Farmers in Southern and Central Africa are facing many challenges. Some of the most notable are felt across the entire region: growing water insecurity, energy crises, the impacts of climate change, and agricultural markets limited by poor infrastructure, low productivity, and pandemic-related movement restrictions. Not to mention, the millions of smallholder farmers and their families whose livelihoods and food security have been put at risk due to pandemic-related demand shortfalls for food products, trade in export crops, and agricultural and food production in the region. To meet these challenges, improve food security, and develop a more resilient water-energy-food nexus that supports farmers as they grow more food with less water and energy, WE4F is launching its fifth Regional Innovation Hub.
Based in South Africa, the Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub (S/CA RIH) will work with at least 30 local water-energy-food nexus companies to grow their operations through customized technical assistance, investment facilitation, and grants to help scale operations. As a result, the companies will impact 500,000 farmers and their families, helping to increase incomes and improve agricultural productivity, reduce water consumption and energy use, build up climate resilience and adaptation, improve gender mainstreaming, and develop new ways for farmers to access financial and agricultural resources.
In the coming months, the S/CA RIH is looking forward to engaging water-energy-food nexus businesses, investors, and other potential partners in its activities. Businesses interested in working with WE4F S/CA RIH keep an eye out for the coming Call for Innovations, while investors and investment organizations who would want to invest in the WE4F-supported companies should watch for an Expression of Interest (EOI) from Investors in October. If you would like to get into contact with the S/CA RIH to discuss potential partnerships, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, make sure to subscribe to the WE4F newsletter to be the first to know about S/CA activities and innovators.
In the meantime, those who want to learn more about the program and its different opportunities should watch the 2020 WE4F launch webinar series and the August 2021 Global EOI Webinar.