Where We Work Uganda
In Uganda, 41% of people live in poverty, and almost half of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15, representing one of the youngest populations in the world. Uganda also hosts the largest refugee population in Africa—more than one million refugees have fled their home countries to seek asylum in Uganda. Over the next decade, agricultural development will be a main priority to help improve outcomes for low-income families. Agriculture will also be an increasingly important industry for youth and refugees to find viable opportunities to earn sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
Uganda by the Numbers
- 44.3M total population
- 76% of the population lives in rural areas, and 73% of the workforce is employed in agriculture
- 41% of people live on less than $1.90/day
- 33% of people have an account at a financial institution
- 53% of children complete primary education
Opportunity in Uganda
In Uganda, nearly 50% of children do not complete primary school—and the majority of families rely upon agriculture for their livelihoods. These ongoing challenges are coupled with an extremely large youth population and the largest refugee population in Africa—creating a great need for both education and job opportunities.
In response, Opportunity is focused on initiatives like:
- Creating opportunities for farmers to improve their yields and their incomes.
In Uganda, many of the families Opportunity serves are coffee farmers who need help learning how to care for their coffee trees and how to grow secondary crops to earn income between coffee harvests. Opportunity helps farmers access agricultural loans and the training they need in financial literacy and agricultural best practices so that they can sustainably grow their crop harvests and increase their earnings.
- Ensuring that children can go to—and stay in—school.
Children of farmers are the most likely to have limited options for school. When parents are able to earn a better income, they are more likely to send their children to school instead of keeping them on the family farms. In addition, Opportunity helps local educators in farming communities grow and improve their schools with loans and training.
- Connecting rural families to financial services through mobile technology.
Opportunity is also extending mobile banking services into rural farming communities, which help families access loans, deposit savings, and make payments through their mobile phones and independent local bank agents.
Sefaloza “Millie” Nakule is a mother of four and grandmother of 12 who operates a five-acre coffee farm in Mityana, Uganda. Through Opportunity, Millie was connected to a local Farmer Support Agent, Barbra, who has helped train Millie in techniques including how to properly prune her coffee trees and how to prevent wilt. Barbra also helped Millie apply for a loan, which she used to buy young coffee trees to expand her farm.
Every time Barbra visits Millie on her farm, she uses a smartphone to track Millie’s progress and show her new video trainings on coffee farming best practices. Today, with the support of Barbra and Opportunity’s agriculture loans, Millie has more than doubled her coffee yields. She has invested in growing banana trees, too, to support herself and her family in the off-season.