Africa . . . What to Do?

I’m currently in Uganda, in east-central Africa.  This is my 5th trip.  The reasons I come here are many.  Uganda doesn’t get a lot of tourism, so crime isn’t the problem it is in neighboring countries.  The people are very friendly and this makes for an enjoyable stay.

Thirty million people live in and around Kampala.  There are too many people chasing too few dollars.  This has lead to incredible poverty.  The government is stable, sort of, and that could bode well for the future.  But realistically, there are far too many Ugandans, and families are way too large.

While it sounds patronizing, one of the big interests for me in coming to Uganda is:  it helps me understand the plight of people living in developing countries.  I suppose its slumming, but it is a necessary activity

There are several things that people can do to improve the situation in Africa.  First, travel to developing countries and spend as much of your travel money as possible in country.  Second, take your kids to developing countries, they need to understand that life in America in not the world norm.  Third, be willing to share your professional skills, particularly after you retire.  Fourth, help develop the local economies through micro-finance and other business assistance.  Fifth, when you travel, represent America well.  One thing, the developing countries do not (and I repeat, do not) need are more religious missionaries.  There are plenty already out there.

Working with a Women's Group near Iganga on a Micro-finance Program

Listening to a Micro-finance Presentation near Iganga, Uganda

There are several Utah-based NGOs working in Uganda.  I have ties to 3:  Engineers Without Borders, SeeeMe Institute, and Interethnic Health Alliance.  I’m on the board of the local chapter of the first.  But the above ideas are mine, and do not represent the opinion of any formal organization.

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This entry was posted in Engineers Without Borders, Religion, Travel, uganda. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Africa . . . What to Do?

  1. tumwijuke says:

    3o million people do not live in and around Kampala. Perhaps you meant to say 30 million people live in Uganda?

    The caution to missionaries is all very well, but I find that the non-religious do-gooders are not much better.
    http://ugandaninsomniac.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/silly-sunday-rant-missionaries-beware/
    http://ugandaninsomniac.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/oh-barf/

    But otherwise, welcome to my Uganda.

    • rogerdhansen says:

      I don’t get the impression that many people live in western Uganda. It seems like the majority of Ugandans live in and around Kampala. But you are right, 30 million is the population of Uganda not Kampala.

      I live in Utah (USA) which is about the size of Uganda and has a population of 2 million. So 30 million in such a small area seems like a lot.

      I hope the NGOs I work with do a little good. At least we spend money in Uganda.

      Ugandans are a very nice people and I enjoy visiting their country.

    • roger hansen says:

      I just read your blog. It is very well stated. I hope I’m not too offensive while I’m in Uganda. I have many Ugandan friends.

  2. thalis says:

    This is a very nice post. Well done my friend.

  3. roger hansen says:

    There are three international aide agencies that I admire: (1) Doctors Without Borders; (2) OxFam; and (3) Partners in Health.

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