By Gimba Kakanda
British entrepreneur Richard Branson on Friday took to Twitter to rejoice with Nigeria’s fast-rising creative technologist for making the 2017 Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30.”
Nasir Yammama, who hails from Katsina state, is the founder of Verdant AgriTech, a social enterprise committed to supporting rural farmers with mobile technologies. The start-up has been involved in ensuring sustainable farming and improved food production in Nigeria.
Announcing Mr Yammama’s selection, the prestigious magazine noted the 27-year-old’s background as a farmer’s son.
It lauded his investments in agriculture, including his start-up’s “collaboration with Oxfam and GIZ, Verdant is currently running a project to support 25,000 farmers.”
Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 is an annual list of 30 outstanding African entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers under age 30. This year, 5 Nigerians were recognised for their social impact and investments in ICT, agriculture, fashion, beauty and healthcare products.
In July, 2014, Mr Yammama was the winner of the UK leg of an entrepreneurship competition supported by Mr Branson’s Virgin Group, owner of Virgin Atlantic airline. He emerged winner out of over 2,000 contestants, with his invention of a farming support application called Verdant. The prize earned a start-up grant and mentorship from the influential billionaire.
On August 3, the Katsina-born was also unveiled as brand ambassador for Mr. Branson’s airline company. This was referenced in Mr. Branson’s tweet, “Huge congrats! @VirginAtlantic backed Nigerian entrepreneur makes prestigious Forbes list https://virg.in/4yj@yammama.”
Mr Yammama is a graduate of Information Technology and Business Information Systems from Middlesex University, London, where he also earned a master’s in Creative Technology. He was selected among 50 Global Entrepreneurs for the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in the United States, and has won numerous awards, latest of which the Queen’s Young Leader’s Award, 2017.