This February 2020, Afro Real Initiative (AFREIN) spotlights Isabelle MANYA TEGHEN from Cameroon: a remarkable and zealous agribusiness, youth empowerment, and community development young leader.
Be inspired to aspire, as you go through this phenomenal profile.
Who is Isabelle MANYA TEGHEN?
Isabelle is a seasoned agriculturalist, with four years of experience in the sector. Besides, she has been an agribusiness consultant for three years.
In 2014, while working as a technical member of Buea Poultry Farmers and Allied Industries, Isabelle created a sustainable market for the sales of ready table birds.
From December 2015 to July 2016, she volunteered as a manager at Agricultural Services and Consulting (AGROVISC), where with the team on board, she carried out agro-base experimental trials, project management, and published quarterly magazines.
Isabelle then later worked with Union Farms of Africa as an operations manager (from August 2016 to December 2017), where they trained more than 200 farmers on agribusiness techniques, at the institutions Farmers Business School.
Through the aforementioned experiences from a myriad of positions in the various institutions she served, Isabelle developed strong project initiation, coordination, and implementation skills.
Her unquenchable thirst for agribusiness and community empowerment urged her to found the Innovative Platform for Sustainable Agriculture (INPLASA), where she currently doubles as project coordinator. INPLASA is a start-up organization that promotes agribusiness, agro-base trainings, consultancy, and seed multiplication. INPLASA has multiplied 25,100 improved plantains seedlings and supplied to young farmers around the South West Region of Cameroon, built the capacities of more than 300 youths in agribusiness skills like snails farming and plantain seeds multiplication.
INPLASA currently has 3 demonstrations farms (for snails, poultry, and plantain plantlets) where youngsters are continually trained.
Isabelle, with her teammates, doing what she fancies most!
In 2015, Isabelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine from the University of Buea in Cameroon. She is currently enrolled for a Masters in the same university, specialised in post-harvest technology.
Isabelle has participated in several national and international trainings on agribusiness and entrepreneurship. For instance, she is an alumna of President Barack Obamas noble and prestigious leadership flagship programme, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), having participated in the business and entrepreneurship track, in the 6th Cohort, at the Accra – Ghana Regional Leadership Centre. She remains steadfast and positive to keep on contributing to the sustainable development of her nation, Africa, and the world.
Isabelle has a very strong obsession for agricultural entrepreneurship and youth empowerment.
Isabelle loves reading, gardening, and providing mentorship to youths.
Accolades, achievements, awards
In January 2020, INPLASA backed home an award as the best impact agricultural institution, following the first edition of Cameroon Heros’ Award organised by Go-Africa Initiative Cameroon (GAICAM).
Isabelle, brandishing her award.
Challenges, prospects and way forward
Isabelle stated that the major hurdles she faces are that they lack a permanent piece of land for use as a demonstration site and for continuous training and empowerment of youths, insufficient seed funding for expansion, and inadequate exposure of their agricultural produce (such as yummy seasoned snails) to potential markets.
As concerns her prospects, Isabelle hopes to:
- lobby and get potential partners/sponsors for their projects,
create more markets for the sales of their produce,
- visit more communities, especially rural areas to set up micro businesses for youths, and
- organise more training programmes geared towards youth empowerment.
Word of wisdom to youths
Isabelle admonishes youths to engage in entrepreneurial ventures, start small and grow big, [and] associate themselves with change makers in their society.
Tel.: (+237) 656 761 431 / (+237) 675 422 313
LinkedIn: Isabelle Teghen
Facebook: Teghen Manya