Known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’, Uganda is rich in natural beauty and resources; from copper, to cobalt to the famous gorillas of the misty Rwenzori Mountains. The climate ranges from semiarid in the north to tropical in the south. Uganda sits on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. The population of Uganda is 34,759,000 and is made up of more than 30 different ethnic groups, speaking more than 30 different languages. The Baganga are the largest of these groups, making up around 18% of the population.
After gaining independence from the British in 1962, Uganda went through years of brutality under the regimes of both Milton Obote and Idi Amin. in 1986, Yoweri Museveni led his rebel forces to overthrow Idi Amin, restoring Uganda back to stability. Museveni has remained in power since then, bringing his presidency to 30 years. The lack of real positive social change seen during this time has caused many Ugandans to call for a change in leadership.
However, Uganda is a country full of entrepreneurs. Where a gap has been left by the state, people find a way to fill it, from networks of socially supportive ties in villages, to individuals saving money to buy chickens or goats as an income generator, to the development of an app that monitors an infant’s heart rate, to the establishment of a technology innovation incubator in the capital, Kampala, encouraging the development of innovative homegrown, tech solutions to many of the challenges Ugandans face on a day to day basis. And these are just a few examples.
At all levels, Ugandans are coming up with their own sustainable solutions to the issues that face them and their communities each day. Mama Hope’s partner in Budondo, a rural village in Eastern Uganda is a shining example of this determined and creative movement by Ugandans to improve their own lives.