Meet the Entrepreneur helping The Youth of Sierra Leone realise their potential
In Africa, large families relying on subsistence farming is not new. As the youngest in a family of 6 living in north-eastern Sierra Leone, Lovell Bai Bangura’s sole responsibility was bird-scaring throughout the farming season. A journey to Freetown during the civil war, dodging rebel forces and seeing other sojourners die on their way made it clear to a 9-year-old Lovell that he was going to be part of the change. His change would be actioned in the Agriculture, Food Security and Entrepreneurship sector through his enterprises, The Farm Investment and Born to Do Business.
“When Ebola broke out in 2014, Sierra Leone’s economy took a great hit. All the major mining companies shut down operations and many lost their jobs. I realised that our economy needed diversification and I believed that Entrepreneurship and Agriculture were the way out for our economy”Lovell Bangura
The Farm Investment produces high-quality peanut cooking paste to help eradicate malnutrition and hunger among the less privileged. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, or 10.7%, suffer from chronic undernourishment. Poverty and hunger disturb all forms of development and are a major cause of most of the problems that plague the world. There can’t be peace, good health, education, infrastructure in a hungry nation. The Farm Investment has gainfully employed six people in its production and marketing team. The company is working with 30 farmers from three cooperative farmer groups. The farmers are responsible for the production of the groundnuts.
Born to do Business organization aims to enlighten the youth on the opportunities that exist when one fuses Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. The organisation hosts Agripreneurship Summits and conferences as well as provide business support through mentorship and empowerment programs. This year’s Agripreneurship summit will be held in partnership with the World Bank and Innovation Axis The organisation has partnered with Seedstars to host the Seedstars competition in Freetown as well as the SENSI tech hub to host the Freetown mobility Hackathon. Born to Do business is utilising the power of tech to advance their mandate through e-learning platforms where they host mentors, change agents and business leaders through text and video lectures.
It is imperative that the youth take initiative and participate in the development of the African continent. The work that Lovell Bai Bangura is doing is commendable!