Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Tour-hope after war.
Explain your idea in details:
Kyajagali is a pot war rural community in Uganda, located amidst the Walusi hills in Luwero district where the Kabaka of Buganda, the biggest Kingdom in Uganda, goes for cultural hunting. The community makes traditional crafts, has very old structures (some over 100 years old) that represent the traditional building architecture in the region and practices several indigenous traditions including games. Nonetheless, subsistence farming remains their only source of livelihood. Tour-hope is an entrepreneur's vision to exploit the villages cultural heritage and strategic location to turn it into a tourist destination. We intend to establish a cultural tourism center in the village, where locals can make and exhibit their crafts, tell folk stories, play traditional games and share other local experiences with local and international tourists. The center will have a camping site, and traditionally designed eco-lodges, exhibition hall, and kitchen. In addition, we will establish two community vegetable greenhouses at the cultural center to feed our visitors but also boost the local market and empower subsistence farmers. 7.5 tons of mixed high-volume vegetable crops can be expected from each of the 750m2 greenhouses and gross revenue of about 7000 dollars annually. Part of the proceeds will also help support children education. The two greenhouses will be entirely staffed by local women (about 40) in cooperatives established in surrounding villages. We will also train 100 youths to become principal trainers to local farmers in sustainable farming practices in their respective villages.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Tourism and travel in Uganda remain a major sector, contributing 7.3% of its GDP, 17.9% of total exports and 6.3% of total employment, in 2017. The numbers are expected to rise with increased investment. However, until now, attractions in Uganda have been specialized, emphasizing on high-income luxury trips to watch wildlife and nature, and adventures such as to the source of the Nile due to the limited choice for the tourists, lack of diverse, unique and authentic cultural products, and poor infrastructure. This leads to relatively-low length of stay and spends by tourists. Cultural tourism can be a sustainable way of providing socio-economic benefits to rural areas and our target is to transform the ruins and stories in post-war areas into hope and a source of livelihood. To track progress, we will record the number of visitors coming to the village every month. We expect a 100% rise in visitor numbers after one year. Greenhouses can be used to support small-scale farmers secure sustainable livelihoods through increasing access to economic opportunities in the agricultural value chains and increasing resilience to natural disasters related to climate change. They can be used to produce food all year through regardless of the seasons. There is also enough evidence to show that profits from well-managed greenhouses are enormous. We will record the amount of output from the greenhouses and the number of participants. We expect a 50% increase in vegetable output from the village after one year from commencement. We also expect areas such as with rocky soils that are unfavourable for farming and had been abandoned by locals, to be utilized after this project. Greenhouses can become a good option. We will carry out surveys during community meetings to ascertain the number of beneficiaries and assess the impact of the project.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The project is designed to be self-sustaining. We expect to obtain profits from selling products in the greenhouses but also from fees for camping or buying crafts. The primary target for the cultural produce will be visitors at the tourism site. These will be allowed to buy the vegetables and prepare their own meals (if they like). Thus, proceeds from one can support the other and will help support the implementation and expansion of the project. We have built a team consisting of locals including architects and farmers, their leadership (local council) and tour guides. We are attracting more members from the community. Furthermore, we are first concentrating on Kyajagali, in a local setting but expect this to spread to nearby villages and other post-war zones in the country. On the implementation of the project, we intend to write a proposal to the central government for support and expansion, and the establishment of similar programs in the country. This project will act as evidence. Since agriculture and tourism are at the top of the Uganda agenda to alleviate poverty, we envisage that the success of this project will attract the central government of Uganda. Moreover, post-war effects are of global concern and hence we expect NGO,s and other international donors to come on board once this is successful.
I am a Ugandan, currently living in Germany. I have a bachelor of science degree in Conservation Biology from Makerere University Uganda and a masters in Biodiversity and Collection Management from Technische University Dresden Germany. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in which I will assess the relevance of Africa's museums to society. I took on biodiversity research because I love working with the 'real world' and influencing 'real people', call it sustainable development. 30 years after relentless wars in Uganda, many people, especially in rural areas, still live in absolute misery with no access to, medical services, education, proper diet, water, etc. Coming from such a country, I can say that I have beaten the odds. This is what motivates me to be part of the global initiatives for change. My experience traveling, studying and working in several countries, opened my eyes to realize that all communities have gold that just needs to be mined. Unfortunately, many projects intending to improve livelihoods target urban centers, are not sustainable or do not directly impact on the intended beneficiaries. I believe that if projects can directly involve local communities, be all inclusive and build resilient structures, many sustainable challenges can be overcome.