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First cohort of AGCO Agribusiness Qualification fellows graduate from Strathmore


This December saw a day of celebration as a group of 20 pioneering Strathmore University graduates from Kenya and Nigeria marked an important milestone at the innovative AGCO Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ). To commemorate the milestone, a lively graduation ceremony was held at Strathmore University’s campus in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was keynoted by Nuradin Osman, Vice President and General Manager of AGCO for Africa - and a 2013 Tutu Fellow.

In his remarks at a celebratory dinner, Nuradin shared with the gathering how the programme started from a simple conversation he and I held during a November 2016 alumni reunion of the Tutu Fellows at Nirox in South Africa.

He explained how a rapid set of events in less than a year brought together the unique partnership of AGCO, Strathmore, Harper Adams and the Bridge Africa - all of who were represented at the celebratory dinner - to develop an innovative two-year programme targeting youth interested in transforming the agricultural sector in Africa. Nuradin emphasized the transformative potential for Africa when ideas are translated into action. He reiterated his immense pride in each of the graduating students for the unique two-year journey they had finished, with a desire to reimagine and realize the immense potential of agriculture in Africa. He thanked all the partners for helping to bring the vision alive.

In her keynote remarks to the group, Dr. Angela Ndunge, the Deputy Executive Dean of Strathmore University Business School, reflected on the unique potential of partnerships that innovate programmes like AAQ. She underscored their enormous potential for the African continent.

The AAQ programme is a unique model that has been fully funded through a strategic investment by AGCO during the pilot phase. Through the programme, students undertook a series of agribusiness courses designed by Strathmore and Harper Adams in partnership with AGCO. Students also underwent a job-readiness programme facilitated by Bridge. Between course sessions, the students interned in AGCO’s and its affiliate’s offices in South Africa, Kenya and Atlanta, as well as at its Future Farm in Zambia. All graduates of the programme will be absorbed into roles at AGCO.

Moving forward, the programme’s identity is expected to transform to the Africa Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) as a strategy for inviting other actors in the ecosystem to build on the unique model established during the pilot phase. It is also expected that the model will be tested through institutional partnerships beyond East Africa, spanning West Africa and Southern Africa. It is an opportunity that will impact the entire continent.  AAQ is a uniquely innovative programme whose replication and scaling has the potential to radically transform agriculture in Africa with a focus on youth. Through unique philanthropic models and alignment with the 4th industrial revolution, AAQ represents an opportunity for Africa. Congratulations to the graduates and the entire team!







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