Co-creating a better world through research and innovation in agrifood

We’re a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative for collaboration and co-creation in sustainable agrifood as a catalyst for sustainable development.

Our approach is simple: Translating knowledge into sustainable agribusiness solutions that tackle today’s biggest challenges of unemployment, global food crisis and poverty. Our multi-stakeholder working approach enables us to pool diversity of talent, tools, expertise and resources.

Our global north-south linkages enable us to ‘cross-pollinate’ our expertise and experiences, while our educational and research pedigree makes our work knowledge and evidence driven. Yet, we are agile, we are disruptive and we are driven by young talented people!

Youth are more than victims of economic downturn; they can be agents of change. We need to do more to create jobs for young people and to support young entrepreneurs so they can create jobs for others

Ban Ki-Moon, Former UN Secretary General

Why agrifood?

Agriculture is in urgent need of intensification to be able to feed a growing world population. However, intensification has often shown to be at odds with sustainability due to an increased reliance on synthetic chemical farm inputs that lead to unsustainable use and degradation of ecosystems, which ultimately affects human and animal health.

The effects are possibly most strongly felt in Africa, which is grappling with both the largest rate of increase in human population on a continent and at the same time experiencing the largest yield gaps exacerbated by climate change.

The challenge is formidable: a harmonious agricultural transformation eying both the increased production and ecological and social sustainability. But so are the benefits: economic growth & poverty reduction across the board, employment opportunities for youth, women and the elderly, and sustainable exploitation to preserve and restore natural resources for generations to come.

How do we forge a change? The search for innovative solutions to sustainable intensification and transformation of agriculture through innovations and entrepreneurship is critical and requires speed, scale and concerted efforts from a range of stakeholders and actors; public and private.

Above all success will to a large extent depend on the human resource engaging in the sector and the ability for universities to churn out graduates who are innovative and capable of translating their education into business (agripreneurship).

Key in driving innovation & change is young people!

Young people readily adopt new ideas & technologies and drive innovation. Sadly though, worldwide, youth engagement in agriculture is low, which is reflected in the associations the word evokes: under- developed, backward, limited job opportunities, and generally considered ‘uncool’. This negative connotation is amplified in African smallholder farming, which is economically barely sustainable, is poorly connected to markets, information and capital, and has concomitantly a low social status. Accelerate seeks to drive this innovation!
Youth and Agrifood info graphic (as a development solution in Africa)

Accelerate uses targeted approaches

It identifies the needs, bottlenecks, missing links and institutional failures and gaps in the agrifood value chains and systems

It leverages research and targets entrepreneurial activities towards closing these structural, technological and knowledge gaps

It spearheads business opportunities for youth and develops the value chain helping all stakeholders up and downstream

Accelerate “mushrooms” gradually to different countries and regions by following the regional trade and value chain as well the educational linkages and collaborations already in existence among our partners

Global Initiative

Built on the foundation of strong North-South linkages and collaborations

Science-Based & Evidence-Driven

Driven by universities, research institutions, and students in research and educational exchanges

Multi-stakeholder Partnership

Stakeholders from academia, private sector, government, development arena and community based initiatives

Youth and Student Driven

Teaching, training and innovation platforms target the youth; both students and young entrepreneurs outside of universities

Collaboration & Co-creation

Creates platforms for collaborative innovation and problem solving and rides diversity of ideas and approaches

Targeted Approaches

Uses targeted approaches to help build the value chain and consequently help the entire agrifood industry and rural economy

Our founding partners

Agriculture is seen as fundamental to economic development of the African continent. But to move forward, we have to make a lot of investment in science, technology and innovation.

Prof. Adipala Ekwamu - Executive Secretary, RUFORUM

Accelerate gave me a great understanding of what we can learn from each other as young people to create lasting change and impact. I picked great insights and took with me a lot of energy after meeting all these my fellow young people doing great stuff.

Philipa Inga Elizabeth Jonson - Student of Farm Management at SLU

I like it when young people from both Africa and Europe get together and get to know each as people. That is the beginning of real collaborations. The educational exchange programs by Accelerate are an amazing opportunities for students to broaden perspectives in new horizons.

Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, Former Minister of Agriculture and Founding Chair, UAA

Accelerate lab 2017 was one of the most tremendous experiences I have heard because I saw that great ideas exist and the interactions with my fellow young people from around the world were amazing. Change is what I foresee.

Caroline Akampa - Graduate of Agronomy, Earth University, Costa Rica

How could we ever link the agricultural programs at SLU and Europe in general with the programs in Africa? Accelerate has given me the opportunity as a person to explore these possibilities and I use my experience to encourage other students at SLU to explore this internationalization of education.

Hjalmar Tinderberg - Student of Farm Management at SLU

Latest news & blogs

Accelerate at a glance

Understanding Accelerate: The emerging multi-stakeholder platform for innovation and co-creation in agrifood! ACCELERATE is an emerging multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP) for innovation, co-creation and enabling youth...

We are working towards the sustainable development agenda

Get in touch


College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences,
Makerere University
+256 (0) 772 657 155


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
SLU Global – Agricultural Research for Development
SE-230 53 Alnarp
Tel: +464 0415306


Open Impact Institute
31 Ntinda Rd, Ntinda Complex
+256 (0) 772 749 067

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