• Agri-tech expert and AIMES 2019 Supreme Award winner, Courtney Davies.

AIMES winner taking agri-tech to Africa

Providing an online learning programme to over 5,000 young African entrepreneurs across 15 countries has been just one of the many undertakings of AIMES 2019 Supreme Award winner Courtney Davies during the global pandemic. And it is work that has recently earned the former Long Bay College pupil a finals place in The Global Impact Awards.

She explains, “The day before the 2019 AIMES Awards Gala (I still have nightmares about missing the connecting flight and therefore the whole ceremony, by the way!), I was in Brazil for the Youth Ag Summit and struck up a conversation with a friend from Nigeria who was running an agri-tech hub, MyFarmbase Africa.

“We worked together on creating an online bootcamp for young African entrepreneurs to support their learning and experience across agriculture, business, sustainability, implementing the UN SDG's and general mentoring. This has been an exciting project to work on and we have reached over 5,000 young people across 15 countries.”

Last year, Courtney moved into a new role at BLAKE, as Programme and Logistics Manager, which focuses on developing environmental leadership projects for young people across the country. She was also selected to be part of the inaugural YWCA Y25 list and was later invited onto the judging panel to select the next Y25 earlier this year.

She says, “Part of the Y25 experience gave me the opportunity to speak on the Global Women GenZ Insights panel and the Women In Leadership Next Generation panel at their recent conference. I am currently part of the APEC Voice of the Future planning committee working with a few other alumni to host this year's youth conference later in the year, alongside the APEC CEO Summit.”

Courtney also qualified to represent New Zealand in Australia in late 2020 to judge Dairy and Beef Cattle, which was postponed to 2021 and, just this week, has been cancelled again due to COVID.

And Courtney’s news doesn’t end there… “I am also excited to announce that my final research paper for my Master of Natural Sciences has finally been published too! (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.562748/full)

And wait, there’s more…She has also begun an MBA at Massey University in Albany via distance learning. “I am still so grateful to the North Harbour Club and Massey University for their support of the AIMES Innovation and Supreme Awards, so grateful that I've decided to reinvest the majority of my funds back into the university through my MBA!

And what advice would she give to aspiring AIMES Award applicants?

“To apply! Give it a go! I had applied multiple times with no success before receiving the Emerging Talent Award in Education in 2017. No one knows your story better than you; it is so important to be proud of yourself and believe in your achievements.

“Being welcomed into the AIMES and North Harbour Club family has been so phenomenal. The best part of the AIMES Awards is being part of a growing and diverse group of incredible young people on the North Shore.”

Courtney Davies, 2019 AIMES Supreme Award (Innovation), sponsored by Massey University.