network of more than 130 international organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty by promoting inclusive markets and financial systems.Read More