Building Economic Resilience
Many households in West Nile are poor (46%) and without reliable economic means to secure their livelihoods. Their average monthly income of UGX 141,400 is half of the national average of UGX 303,700. They also own few productive asset that can be converted into cash to provide security for household consumption and well-being as many have no livestock (89%) and no cash savings (73%).
This economic insecurity has persisted due to: (i) The extremely low returns to subsistence farming that is the main employer of the population; (ii) Diversification into low-risk and unprofitable microenterprises; (iii) Financial exclusion of more than 65% of the population; and (iv) high youth unemployment rate given their high level of illiteracy and inability to access vocational skilling opportunities. Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) has remained a preserve of urban areas.
In response, AFARD undertakes Women and Youth Economic Empowerment and Asset Building through:
- Farming as a business in innovative ways that build community groups into business entities able to undertake collective production, value addition and marketing (i.e., Community agro-enterprise development) together with business services development and market linkages to input suppliers, insurance companies, financial institutions, and premium markets.
- Own–account business development through relevant locally marketable vocational skilling together with business management skills training, apprenticeships, provision of start-up inputs, business mentoring and linkages in ways that allow rural semi-literate poor to actualize their potentials, start and grow their businesses, and live dignified lives.
- Developing Group Loan Schemes that use multiple member-led financing mechanisms and public loaning and recovery strategies. These schemes are provided with management skills training and start-up inputs as well as members’ training in microenterprise development.