Connect Uganda

Connect Uganda

Mukono, UgandaMukono, Uganda
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Maendeleo Foundation reaches out to communities and schools with up to date computer skills and information access.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Uganda, the electrical power grid reaches only a small percentage of the population (5%-10%), mostly in urban areas. Rolling blackouts, poor maintenance of the grid, lack of infrastructure, and high prices make this source of electricity unreliable. Sitting on the equator, Uganda is ideal for efficient use of solar power. New low power netbooks provide the possibility of inexpensive solar computer installations. Lately internet accessibility has grown to allow access in nearly all areas of the country. Most of Uganda’s population live in rural areas and are involved in agriculture but lack relevant information to help them improve on their practice and lack markets as they have no way of accessing market information.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through Connect Uganda Project we are reaching out to hard to reach rural communities with relevant information through powering each partner library with 3 Classmate PCs,an internet router and a solar system.In addittion to this,we have developed a database with information localized to meet the information needs of the local community.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Training farmers and girls in computer skills will enable them to access relevant data in local languages and the ability of community users to communicate with others in their field will help improve community development, local economic development. Networking workshops will enable us link the various women farmers groups we work with to organizations and people that can provides services to them.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While there are several organizations aimed at helping farmers by showing them modern farming techniques, they are based in urban areas and reach very few of their target audience. Working with community libraries located in rural areas enables us to directly serve the people in need and disseminate such information to all in their area using local language data from our server.

Founding Story

It was during our Library Tour Project where we visited over 15 community libraries in different districts in Uganda with our Mobile Solar Computer Classroom.After having given an introduction and basic computer training to an average of 500 people in each location we realized that those we trained did not have the ability to use the skills they’ve learned. And during our training session that included a brief introduction to the internet we noticed that most people were looking for information about pest control and markets and we received so many people who needed help with thier crops and healthy problems.Being no experts in either field we realized that we could use the internet and our database to provide information and link communities to various services.
About You
Maendeleo Foundation
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Maendeleo Foundation

Organization Country

, Mukono

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Mukono

Age of Innovator


Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

A grant was awarded by Electronic Information For Libraries (EIFL) in 2012 for a pilot of the Connect Uganda Project.

In 2009, Maendeleo Foundation won Intel’s “Inspire-Empower Challenge,” in the category of education.

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Cost, Quality, Equity.

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to technology, Access to education/training, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We have just started the pilot project and therefore have not yet measured the impacts.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Through our project,over 90 community libraries in Uganda will be powered with computers and internet access to serve local information needs.

More so through linkages with service providers,over 100 farmers groups will be able to move from subsistence farming to commercial farming.

At the moment,there's no public agricultural database in Uganda and through our project we will be able to avail the public with a fully built agricultural database.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

1)The community libraries we work with are scattered all over the country and it foresaw hardships in monitoring and managing the project so we embarked on training librarians and information officers that will be equipped with the skills to manage the project.
3)The current erratic power supply in the country.for which power is a critical input since we need to power the computers and internet routers.We have put a budget together to have Solar Systems installed in each of the libraries we are working with.
4)Language diversity in the country is likely to have a negative impact on the project.We have therefore resorted to translating the content into local languages for easy acess.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Communication and information skills training to librarians and library information officers

Task 2

Translation of data into local languages

Task 3

Soliciting for partners that can work with the rural farmers by providing services to them

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Update the database regulary

Task 2

Source for agricultural information

Task 3

Training of farmers on how to use information after they have trecieved it

Tell us about your partnerships

The project is currently run in partnership with Uganda Community Libraries Association which provides us with libraries and librarians to assit with the project.

We also work with Makerere Center for Lifelong Learning who provide the team off researchers and translators.

Since we aim at linking farmers to service providers,we are also working on partnerships with NGOs and Companies that work in the field of agriculture.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list