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When Sakina Usengimana heard a speaker say something like this—“you have land, yet you are hungry,” it became the momentum to bring about change.

Two years later, Sakina founded Afri Foods.

The story wasn’t so smooth. She had the passion for agriculture but lacked certain skillsets. The Rwandan entrepreneur started with bell peppers and tomatoes. And then failed beautifully.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs may be school dropouts, but at some point some returned to the four walls of learning how to become employees again. As the journey became tough, Sakina returned to school to focus on studies and hopefully land a corporate job afterwards.

But it turned out she carried in her a strong entrepreneurial spirit and went on to continue chasing her dreams.

Sakina Usengimana, founder and CEO of Afri Foods

Taken A Different Step

They say you can’t get a different result if you’re doing the same thing.

This time Sakina Usengimana decides to things differently. She found the magic recipes. She brought in two partners and failed again.

They didn’t just fail. They quitted after procuring a land for chilli.

I guess taken a different approach still doesn’t guarantee success right?

Experience Is The Best Teacher

As we live, we learn. Sakina took it upon herself to learn more rather than give up.

She decided to reach out to people first. She contacted the Rwanda Horticulture Exporters Association and was later introduced to potential customers who wanted chilli.

And the rest is herstory.

Afri Foods—identifying as a horticultural company in Rwanda, now exports crops such as chilli, eggplant, avocado and various fruits to Belgium, Dubai, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Did problems stop presenting themselves? I think not. Sakina is just a go-getter and has been a source of inspiration for girls and young African women.

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By Elijah Christopher

 

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Elijah Christopher is a lifelong creative artist and a journalist for “A New Touch Of Africa”, an American news media and magazine focusing on Africa-related issues, fashion, new technologies and innovations. He has contributed to several published works, most notably a collaborative poem celebrating Scottish poet Edwin Morgan and in 2021 was the winner of the DIAJ Award for his photo-artistry.

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