Welcome to September!
Our Young Person of the Month is Belmamou Diksia Mystere from Chad! Belmamou is an entrepreneur and change maker committed to transforming rural communities through entrepreneurship and social development. He has over ten years’ experience in agriculture. He is currently the founder and CEO of Agritranscom Sarl. As a volunteer committed to eradicating hunger and promoting rural development, he founded Coop-Agri Minlina, where he trains, coaches, and mentors youth entrepreneurs and shares partnership opportunities.
He holds a degree in Geological Engineering and has three years of working experience for an oil company as a Mudlogging Analyst. Mr. Diksia is a business & Entrepreneurship fellows of the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Dakar and Mandela Washington Fellow 2018. He believes in the African agricultural revolution, creating a market for African products, and building a strong and competitive continent.
Read his story below and be inspired!
BELMAMOU DIKSIA MYSTERE
Belmamou Diksia Mystere is an entrepreneur and changemaker committed to transforming rural communities through entrepreneurship and social development. He is the founder and CEO of Agritranscom Sarl, an agribusiness start-up which has created a concept called “Direct-Money-Investment”, a micro-finance system. He was born and raised in a small village called Bellé-Daram in Chad (Central Africa). Farming was his first occupation as a teenager.
Mystere showed an early passion for agriculture and leadership by becoming the president of his school-based cooperative in 1998 where under his leadership, they were able to raise 500 USD to provide drinking water in each classroom. In the same year, a horrible famine which hit many countries in Africa such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad, forged his passion to change his community. In his village, many people died of hunger. He saw people looking for grain in sand and women could no longer find leaves for sauce in the bush. Belmamou being the elder in his family, was sent every day in the bush to look for mushrooms.
That was when he realized that each family in a village holds at least a farm, but none could foresee if their harvest would be enough for their family. Growing up, he had kept a vision of creating his own company and empowering other people in agriculture. After his graduation, he was recruited into an oil company with the endgame of saving enough money to start his project. In 2015, Mystere lost his job because of an oil crisis. He took this as an opportunity to launch his business in August 2016 and the rural initiative in November 2016 with the vision being to produce: “Economically independent youth and flourishing families”.
On His Successes
Today his success is attributed to rural impact. His agribusiness hybrid organization, Agritranscom, is innovating the food industry. They established a sesame seed production, cleaning and commercial unit which is providing micro financing services under the name “Direct-Money Investment”. Beyond business, Agritranscom is building a network of rural cooperatives and businesses by providing training on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, cooperatives management and links products to markets.
In three years of its existence, the venture has impacted through training more than 1500 farmers and is managing the creation of 12 cooperatives made up of 1300 active members. The project was selected for many entrepreneurship programs and has gone through periods of financial limitations relying solely on personal contributions and in kind donations.
This year it won its first grant of $5000 USD from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the collaborative fund grant from the Mandela Washington Fellowship where he is an alumni. In 2016, Belmamou participated in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Regional Leadership Center (RLC) in Dakar, Senegal.
For the future, Belmamou Diksia intends to continue building the network of cooperatives beyond 2000 actives members in 2020; link those cooperatives, and income generating activities and businesses to Agritranscom through capacity building and micro-financing services for a global growth. The mission being to empower them to see the future by increasing their yield to meet this future. Also, to create facilities to clean, give credibility and advantages to agricultural products which will increase global and individual income. He plans to contribute actively to African agricultural revolution, to create a bridge between urban economy and rural economy, to share information, raise funds and to provide partnership facilities.
On obstacles he had to overcome
Since he started the project in 2016, Mystere has applied for more than 45 financing competitions without success. He decided to finance some activities with his own salary as Mud logging Analyst. People ridiculed him for spending his money for purposes of satisfying rural change and even encouraged him to stop as they were convinced his project was not going to work. He was young, with little money and with no experience; who was he to initiate change? They wondered.
Belmamou Diksia Mystere was however confident in his vision and he believed he could make things happen. Presently, he uses these words to encourage his team “You cannot create change expecting that some people will invest their money in it, start with what you have today, if your project is a fruit of conviction, some people will join and you can achieve the expected impact”.
Words of Advice to the Youth
My mother leads an association called “Li-outanga” which means “Do it yourself” or “make it yourself”. Development needs honest people who are committed in what they do with what they have. Avoid creating associations or any organization for a selfish interest. When you are a founder, you are the first funder. Do it for a sustainable vision, be transparent in the management with collaborators, partners, and always learn from failure. Then you can create a worthy life.
Learn more about his organization, Agritranscom.
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
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