Africa Needs To Get Smarter In Producing, Distributing And Consuming Food – Dozy Mmobuosi
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
An estimated 346 million Africans are severely food insecure and 452 million moderately so, according to recent reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
In the Horn of Africa alone, 22 million people are at risk of starvation as the region is suffering its worst drought in 40 years.
Africa has thus been called upon to be smarter in producing, distributing and consuming food in a bid to become self-reliant. Dozy Mmobuosi, co-founder of Tingo was speaking during the Commonwealth Trade & Investment Summit 2022 on the theme Food Security and Resilience; Preparing for Global Shocks Sponsored by Tingo. The second Commonwealth Trade and Investment Summit were hosted on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th of December, at the City of London’s Mansion House.
This Business-to-Government Summit saw participation across the now 56 Commonwealth member nations. The Summit provided an opportunity to focus and strategise on some of the key Commonwealth issues following the successful Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali in June 2022, and this year’s COP27. This year’s Summit looked at, among other areas, the need for a just and secure transition to sustainable energy, food security and resilience, health technology and the future of health delivery, and the future of green finance.
While advanced economies and middle-income countries have seen a resumption in economic activities, those in developing countries still face challenges with downturns in employment, disruptions in healthcare services, energy and food crises, and an ongoing threat from climate change. The war in Ukraine has also exacerbated the food crisis in many parts of the world and has led to hikes in fuel prices. The impact has been hardest felt in low-income countries, significantly limiting global growth. Sustainability and food security go hand in hand, and the world is facing additional challenges to food systems as a result of the pandemic and ongoing disruptions.
The task is challenging: the financing gap for agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be over USD 100 billion a year, and Africa will need over USD 3 trillion in climate financing by 2030 to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
From supply chain issues to the cost-of-living crises, from rising temperatures to continuing population growth – the global population expected is to exceed 10 billion in 2050. Prices of fuel and fertilizer have also spiked, risking substantial reductions in crop yield and quality. With growing competition for land, energy and water putting pressure on supply, more food will need to be produced with fewer resources, however, according to Oxford University, while productivity seems to be increasing there has been a deceleration in investment in food systems R&D.
Other panelists included Minette Batters, President, National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales, Martin Davies, Head of Nuveen Natural Capital ,Brett Graham, Michelin Chef, Restauranteur and Owner, The Ledbury
Tingo is an Agri-Fintech company offering a comprehensive platform service through the use of smartphones (using GSM technology) to empower a marketplace to enable subscribers/farmers within and outside of the agricultural sector to manage their commercial activities of growing and selling their products to market participants both domestically and internationally. The ecosystem provides a ‘one-stop shop’ solution to enable such subscribers to manage everything from airtime top-ups, bill pay services for utilities and other service providers, access to insurance services and microfinance to support their value chain from ‘seed to sale
In a related development, MICT, Inc. (NASDAQ: MICT) (“MICT”) recently announced that it had completed the previously announced acquisition of 100% of the operating business and assets of Tingo, Inc. (“Tingo”) (OTC:TMNA), via its purchase of Tingo Mobile Limited (“Tingo Mobile”). As the consideration for the acquisition, MICT is issuing 19.9% of its common stock to Tingo, together with Series A Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock, each of which are convertible into shares of MICT’s common stock upon certain conditions being satisfied.
“We firmly believe we have acquired one of the world’s most exciting agri-fintech and fintech businesses. As reported in Tingo’s Q3 results, Tingo Mobile is already highly profitable and growing strongly. Within the past few weeks, Tingo Mobile has delivered a number of major trade deals, which not only are expected to result in a more than tripling of current customer numbers, but also marks the commencement of its global expansion,” said Darren Mercer, CEO of MICT.
“Today’s merger is enabling us to accelerate upon our ambitious global expansion strategy, which in turn is already beginning to dollarize our business, a trend that is expected to continue and grow throughout 2023 and beyond. With sizeable new opportunities in both Africa and Southeast Asia already well advanced, being part of the MICT group strengthens the infrastructure and framework to support such rapid global expansion, said Dozy Mmobuosi.
“The mutual benefits brought to each party by this transaction are already making material differences to the enlarged group. I remain very excited about the abundance of opportunities we have for Tingo Mobile and MICT, both in our immediate and long-term future, ” Mmobuosi said.
Dozy Mmobuosi, Co-founded Tingo Mobile PLC (Nigeria) in the year 2001 and is the Group’s, Chief Executive Officer. Dozy has vast global experience in South- East Asia, China, United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, the USA and the UK. An adviser to corporate clients, steering the strategy and design of business plans (investments, acquisition, and organic growth) into new global markets –across three continents he has directed significant operating growth of Tingo with over $500 million in annual revenue. In 2001 Dozy founded Fair Deal Concepts Limited, now Tingo Mobile Plc (Nigeria). In 2002 he led the design and launch of Nigeria’s first SMS Banking Solution (Flashmecash), later sold to FMCB which still use it today. In 2013 Dozy Led a team of 123 Chinese and Nigerian engineers to set up 2 mobile phone assembly facilities in Nigeria (Lakowe and Lugbe). These facilities have produced over 20 million mobile devices which have been distributed across Nigeria.
Dozy is currently cosponsoring a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC (Africa Acquisition Corp, Inc), targeted at acquiring a natural resources company in Africa. Mr Mmobuosi received a BSc in Political Science in 2001 and an MSc in Economics in 2003 from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Edo State (Nigeria). In 2007, he received a PhD in Rural Advancement from UPM Malaysia. In 2022, he completed an Advanced Management Programme at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.