Mathias Charles Yabe: The KNUST Student Who Won The 2021 Fishbowl Challenge

Mathias Charles Yabe

Mathias Charles Yabe, a third-year Communication Design student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was adjudged winner of the second edition of the Fishbowl Challenge.

The Fishbowl Challenge is a product and business planning competition that brings college students from around the world together to solve the world’s most complex social and environmental problems.

As someone who is interested in making contributions to improve the lives of others and work for social change, Yabe applied and got accepted into the Fishbowl Challenge in August 2020.

He competed against over 1000 applicants from 90 countries around the world for the grand prize.

Together with his co-founders Arina Machine and Dhruvika Sosa from Finland and India respectively, they started Akofresh which is a Green Cold Chain Enterprise offering farmers practical and affordable preservation services to put an end to post-harvest losses with Ghana as a pilot country.

On March 6, 2021, Akofresh was declared one of the two grand prize winners of the 2021 Fishbowl Challenge. Yabe and his team received a $25,000 prize money to launch their social enterprise.

Winning the cash prize to start Akofresh was a great deal for Yabe because he is determined to provide a solution to the issue of post-harvest losses in Ghana.

“Post-harvest losses are a major contributor to global food waste. Most often we see our grandmothers and parents work hard on their farms but they end up not getting any money from their yield since their produce is lost to post-harvest losses,” he told Digital Times.

“These losses affect the financial stability of smallholder farmers since farming is their main source of income to fend for themselves and families. This is what inspired me to hunt for solutions”

“My team and I really did a lot of research on the problem since the competition was a very fierce one and we wanted the judges to understand the depth of the program facing farmers,” he explained.

Mathias Charles Yabe is a Millennium Fellow

Yabe, however, revealed to Kuulpeeps that work on the Akofresh project has begun and it would be launched in September 2021.

“My team and I have started the project this month. We are doing the necessary paperwork, product development, shipment of materials and other logistics within the next four months. We are hoping to launch the project in Afrancho, our pilot community, in September 2021.”

Yabe is also a member of the KNUST chapter of Enactus – an international organisation dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators.

In 2019 he was selected to join the Millennium fellowship class which is an initiative of the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network (MCN).


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