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Tackling Uganda's Youth Unemployment

By Opportunity International

77% of Uganda is under the age of 30 and its population is set to double between 2020 and 2060. There are not enough jobs available. Youth unemployment is already high and will continue to rise as the population grows. 

It’s common for young people to migrate from their remote agricultural communities to look for better job opportunities in large cities. Many find themselves alone, unemployed and unable to earn a living. Others find themselves underemployed, working in the informal sector with very limited prospects.  

All young people deserve the chance to earn a living. Ensuring they can unlock their potential through access to decent work, particularly in remote areas, is crucial in breaking the cycle of poverty.

That’s why we are working in partnership with rural communities in Uganda to train young people to make agriculture a viable and successful business whilst also diversifying their incomes. 

Our clients receive:

  • Agricultural training to improve farming practices,
  • Financial literacy training to learn how to manage and save money,
  • Access to loans to buy high quality seeds and fertiliser for their farms or to start their small businesses.

Three young people who are building successful livelihoods in rural Uganda:

Ernest with his daughter

Ernest (28) - from subsistence farming to profitable business

Ernest used to be a subsistence farmer, living hand-to-mouth. He now sees farming as a business that can provide a stable income for his family. His average yields have increased from two bags of maize to ten. With his increased income, Ernest has helped his wife start a small business selling fuel.  They can now provide for their two small children, and have savings set aside for the future.




Janet (26) - fulfilling a lifelong ambition to teach in her local community

Janet thought that it was impossible to start her own business. Today she owns two.  She first became a smallholder farmer producing coffee, maize and beans. This provides a steady income for Janet, her husband and her two children.  Janet also has a teaching certificate and a keen interest in education.  She thought that she would need to move to a big city to work in a school but the training she received motivated her to establish her second business, a nursery school, in her local community. She took out a loan to start it up.


Christine in her hair salon
Christine (27)  - pig farmer, hairdresser and coffee farmer – the ultimate entreprenuer!

Christine is bright and entrepreneurial. She started out with a pig farm, selling the meat in her local market. She then used her profits to build a salon to offer hairdressing services in her village.  As Christine’s confidence increased, she applied for a loan to buy a small plot of land to cultivate coffee. Today, she manages her pigs and coffee in the mornings and then does hairdressing in the afternoon. This diversified business portfolio gives Christine and her family more income security, helping her plan for the future. 


Click here to find out more about our work with young people.

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