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Winners of NextGen East African Innovator Programme

Four student teams from across East Africa have won a competition seeking innovative solutions to address food-related challenges.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa partnered with the Technical University of Denmark’s DTU Skylab FoodLab, the Hult Prize Foundation and the Ministry of Danish Affairs to launch the first NextGen East African Innovators Programme.

Nine teams of student innovators from Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda were selected out of 156 applicants to participate in a virtual bootcamp to further develop their concepts and take part in a culminating pitch competition on 18 March.

Students had the opportunity to work with qualified facilitators and experts to improve their skills in areas such as value proposition, sustainable business development, pitching and fine-tuning their venture concepts.

Four winning teams were selected at the pitch event to take part in a part-virtual, part-in-person programme with the DTU Skylab FoodLab, which is the food systems change lab of the Technical University of Denmark´s innovation hub. The teams are from Ethiopia, Uganda and two from Kenya. One of the Kenyan teams is made up of refugees based in Kakuma who are originally from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Participants in the programme will receive virtual mentoring and take part in inspirational lectures in preparation for a month-long trip to DTU focusing on intensive prototyping and research. When they return home, they will continue to interact with DTU staff virtually and exchange ideas with DTU Skylab FoodLab students.

They will also be able to connect with Skylab Experts and DTU’s strong global network of innovators and entrepreneurs. DTU National Food Institute will also be a partner in the activities and will provide scientific support and access to facilities during the programme.

“I believe that this collaboration will provide the winners of the NextGen with the possibility of living a full DTU experience and bringing back to their regions relevant knowledge that can be shared with other team members and among other fellow innovators,” said Roberto Flore, head of the DTU Skylab FoodLab.

“This is also a fantastic opportunity for the DTU Skylab FoodLab community to connect and exchange ideas with a group of bright innovators such as the winners of the NextGen East African Innovators Programme. I believe this kind of interaction will immensely enrich our DTU students,” Flore added.


The winning teams are:

Tripple P (Kenya)

Tripple P is a social enterprise dedicated to providing eco-friendly and affordable fertilizer and feed made from soldier fly larvae.

Quote on winning:

"WFP Next Gen Innovators brings together the greatest innovators in the region. We are humbled to have won in a pool of such incredible talent. We are also very excited and can't wait for the start of a hopefully long relationship with DTU Skylab FoodLab and the continuation of the relationship with the WFP Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa.”

Team Contact Person

Gloria Cherono (Team lead)

Kenyatta University


AgriOT (Uganda)

An AI-Based greenhouse system using Internet of Things technology capable of delivering quality produce by controlling unpredictable weather conditions to ensure sufficient and consistent food production throughout the year.

Quote on winning:

" Winning is not just about being the first. It’s about working harder every day, building one another and constantly improving ourselves to be better than the day before, and being part of WFP innovation hub helped us achieve these goals. It has been an awesome experience interacting with other participants and hope we can inspire other innovators to join the hub to help improve their ideas and transform their communities and Africa as a whole.”

Team Contact Person

Derrick Locha

Makerere University


FaBarley Project (Ethiopia)

Developing wholesome nutritious food products from fava bean and barley to alleviate child malnutrition and improper dietary practices.

Quote on Winning:

"We are exhilarated upon hearing our victory in this competition. We have gained more knowledge and are extremely proud to be a part of this amazing programme. We believe that winning this amazing competition doesn't mean we are perfect, but means we need to work harder, and strive to achieve more. We'd like to thank WFP Next Gen innovators for giving us a chance to show how dedicated and strong we are. We can't wait to start a long-lasting relationship with DTU Skylab FoodLab and achieve more."


Team Contact Person

Mussie Abraham Alemayehu

Addis Ababa University

Fishing in the Desert Project (Kakuma)

This project aims to solve malnutrition in Kakuma refugee camp by establishment of fishponds to farm tilapia and catfish.

Quote on Winning:

“We are extremely grateful to WFP and DTU. Through the NextGen Innovators Programme, we got the opportunity to polish our business model. We studied the needs of the refugees living in Kakuma Refugee Camp which helped us figure out better ways to address them. With the knowledge acquired, we look forward to producing more food - especially fish - in the semiarid Kakuma Refugee Camp and other places.”


Team Contact Person

Glory Lukambo Luundo


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


Follow us on Twitter @wfp_africa and @wfp_media


DTU Skylab FoodLab

 DTU Skylab FoodLab fosters a paradigm shift towards holistic innovation using food as a common denominator for developing sustainable solutions across the entire food system. Our mission is to provide our community of innovators a supportive environment where ideas run wild. DTU Skylab FoodLab has various equipment for experimenting with and testing food ingredients, as well as space to work and prototype.


Twitter Handles: @skylab_foodlab, @DTUtweet, @robbeflo


Hungary Innovation and technology


Jeremie Pige, WFP/Nairobi,
Tel. +254 769 060 206 ,

Roberto Flore, DTU Skylab FoodLab, Copenhagen,
Tel. +45 52732253,