Once Winston Churchill’s claimed ‘Pearl of Africa’ due to its abundance of natural resources,the country faced Idi Amin’s devastating reign in the 1970’s. Since the transfer of power to Museveni’s in 1986, the country’s economic condition has stabilized. The country unfortunately still belongs to one of the poorest worldwide. Primarily throughout the peripheral rural areas, much of the average income lies scattered below the poverty line. An estimate of 70 percent of the population lives off of agriculture and small-scale businesses.
Due to low possibilities of drought and a cooler climate, the optimal weather conditions allow for a continuous and year-long harvesting season. Of particularly high importance for Uganda’s agricultural yield is the plantain, also called matoke, as well as rice, cassava root, and beans. Such natural circumstances allow the possibility of securing a future for generations to come, through the undertaking of a small-scale enterprise.
This is where Swisshand’s programmes are able to play an essential role.
Swisshand has been a longstanding active player in Uganda and currently collaborates with around 15 carefully approved partner organisations, leading to over 10’000 approved microcredits in 2019, primarily focused on women. Similar to other African countries, it is frequently the household’s women who ensure the livelihood of the family. With this money they are able to begin entrepreneurial projects and realise valuable additional income for the family. The effects have been profound: not only are the families in a more advantageous financial position, but the women also profit from higher esteem within the community and self-assurance.