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.

Karte von Uganda. Eingezeichnet die Programme von Swisshand