VACID Africa Info on Thursday, November 17 2011, 01:45 pm

Our Profile



Value Addition and Cottage Industry Development in Africa (VACID Africa) is a social enterprise that generates its sustainability from offering services to large or small value chain linked agricultural enterprises. It is the CSR arm of WillPower Enterprise Development, a private sector technology and enterprise incubation company that was retained by  the GoK/UNIDO Programme on Women Enterprise Development Programme, that evolved as an outcome of the Women post-harvest loss management SME development programme. The 2003-2006 GoK/UNIDO programme; was funded by UNDP then supported further in 2007 by CIDA to integrate the gender dimension.  In 2006 VACID Africa was registered to support the upscaling of the agribusiness initiative with a view to replicating the UNIDO capacity building in value chains through a pro-poor orientation. The effort was to later in 2007-2008 supported by UNIDO to make it a network of regional countries and supported by VACID Africa in the East and South African Business countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and, Eritrea. The combined experience in institutional SME leadership, SME Development, and SME mentoring to adopt best practices in organizational management linked to business-plan based management has inspired the model that VACID Africa uses to create value chains anchored agricultural enterprises.alt

VACID Africa’s foundation on management training, its infusion to entrepreneurship and value chain management as natural elements in sustainable development have further inspired VACID Africa’s creation of a new stream in sustainable agribusiness development that goes beyond value addition of postharvest intervention to the new focus of Agripreneurship, the practice of value chain linked entrepreneurship in agribusiness, inspired by the model depicted in Figure 1.

The efficacy of VACID Africa’s model to integrate value chain thinking to enterprises was tested in a 2007 GIZ transform assignment for the Federation of Agricultural Producers in Kenya. That experience in the new organizational value chains driven thinking and linkage was further adopted by the World Bank/GoK Kenya Agricultural Productivity Programme (KAPP) which sought to use the same modem in the capacity building of the over 100 project service providers for their project. Some critical outcomes of the programme that created VACID Africa was the creation of the departments of Agribusiness in the Ministry of Agriculture and Agroindustry in the Ministry of Industrialization in Kenya are outcomes of VACID Africa’s work. The eventual evaluation of KAPP culminated in the integration of Agribusiness in the succeeding phase to make the project KAPAP in its second cycle.

Value chains backed capacity building continues to guide VACID Africa’s engagement with its development work now centered on the infusion of new innovations such as ICTs to the agricultural sector using farmer owned enterprises. This has attracted youth and women engagement in agriculture, a feat that had beaten smallholder agricultural engagement in Africa. Our work leans heavily on the linkage of ICTs, Agricultural Value Chains and Entrepreneurship.

Our model is private sector leaning which makes is mobilize smallholder stakeholders to join the development ecosystem by creating collectives which fund the value chain enterprises that then link with the supply chain. VACID Africa acts as the knowledge provider in the integration of all value chain actors starting from research where we link with research organizations; then support the delivery of the research outcomes to the consumers of the research in ways that help researchers and community, derive the best benefit.

Many communities are always engaged in their own income generating activities, so as part of our engagement to such, we map suitable value chain-based agribusiness organizations to what they do by integrating such value chain interfaces that they may not have included in their design. We collaborate with the private sector, development organizations, support partners, and governments at county and national level, ICT4D companies, investment organizations, Research organizations, and value chain focused agribusiness enterprises; in a public private perspective using technology solutions whose adoption we champion.

Our Vision
A world where food/nutrition, education/knowledge, and income/wealth are not constraints in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs.

Our Mission
To promote agro industries through value chain linked agripreneurship for the self-actualization of individuals and households by linking nutrition, knowledge, income, and technologies through enterprises that are individually or collectively owned by productive resource owners (whether skills or physical resources).

Our Core Values
•    Collaboration
•    Creativity
•    Efficiency
•    Accountability
•    Honesty
•    Empathy

Linking Knowledge, ICTs and Value Chains for Agribusiness Development
altOur activities have culminated in the evolution of the Knowledge and Eateries Hub (KnowEat Hub). The KnowEat Hub, is a value chain aligned agribusiness development concept formulated to support agricultural value chain engagements of smallholder farmers. It is the glue that binds knowledge and eateries to promote aggregation of produce from smallholder farmers. It is VACID Africa’s model of addressing the organization needed to support engagement with value chain actors, normally absent in other development. The framework provides a knowledge driven marketplace for value chain actors, in one or more commodity/value chains, as they generate synergy in their interactions. The KnowEat Hub therefore provides a meeting point for knowledge providers and knowledge seekers, promotes availability of storage space for produce suppliers and buyers as well as access to global internet-based knowledge platforms. Figure 2 presents the Cooperative based KnowEat Hub Agribusiness model created by producers who supply produce to a localized storage space. Digital weighing of the produce ensures transparency and accountability of everything delivered even by an illiterate producer/farmer. VACID Africa supports the producers with the management and linkage processes but the share based KnowEat Hub is an investment of the producers through deductions of what they sell through the market linkage arm of the KnowEat Hub.

