I’m passionate about what we do. We need to feed ourselves and we need to feed Africa
Sakina Usengimana, Afri Foods Founder & CEO
Afri Foods is a dynamic, gourmet horticulture company. We export fresh Rwandan bird’s eye chilli, avocado and other produce across the world.
Our founder and CEO is Sakina Usengimana, a proud Rwandan woman.
Her national pride and entrepreneurial mindset are at the centre of everything she does.
Sakina graduated from the prestigious Akilah Institute in Business Management and Entrepreneurship in Kigali.
She began a career in fashion, developing a jewellery business.
Then, in 2017, Sakina was at a YouthConnekt training for Rwandan entrepreneurs. One of the key speakers made a remark that changed her life.
She said, ‘In Africa, you have land, but you are hungry. Where does food come from? It comes from the land.’
And Sakina thought, ‘Yes. Now, what can I do about it?’
She decided then to throw her energies into developing an agribusiness growing fresh produce to sell domestically and globally.
Sakina had always wanted to produce something she could sell internationally. The seeds of what would become Afri Foods were planted then.
Launching Afri Foods
Using her savings, Sakina started growing tomatoes and pepper but the venture soon failed. She recognized that she didn’t have the technical skills and experience.
She tried a second time a year later with two friends, again with pepper and tomatoes. But after three harvests, their yields were still too low to be financially viable. By then Sakina had exhausted all her money. It was almost enough to make her give up.
But she didn’t.
In August 2019, she tried a third time. This time, she consulted agriculture and agribusiness experts, and established her own company, AfriFoods Ltd.
Finally, things started to do well. Sakina’s perseverance had paid off. She left tomatoes, and moved into avocados, Habanero chilli, and bird’s eye chilli. Both quality and yields improved substantially. Afri Foods started to grow rapidly.
Just two years later and Afri Foods is well-known in Rwanda for exporting fresh, spicy chillies and avocados.
Our CEO, Sakina, has not slowed down either. Her drive, enthusiasm, and desire for continual improvement, powers the company’s every step.
The future is bright for Afri Foods
In 2021-22, Afri Foods is moving into a new phase of growth and expansion.
From an initial output of 400kg, we now produce 300 tonnes a year, most of which is exported to the Middle East and Europe.
Our projections also show that we can increase our output by 100% over the next three years. We have established reliable shipping routes and partners and are also looking for new customers.
We also have big news that is a game changer for Afri Foods.
We are currently supplying fresh produce to Carrefour, in Dubai. This is a big achievement for Afri Foods
Sakina has hired 10 permanent staff, including six women, to work full time at Afri Foods. As well, there’s a larger team of casual staff, 90% of whom are women.
Afri Foods is already a recognized brand in the Rwandan export market for our Habanero and bird’s eye chillies and Hass avocados. Now, we are branching into other produce such as passionfruit, bitter lemon, eggplant, plantain, pineapple, and apple banana.
Moreover, we are developing chilli powder from our Rwandan bird’s eye chilli and looking into processing options to add value and reduce harvest losses.
Sakina also attends exhibitions nationally and internationally, giving Afri Foods exposure to new clients, markets, and other experts.
We are very proud that Afri Foods is one of Rwanda’s most innovative and exciting new agribusinesses.
Ensure we deliver what we promise
Practice real time, proactive communications
Create long term relationships with our clients and business partners
Improve the lives of our farmers through real living wages