With 24.5 percent of Uganda’s population still classified as “absolutely poor” and living on less than $1.25 a day, by the 2012 Poverty Status Report of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Planning, challenges remain in eradicating extreme poverty in line with the first Millennium Development Goal.
UNDP remains committed to helping the country reduce poverty levels and achieve its development goals by supporting income-generating avenues for the poorest and most marginalised communities particularly in agriculture and tourism.
Numbers for tourism arrivals in Uganda have been steadily increasing, pointing to the sector as an area of huge potential for economic growth. The 2012 Sector Statistical Abstract by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, showed that tourist arrivals into Uganda rose from 641,743 in 2007 to 1,151,356 in 2011.
Endorsements by leading industry giants like the Lonely Planet magazine, which named Uganda as the top tourist destination of 2012, as well as the National Geographic Magazine can only increase the sector’s potential. Tourism expenditure in Uganda rose up to $805m in 2011, from $449m in 2007, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage.
UNDP is committed to ensuring that poor and rural communities are part and parcel of the opportunities arising from this growth by supporting the development of the Tourism policy and Master plan to promote better quality standards and services and attract higher volumes of tourists.
Agriculture on the other hand employs more than 75 percent of Uganda’s population, and, 66 percent of the country’s labour force, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics’ statistical abstract for 2012. The sector contributed 23.7 percent to the Gross Domestic Product in the financial year 2011/2012, a sizable contribution to the economy.
However, there are still many challenges for farmers. These take the form of poor farming methods, limited access to credit and finance, and, limited market access. Through our projects, we encourage farmers to use improved and more efficient farming methods of production. While that increases the farmers’ productivity, UNDP is also working to expand their access to local, regional and global markets to boost their incomes and livelihoods.
The Growth and Poverty Reduction programme's objectives include;
- Supporting interventions that ensure economic growth is inclusive and equitable.
- Improving productivity and enhancing capacity for sustainable income generating activities, especially in those sectors where the majority of the poor and vulnerable are actively engaged.
- Addressing impediments to productivity, competitiveness and employment through various interventions.
What have we accomplished so far
Our key accomplishments include;
- In Agriculture, we have successfully linking established companies to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and small-scale farmers in our various project areas including Northern Uganda. Additionally, famers and SMEs have been trained farmers on improved methods of production hence improved service delivery.
- In the tourism sector, a value chain analysis along the tourism chain of production has been created and mapped. Linkages have also been created between established companies and local tourism related SMEs, for example, Mweya Safari Lodge in Western Uganda has been linked with local food producers in the nearby community, hence providing markets for the produce from the communities in the area.