1. 78% of our population are under 30
We are a young country. Our 31.2 million children and young people can provide labour and future demand to drive our economy, and we have been described as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. But our population bulge also presents us with a growing problem, with youth unemployment of more than 13%, and the lack of jobs creating the potential for dissatisfaction.
To encourage young people to stay in rural communities they must have opportunities to flourish there. Ripple Effect Uganda works to build entrepreneurial outlooks and increase agri-business skills so that young people can be creative and adventurous, and generate income for themselves.
2. Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa (the third-largest in the world)
For decades Uganda has responded to conflicts in surrounding countries with a progressive and welcoming refugee policy that is applauded internationally. From January-May 2022 alone we received over 35,000 new arrivals fleeing war and persecution in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing our total number of displaced people to 1.5 million. In some districts refugees outnumber the host population. It costs approximately US$2 billion every year to support these communities, and there is a danger that our country’s resources may be overwhelmed.
But refugees are highly motivated to build better lives for themselves and our project in Kyegegwa and Isingiro, Western Uganda, builds sustainable livelihoods based on the land grants made to refugees in these districts.
3. Women contribute 80% of the agricultural labour force
In common with other countries where Ripple Effect works, the overwhelming majority of farmers in Uganda are women. But although they provide the food for their households and are the backbone of our rural economy, only 7% of women own the land they work on, and women receive only 20% from what they produce.
There are enormous opportunities for Uganda’s GDP if these hardworking women gain control of these key production resources and have access to markets where they can earn income. All of our projects in Uganda focus on women farmers as an entry point to participating households.