KAMPALA, UGANDA: Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the country’s apex body for the private sector, has launched a partnership with Bird Uganda Safaris Limited to create at least 3,000 jobs for Ugandan youths over a 5-year period.
The partnership launched on Friday September 24 in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation is part of the Young Africa Works–Enhancing Lead Firm Structure for Youth Employment in Uganda.
Samuel Yalew Adela, Country Head, Uganda at the Mastercard Foundation said: “Birding and tourism in general is a growing and promising space and we are excited to partner with Bird Uganda Safaris Limited to provide the necessary support to equip youth with the right ideas and skills, not just to improve their own lives, but to improve the lives of their families, the well-being of communities, and the resilience of the country.”
Under this partnership, work opportunities will be generated in birding tours, cultural tours, other nature tours, tour driving, food and craft production, cultural dances value chain and will be implemented in the districts of Kiruhura Kazo, Isingiro, Mbarara, Rubirizi, Bushenyi, Mpigi, Buikwe, Mukono, Masindi, Hoima, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Wakiso, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kotido, Moroto, Kabarole, Sembabule, Rubanda and Kabale.
PSFU is the anchor implementing partner of the Young Africa Works strategy in Uganda, and through the Lead Firm Structure Project aims to create a total of 300,000 work opportunities.
The targeted sectors are agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, and construction housing with 70% of the beneficiaries being young women.
To date, the project has generated up to 155,557 potential work opportunities through 22 Lead Firms.
Francis Kisirinya, Acting Executive Director, PSFU encouraged corporate companies to embrace corporate social investment projects as these have proven to be more fruitful in the long run than corporate social responsibility projects. Invest in the future of your business, your customers and your country at large.”
Stephen Asiimwe, the Director – Policy and Business Development at PSFU, and a birding enthusiast said this intervention is timely because tourism and hospitality sectors across the globe have taken perhaps the greatest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and any effort to boost the sector is highly appreciated.
“It is also timely because September 27 th is marked as the World Tourism Day and this year’s theme is “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” which is certainly ingrained in the objectives of this partnership.”
Bird watching is the fastest growing outdoor recreation activity in Uganda. The country boasts 1,081 bird species in the Albertine areas, 85 of which are rare unique species and within East Africa are only found in Uganda.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Herbert Byaruhanga- Managing Director Bird Uganda Safaris Limited said, “Uganda enjoys substantial economic benefits from visiting birders. An average birdwatcher spends between $2000-$7000 on bird watching.” He said this has led to establishment of many birding and wildlife watching enterprises and events as a means of generating income.
The professional bird tour guide in Uganda earns 150 US dollars per day and a fresh trainee earns 90 USD per day, considering a trip for birding goes 13-21 days, a guide earns between 1,800 USD to 3,150 USD.
“On average a driver will earn 50-70 USD a day. This goes to show that the jobs can be financially fulfilling if taken seriously,” said Byaruhanga.