As depicted through this model, some of the enterprises that the model supports include ICT4Ag and ICT4D, Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET), Cooperative Development and Support, Pro-poor Value Chain Modeling and Support and Training, Technology Adoption and Training, Knowledge Management, Pro-poor Financial Services, Logistics and transportation support, Agroforestry Value Chain Development, Dairy Value Chain Development and Support, Livestock Value Chain Development and Support, Avocado Value chain Development, Mango Value Chain Development and Support, Potato Value Chain Development and Support, and Fish Value Chain Development.


We are a collaborative social enterprise organization. We are registered as an international not-for-profit organization or benefit driven social enterprise. We support the creation of income generating agribusinesses that pay for any services rendered to them. Where the value chain is not able to meet our fees in the short term, yet we consider it a strategic benefit to both the economy and the livelihoods of a community we engage with, we work with governments and development-based organizations, which pay for our time to support communities.

We identify our partners on the basis of the convergence of their focus with ours. We have found partners who support our work in the components of our collaborative business model shown above and which are guided by our core strengths and focus areas of:
1.    Natural Resource Management and Climate mitigation
2.    Food, Technologies, and Nutrition
3.    Collaboration, Innovation, and ICTs
4.    Education, Research, and Knowledge
5.    Entrepreneurship, Training, and Incubation

Our methodology is to use the value chains as the basis of identifying opportunities and hence benefits to all stakeholders in our programmes.

We link with partners who add value to what we do with our value chain engagements. Our current portfolio of partners is aligned to the various components listed above against which we list partners in table below:



Our business model is a sustained learning outcome of our work in development work. As part of our sustainability-focus, our staffs undertake development assignments to support our partners’ work. The engagements help involve technology implementation projects which form the foundation of our Resource, Aquaculture, Value Addition, Agribusiness and Knowledge (KnowEat Hub) Centers Network. KnowEat Hub Centre carries out the activities if the components depicted in our business model. As we crate the centers, which are only starting at the moment, we intend to create an organic network that will participate in intern-network trade and mutual support.

Some of our continuing and or concluded projects include some of which are a precursor to what advised the creation of VACID Africa are listed below:
1.    Agripreneurship Curriculum Development for the Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) of the GIZ/CAADP ATVET Programme, ongoing
2.    Livestock Value Chains organizational strategic planning and optimization for the pastoralist communities in Kenya, for the KCB Foundation, ongoing
3.    Agricultural Value Chain Finance Baseline and Organizational Development Study for Finance South Sudan
4.    Value Chain Finance and Development Support to the Kenya Cooperative Bank engagement with smallholder agricultural producers in the livestock value chain
5.    Collaboration Continuing development of water resources and resource management programmes in Eastern Province and Nyanza
6.    Conservation agriculture support to CIGs in line with the CAADP ATVET Programme
7.    Ongoing establishment of Fish Value Chain KnowEat Hub in Nyeri County under KAPAP Nyeri RSU
8.    Ongoing establishment of Fruits Value Chain in Taita County under the KAPAP Wundanyi RSU
9.    Ongoing establishment of the Webuye KnowEat Hub with support from the Webuye CDF in conjunction with Winrock’s Yes Youth Can Western Programme of USAID
10.    Sustainability modelling and capacity building of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) (2011)
11.    Identification of Business Models based on Agricultural Value Chains in Kenya, FAO Kenya (2011), Kenya
12.    Establishment of Cisco Entrepreneur Institute’s presence in Eastern Africa, Cisco Systems Inc (2010), Kenya
13.    Evaluation of SMEs for the Kenya Institute of Management Annual Business Awards (KABA), Kenya Institute of Management (2008), Kenya
14.    Implementation of Capacity of Service Providers and Extension Agents for the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project, Government of Kenya/World Bank (2008-2009), Kenya
15.    Strategic business planning and integration of ICTs in operational management – East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA), East Africa Tea Trade Association (2010), Kenya
16.    Development of a Content Management System for Kenya Film Commission, Kenya ICT Board/Kenya Film Commission (2010), Kenya
17.    Commercialization of CIAT-TSBF Soybean Research in Nyanza and Western Kenya, CIAT/TSBF (2008-2010), Kenya
18.    Communication strategy and training of Farmer Federations in Eastern Africa on the need to create sustainable enterprises in their farmer organizations, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), (2010), Kenya
19.    Institutional strengthening of smallholder dairy farmer organizations in Kenya, Various Clients, Since 2006, Africa
20.    Kenya Women Entrepreneurship Development, UNIDO/GoK (2004-2006), Kenya
21.    Mwezi Kali Business Development Programme, British Council/DfID, (1998-2001), Kenya


