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12 May Ground-Breaking Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa: SEAF’s Agri-Tech Portfolio Company SOWIT Distinguished as Innovation Winner
Washington, DC – May 12th – SEAF is proud to announce that SOWIT, one of the portfolio companies in our SEAF Morocco Growth Fund (SMGF), is one of the 17 Innovation Winners of the Call for Innovations by the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH). SOWIT, along with the other winners, will receive financial support in the form of grants, as well as technical assistance, and investment facilitation. SOWIT competed against more than 135 other companies and organizations for this award.
According to WE4F, the award designates SOWIT as “one of the most promising and innovative companies working to produce more food with less water,” while utilizing more energy-efficient resources. The MENA region is one of those most affected by the challenges of climate change, food insecurity, water shortages, desertification, as well as rural migration. 50 percent of the arable land in Africa is still uncultivated, and the livelihoods of 60 percent of the African people depend upon agriculture. Through its implementation of technology and data-driven solutions, SOWIT empowers African farmers by not only providing and supporting a sustainable model of agriculture to mitigate these challenges, but also by fostering dignified employment that supports the needs of the African people, especially youth farmers and women farmers, who tend to face greater information gaps.
SOWIT’s non-invasive, remote-sensing, multi-devices solution technology enables farmers to optimize water on a daily basis, while also supplying farmers and agribusinesses with data-driven insights on their crops and farmland. SOWIT’s approach enables farmers to adopt more efficient farming practices, drive critical farming operations, and make accurate decisions during their crops’ lifecycles by leveraging AI and machine learning to analyze and extract practical recommendations through satellite imagery combined with drones, on-the-ground inspection, and historical agricultural and climatic data.
SOWIT, along with the other Innovation Winners, aim to create more jobs for women, young people, and those who live in rural areas, while also cultivating food security, building climate resilience, and providing access to basic needs for the hundreds of thousands of people who live in the MENA region.
SEAF manages the SEAF Morocco SME Growth Fund as one of 40 funds dedicated to achieving high impact and commercial returns in underserved markets around the world.
SEAF is a global private equity impact firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., that invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets to achieve meaningful and measurable impact results and positive financial returns. Central to SEAF’s impact thesis is the building of resiliency within its countries of operation, with a focus on climate, food security, and inclusion. SEAF, with committed capital of $1.2 billion, has over 32 years of experience with 40 funds in over 30 countries. In addition, SEAF has been a leading gender lens investor through over 100 investments in SMEs supporting women. SEAF also supports ten Centers for Entrepreneurship and Development (CEED) around the world, providing training, mentoring, professional networks and global access to entrepreneur-run businesses.
About WE4F’s Call for Innovations
“The Call for Innovations is an activity under the Water and Energy for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F). WE4F is an international partnership among the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, and Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. WE4F aims to increase food production, impact gender and poverty, and promote biodiversity and climate and environmental resilience by sustainably scaling solutions to meet the challenges in the water-energy-food nexus.
The WE4F Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (a consortium of Berytech, cewas, Chemonics Egypt and the International Water Management Institute) supports innovators in ten countries across the region to produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.” To learn more, visit: https://we4f.org/mena.