Class of 2022
In a continent where investment in farming as perceived as ‘too risky’ by banks, Daniella Kwayu is helping farmers and financial institutions alike by removing risk and strengthening the industry for everyone. Through Phema Agri, the company she founded in 2019, Daniella helps small farmers access financing through crowdfunding and other methods, as well as providing them with farming management tools to improve their record keeping and make the investment more worthwhile for banks. Her work, which began in Tanzania and spans across Africa, allows farmers to keep producing quality food to reach consumers in a timely manner, at a time when the Covid era has seen the food chain under more pressure than ever before.
An economist and social entrepreneur who was raised in Tanzania in a family of farmers, Daniella grew up surrounded by parrots, rabbits and cattle. After studying in the US and Canada, she worked with multinationals in insurance, oil, gas and other sectors before undertaking a role as an agriculture analyst at a bank in her home country. It was there that she witnessed first-hand the issues in agriculture and decided to go about finding solutions. Thus, she started Phema Agri, using her knowledge and skills to help farmers get access to funding, and enabling them to de-risk their businesses through partnerships with insurance companies. The company has several functions, including supplying producers with the best fertilisers, machinery and feeds to help them to increase their yield.
Daniella is also the founder and director of Adanian Labs, an incubation platform that supports tech-driven solutions geared towards solving Africa’s social-economic issues in agriculture, health, energy, education and financial inclusion. A firm believer in the power and role of the youth in unlocking Africa’s development challenges, Daniella leverages her networks and invests her resources to nurture, coach and support youth-led ideas to create sustainable, scalable and impact-driven solutions for the continent.
“I’m passionate about seeing the youth and start-ups in Tanzania and Africa grow and scale while creating tangible impact and economic empowerment in the continent.” – Daniella Kwayu