altFounding Chairman - Kiringai Kamau
Kiringai is an Agricultural Economist, a Value Chains Analyst, an ICT4D/ICT4Ag Global Telecentre Network Agribusiness Expert, a mentor in small business development, and Researcher. He combines both macro and micro integration of development in sustainable agricultural thinking through ICT4D and ICT4Ag. He is currently registered for a PhD in Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship at Kenyatta University. His innovations include ITC based technologies and business organizational models that have impacted on the economic development of Kenya.

Kiringai worked in the public sector having started as a hydrologist in the then Ministry of Water Development. He was responsible for the analysis and automation of water schemes and water revenue management in the country. He left the Ministry to pursue postgraduate training in ICT, returning as a consultant to the government where he worked in the automation of the government tax systems. He is the author of the PIN and VAT systems currently used by the KRA. He has been an advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture in agribusiness and value chains development. Both the Department of Agribusiness and Department of Agroindustry resulted from his engagement with the UN the GoK.

His entrepreneurial leaning is a product of the Bristol University’s Business Development Programme supported by the DFID for small business development. He became a small business specialist in the DFID Supported SME Development Programme of KMAP that promoted sustainable enterprise development in donor driven initiatives. Through the programme, he became a trainer, then a business counsellor for the programme for which he became a service provider in Nakuru and Nairobi. Using the financial resources earned, he started a microfinance programme that taught him on the challenges of funding of SMEs as his microfinance folded soon after the DFID funding, leaving him a consultant in microfinance. He is a mentor in SMEs, Agripreneurship and ICT for development. He is also a trained Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Programme Manager and Lead Trainer for which he leads the Eastern Africa Programme of Cisco Entrepreneur Institute. He has founded the Africa Virtual Knowledge Portal for the diffusion of knowledge and experience gathered through his work.

Founding Treasurer - Dr. Joseph Gichugu Kariuki
Dr Joseph Kariuki is a co-founder and an agricultural economist with skills in natural resource management, rural livelihoods analysis. His core engagement has been in the areas of monitoring and evaluation; project reviews, farm management economic analysis; policy analysis; stakeholder analysis and networking; project analysis, conceptualization and development; business plan development; strategic plan development; participatory impact assessment; service delivery to farmers and farmers’ organizations; privatization, extension, marketing, rural financial services; sector wide approaches (SWAPs); etc

At the macro-level he has participated in the development of policies and programmes covering extension services, food security, marketing, rural finance, etc. In farm-level studies, he has assessed natural resource management issues including agriculture and livelihoods.

He has undertaken studies on projects funded by Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), EAC, UNDP, FAO, World Bank, GTZ, SIDA, DANIDA, IFAD, JICA, RELMA/ICRAF, DFID, MDG Centre, CIAT, CARE International, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Winrock International, Oxfam GB, SNV, VSF-Suisse, African Conservation Centre and Farmers Own.

Founding Member - Prof. Samuel Githinji Karoki
PRof. Karoki is a consulting scholar with experience in undertaking baseline survey, statistical analysis and reporting at micro and macro levels. His consulting work is undertaken as a partner of VACID Africa while his scholarly and research work is undertaken at the Department of Mathematics at Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He has a passion for interdisciplinary research with his contribution being in data analysis and interpretation. He has been involved in preparation and support of the production of statistical abstracts and health and education related surveys in Kenya. He has undertaken all the statistical analysis work associated with VACID Africa’s baseline surveys.


Market Linkages and Gender Specialist - Betty Mutua

altBetty holds a BA in Agricultural Marketing and  MA in masters in gender and development studies .Through her participation in agricultural value chain linkages she has developed a leaning in agribusiness support and development through leaning and linkages. She is responsible for the community empowerment and agribusiness as well as in utilization of VACID Africa supported agricultural production.

She oversees the implementation of VACID Africa’s Community Development Programmes with a focus on women empowerment through the use of VACID Africa’s Community KnowEat Hubs using community Kitchens for nutritional diet preparation and indigenous and emerging knowledge from communities and the youth.



