Mathias Yabe

Co-founder and CEO of AkoFresh

Mathias Yabe is a multi-award-winning, internationally recognized social entrepreneur whose life’s mission is to create resilient food systems and introduce climate-smart solutions in local communities across Africa. In line with this dream, Mathias is co-founder and CEO of AkoFresh, an AgriTech startup that offers smallholder farmers sustainable crop preservation services to reduce the issue of postharvest losses and ensure resilient food systems. AkoFresh is reducing post-harvest losses, alleviating poverty, and improving nutrition.

Mathis’s innovation for AkoFresh is a mobile solar powered cold storage preservation technology that extends the shelf life of perishable crops from five days to 21 days. This storage technology is helping farmers store perishable crops over five times longer than their shelf life in ambient temperatures and thus reduce losses by 50%. The solution is fully powered by solar energy which makes the solution affordable, accessible to rural areas and has a reduced environmental footprint. AkoFresh has helped increase food supply by 15% by reducing post-harvest losses, improved nutrition for over 350 school children in two local farming communities and created five jobs.

AkoFresh has received recognition from the World Economic Forum as a winner and top innovator in the Generation Restoration Youth Challenge and has also been recognized and awarded by organizations such as TotalEnergies, The Mills Fabrica and the Global Solutions Initiative in Berlin.

In his academic studies, Mathis received the Government of Ghana Merit Scholarship in high school and has attended three global conferences in Germany and India and presented two academic posters on sustainable food systems. He has also mentored over 800 high school students through the Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship program.

Mathis is also proud to have helped vulnerable students in Ghana. During the pandemic, he pioneered the development of a disability friendly virtual learning platform for hearing impaired students to study during school closures as they were unable to access the government's online learning modules which were designed only for students who could hear. Called, Project ReL, it changed the experiences of deaf students as Ghana’s first virtual learning environment totally in sign language and is additionally a digital database to store educational resources specifically for the deaf community. The project received recognition from the Ford Motor Company Fund during the Ford Motor Company Fund COVID-19 College Challenge and has directly impacted over 2,600 students.

Mathis has been global recognized for his work. In 2019 I was selected as a Millennium Fellow, a global program hosted by the United Nations Academic Impact and MCN. This program convenes, challenges, and celebrates bold student leadership advancing the Sustainable Development Goals on campuses and communities. Last year, he received the Community Prize award from The Mills Fabrica and was awarded First Prize at the 2022 Young Global Changers Recoupling Award at the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin.