Maungo Craft makes the shortlist at Oslo show

The CEO of Maungo Craft met Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at Oslo’s Xynteo Exchange where Bonolo Monthe’s company is among 35 others from around the world shortlisted for the prestigious Impact Maker Award. GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports

After scooping the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize for their innovative venture in the agri-food sector recently, locally grown concept Maungo Craft made impressive strides at the Xynteo Exchange in Oslo, Norway last week.

Maungo Craft was invited to present, exhibit and be a part of the conversation at the Xynteo Exchange – which is a platform that brings together mission driven leaders and practitioners across business, academia, the arts and activism – from 9 October to the 10th instant.

The CEO of the company, Bonolo Monthe, explains: “The platform accelerates collaborative action to tackle systemic problems and re-think growth models that are no longer future-fit around agriculture and food security. We are so grateful for this amazing week in Oslo where we showcased our products, stepped onto the stage and spoke about our journey, products and business. We even met the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, and caught up with Strive Masiyiwa (of Econet) and the CEO of Yara International Svein Tore Holsether, who are both impactful businessmen driven by changing lives.

“We created a canvas together, different pieces of art, coming together to signify unity and the power of working together to come up with proposed solutions to big climate change problems. We participated in conversations about food security, tackling food waste and the circular economy and how this affects climate change.  It’s such an honour to be seen as a company that brings value in these spaces and we are grateful for the opportunity.”

Maungo Craft, which uses indigenous fruits to make sugar-free jams and marmalades for a healthy alternative spread for their customers, was among 35 companies globally that were considered for the 2019 Impact Maker Award at the Xynteo Exchange. The Impact Maker Award is a global competition for bold entrepreneurs with unconventional solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges. The selected finalists will be invited to showcase their solutions to some of the most forward thinking leaders in the world and compete to win cash prices to take their solutions to the next level. Maungo Craft will be representing Botswana.

Monthe says: “ It is great honour and we feel very humbled by it.” “We’ll keep pushing and will never stop growing. Let us create a sustainable future.”
Winning the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize empowered Monthe with $50 000, the equivalent to P500 000, to reinvest in her company. In the grand finale, 12 finalists selected from 3000 applicants faced a panel of judges and presented their projects at the Africa Green Revolution Forum that was held in Accra, Ghana. Monthe impressed the judges with her creativity, originality and quality of execution along with environmental sustainability in her business venture.

She posted soon afterwards: “Maungo Craft, representing Botswana, competed with some of the finest female entrepreneurs across our beautiful continent. When Strive Masiyiwa mentioned my name as the winner, I felt myself jump for joy! Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Botswana, the Maungo Craft family, remember that you can do anything.”

The Generation Africa GoGettaz Agripreneur competition aims at helping young African entrepreneurs who want to pursue their careers in the field of agri-food. The competition is administered by Generation Africa, a partnership initiative with a vision to strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across the continent.