SME Development Specialist – Anthony K. Murathi

altAnthony offers 10+ years’ experience covering SME development, agriculture and non-agriculture livelihoods, technical & vocational training, youth financial services & economic empowerment, savings groups & microfinance, value-chains & business development services and water & sanitation. He has served as a senior manager, project manager and advisor in diverse projects and programmes addressing livelihood and related challenges. He offers vast experience as a manager in single projects and large complex programmes in the Horn of Africa, Philippines and Georgia – South Caucasus working for agencies such as Africa Now, Care International, Mercy Corps and the Danish Refugee Council with a track record of delivering on projects and programme components. He has supported the execution of market assessments, value-chain assessments, overseen project reviews/evaluations, chaired two coordinating interagency mechanisms under UNHCR-led livelihoods and savings groups’ implementing agencies, led interagency staff capacity-building initiatives, spearheaded the establishment of programme implementation systems, supported program development and fundraising initiatives. As Area Manager in DRC, Anthony led/supported two annual fundraising initiatives for integrated programmes in the Dadaab operations. Armed with technical training in sustainable livelihoods, social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, he is able to approach development/humanitarian programming from multiple angles.

He offers specific experience in non-formal skills development with linkage to private sector, among refugee and host community young and older beneficiaries covering different vocational areas including tailoring/design, masonry, and fabric-production. Other areas include life skills, employability skills, financial literacy, and basic literacy/numeracy, drawn from CARE, Mercy Corps and Danish Refugee Council.


Business Development Specialist – Rikki Agudah


A dedicated and committed agronomist with over 13 years of extensive experience in implementation of integrated crop management and sustainable farming programs.

Proficient in the Design and Implementation of sustainable farming practices campaigns, Training Management, Export Business and Organizational Development. Skilled in Business Development and People Management with excellent knowledge and grasp of global and regional food and agriculture trends.

Certified Public Trainer with proven ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of people. Fluent in English and Swahili."

A practicing Integrated Crop Management (ICM) agronomist currently serving as Secretary General and Acting CEO of the Society of Crop Agribusiness Advisors of Kenya (SOCAA) and CEO and Business Development Manager for Sustainable Farming Services Africa (SFSA)


 Enterprise Development Specialist – Mr. Ndung'u Dancan Ndegwa


He has a 16 years extensive consulting experience in Enterprise Development including Value Chain Development, Economic Empowerment, Vocational Training, project formulation/implementation and curricula materials development. He has a Master of Science degree; Bachelor of Education degree and Diploma in Business Management. He is also an Organizational Performance Index (OPI) assessor and a passionate trainer in enterprise development themes and community-managed disaster risk reduction.

Recently, he has served as the livelihoods and food security coordinator for the USAID/APHIA KAMILI health program covering all the 11 eastern and central Kenya counties, with much success. In this program he enabled OVC households to start income generating initiatives that empowered them to stop relying on donations and relief food from well-wishers. Care givers were also empowered to start group enterprises that enabled them to cater for their vulnerable families in terms of housing, health and feeding.

Ndung’u has successfully handled many consultancy assignments for donors such as GIZ, EU,USAID, BftW, ActionAid, IFAD and many others.
At VACID Africa, Ndung’u offers advisory in organizational and business development matters.


Finance Specialist - Pauline Nyawira
Pauline is a highly dynamic, resourceful accounting and finance professional, knowledgeable in all areas of finance and accounting.

She is a finance specialist in VACID Africa responsible for internal financial management portfolio of the organization and an adviser in registration and regulatory framework to VACID Africa clients on mattersof social enterprise's donations, fundraising, and employment. She is a Specialist on tax issues andadvises social enterprises on tax law and matters within the General Accepted Accounting Principles andprocedures. She Supports VACID Africa’s clients as external auditor responsible for the evaluation ofclient organization's internal procedures or mechanisms and ensures that they comply with companypolicies and regulatory requirements. She also Prepares and analyze budget reports and makes recommendations for adjustments in revenue forecasts.

She is an associate partner in Warren & Associate audit firm and has experience in internal and external auditing.


ICT and Web Solution Anchor - Paul Gatheru
Paul is  our  Seasoned Consultant in Web solution Manager & Developer, System Analyst who holds a B.SC in Applied Computer Science from Daystar University and a Diploma in Information & Technology from Starehe Boys Centre Technical Institute, he is a web specialist responsible for the development of client and internal websites for the VACID Africa group of companies. He has been engaged in projects that promote the development of online solutions for companies.

His services are integrated with those of other developers in our other companies to provide clients with solutions that embody E-Learning, eCommerce and GIS mapping through the web. He has experience in integration of document management systems to systems making intra and extranet-ing a reality in businesses and that of clients.

He has enormous experience in both private sector and public sector as a consultant in the ICT sector.He is also a trained Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Programme Facilitator and Lead Trainer for which he facilitates  the Eastern Africa Programme of Cisco Entrepreneur Institute. He  is also the chief developer of Africa Virtual Knowledge Portal for the diffusion of knowledge and experience gathered through the consultants works.

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