Where We Work : Uganda : Partnership
Working with the Government of Uganda
BRAC in Uganda collaborates closely with the Government of Uganda on realising its vision of “Bonna Bagaggawale,” which means “Prosperity for All”. Operating under a memorandum of understanding signed with the government in 2008, we have undertaken several initiatives - in agriculture, poultry and livestock, for example, artificial insemination workers have been trained at the Entebbe Livestock Training Centre and our staff have taken courses at the Government Zonal Training Centre.
We are also working with the National Crops Resources Research Institute on testing hybrid rice seeds, and with the National Agriculture Research Organisation to develop crop and vegetable seeds. There are other collaborations on health and youth education.
BRAC’s tremendous growth in Uganda in three short years has been possible due to strong partnerships with foundations, UN agencies and other NGOs in addition to the government.
The MasterCard Foundation’s partnership with BRAC in Uganda gave us a major boost in our ability to reach hundreds of thousands more of the country’s poorest people. The 27 month partnership, which runs until December 2010, provides USD 19.6 million to expand our Microfinance Multiplied integrated development approach. We have been able to open 51 new microfinance branches, which provide loans as well as livelihood development services in agriculture, poultry and livestock, and health. MasterCard’s support has helped us launch innovative pilot projects, strengthen the capacity of our country office and build a superb research team. We have also expanded our youth education initiatives focused on adolescent girls and out-of-school children.
In 2009, BRAC began partnering with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, on a new initiative extending microcredit to returning refugees in the northern district of Pader. The main objective of this pilot programme is to help returnees resettle in their home villages after coming back from camps for internally displaced persons. Designed to reduce vulnerability and dependency on relief, the small-scale project disbursed USD 20,670 to 142 borrowers as it got under way in 2009. BRAC’s research and evaluation unit finalised a memorandum of understanding with the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala. The partnership will focus on joint research projects, sharing their findings with a broad audience and contributing to the quality of research and evaluation studies.
This past year, we continued to partner with the Nike Foundation, which provides microloan funding for the Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents programme, and Kiva, which posts profiles of BRAC’s members in Uganda on its website and attracts individual microfinance donors. The Horace Goldsmith Foundation gave a grant for microfinance and Living Goods provided funds for the health programme.
From the end of 2008 through 2009, BRAC received USD 12.25 million of its USD 37 million share of the BRAC Africa Loan Fund for its programmes in Uganda. The seven-year fund provides long-term debt funding from investors through a special-purpose company. The capital is used to make loans to BRAC microfinance operations in Uganda, Tanzania and Southern Sudan.