Research for agro-entrepreneurship open university concept in Zambia

PBL-BioAfrica is collaborating with Ambitious.Africa and ESGROW to find out opportunities for an open university concept in Zambia that would focus especially on agro-entrepreneurship.

Text Tiia Madekivi

Crop field in Zambia

Agriculture is a popular field and creating business for many in Zambia, but still there are a lot of gaps when it comes to education on Agro-entrepreneurship. Ambitious.Africa and ESGROW are researching the opportunity to provide Open University programs to fill these gaps. The research group has around 10 Ambitious Zambia community members that have interest in the field, and 3 ESGROW consultants to facilitate the research project.

Ambitious.Africa is a bridge between the African and the Nordic youth who collaboratively build a sustainable future together. The organisation facilitates the collaboration between Africa and the Nordics by focusing on education, entrepreneurship, and entertainment. They connect, inspire, and empower young people in all African and Nordic countries to work together, lead the change, and create transformation.

Esgrow co-creates pathways for organisations to meet demanding environmental, social and governance expectations. They guide leaders and organisations with customised solutions to become future-resilient.

Theresia Bilola

As a consultancy that values holistic sustainability, Esgrow saw this as very timely and relevant project. Strengthening the open university concept for agro-entrepreneurship education in Zambia will render agriculture more attractive and accessible especially for those in remote areas. This is means more efficient and innovative agriculture industry which will enhance productivity, food security and income generation.”

– Theresia Bilola, co-founder, Esgrow

The purpose of the research is to find out the current status of agro-entrepreneurship, the regulatory framework, and open university pilots in the country, suggest potential NGO partners as well as potential students, find out opportunities and gaps in the current system, and finally, develop a concept for implementing the Open University.

The aim is to come up with a solution of high-level education that would be inclusive for all, regardless of the physical location in Zambia, and we have a special focus on youth and women. The research is conducted in collaboration with Mulungushi University and University of Zambia.

“The agriculture industry is among the fastest developing sectors in Zambia. This program will be an elaborate tailored program to meet all specific criteria to run Agri-enterprises or to play a role in the agricultural sector with keen interest in which innovations can work down the supply chain accommodating various skill sets. The program will be technical so that everything learned can be put into practice.”

Elizabeth Maanda Sianga, Founder of Agro Queens Trading, Member of Ambitious Zambia

The research is funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and is channelled through Fingo.