In line with the MEST vision of providing training, investment and mentoring for technology entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa, Kosmos Energy in partnership with MEST has launched a new flagship corporate social investment programme, the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), in Accra.
Operating out of the MEST Incubator facility, KIC will use innovation and apply commercial solutions to Ghana’s existing social and economic challenges by using a market based approach that facilitates private sector enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The KIC begins its work by choosing an area of focus from one of Ghana’s many different sectors. In its first year, the KIC is targeting agriculture – the largest sector in Ghana’s economy – where it will pursue and nurture the development of market-based solutions that address various development challenges across the sector’s value chain.
“While our core competency is technology, we are not tied to a particular industry or even geography as shown by the current spread of our companies. We are, however, very excited to specifically include agriculture as part of our focus, given that it presents an immediately relatable application of technology which is relevant in our part of the world”, said Ms. Juliana Taylor, Head of Operations and Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, MEST.
The KIC will focus on the nexus between information and communications technology (ICT) and agriculture, with the goal of inspiring entrepreneurs to transform Ghana’s agriculture sector, using a three-part approach: Collaboration, Incubation, and Acceleration.
Collaboration – Fostering partnerships to tackle challenges together
Incubation – Mentoring & nurturing promising start-up companies
Acceleration – Funding and providing technical assistance to selected startups
“Africa is often characterised as the ‘next frontier’ and an opportunity for growth which in turn raises questions of sustainability and as a logical follow-on food security. Sadly, as we envision this growth and its related requirements, agriculture (a key part of the conversation) is often excluded and de-prioritized especially in instances when employment and technology are part of the conversation. Through this partnership, we hope to actively work towards dispelling this notion by identifying some of the very real ways in which there is overlap and driving towards workable solutions”, Ms Taylor added.