Business 200 Uganda Partnerships (BUPS)
The BUPS program aims to foster the development of long-term, sustainable partnerships between University of St. Thomas undergraduate business students and communities in Uganda. Through these connections, UST students will have ample opportunities to accomplish significant learning objectives while providing meaningful, genuinely needed service to the Ugandan communities.
The program was created through a collaboration between Dr. Barbara Gorski, director of Business 200, and Cliff Nsubuga, a UST undergraduate student from Uganda. Nsubuga's hope was to provide UST undergrads with a win-win opportunity to widen their worldview while providing service to communities in need.
Maiden Trip – Summer 2012
An inaugural BUPS trip to Uganda is planned for summer 2012. The trip will foster a partnership between UST SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) and the Ugandan High Field Schools and Hope Medical Clinic
High Field schools: Partnerships in education
Several troubling trends exist in Ugandan primary education. For primary seven (the Ugandan equivalent of the U.S. sixth grade), completion rates are low overall and lower still for girls. In 2008, 26% of the students completed primary seven. Fewer girls are still enrolled at secondary level; just one third of the girls who enrolled in primary are still in school at the age of 18, compared to half of the boys (UDHS 2006).
These trends are being addressed at the national level through two sets of commitments Uganda has made to the international community, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Education for All (EFA) program. The work done by students on the inaugural BUPS trip will be in line with the planning done for these goals.
Students participating in the summer 2012 trip will attempt to alleviate this problem in two ways. First, they will work with individual students at High Field, using their observational and analytical skills to identify potential causes of the low completion rate. More broadly, UST students will use a set of actvities and programs to inspire the High Field students to seek higher education as a means to self-actualization.
Hope Medical Clinic: Partnerships in health care services
Hope Medical Clinics Uganda exists to provide medicines, vaccinations and other health care services in Uganda in a manner affordable and accessible to middle- and low-income individuals, as well as to create an employment infrastructure for Ugandan medical professionals.
Hope currently operates two medical clinics in Kampala, in the neighborhoods of Kasubi and Ndejje. UST students travelling on the 2012 BUPS trip will help construct a third clinic, with a focus on maternity services, in the neighborhood of Maganjo.
Facts about Uganda
Uganda is considered a geographically strategic economy in Sub-Saharan East Africa.
Ugandan attitudes toward the United States and its products are very favorable. U.S. exports to Uganda totaled $94 million in 2010. Major American exports to Uganda include machinery and machinery parts, agricultural products (largely food aid), electronics, transportation equipment and used clothing. Potential future U.S. exports to Uganda include construction, manufacturing and mining equipment, information technology products, medical equipment, supplies for food processing, cosmetics, and consumer goods
Ugandan economic growth in the past several decades has been substantial. The percentage of Ugandans living in poverty dropped from 56% in 1992 to 24.5% in 2009. GDP rose annually by an average of 7.9% between 2001 and 2009, and by 5.8% for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Estimated GDP growth for 2010-2011 is 6.4%.
Several major American firms operate in Uganda, attesting to a thriving climate for international investment. These companies include Citibank, Caterpillar, NCR, Sheraton Hotels, FedEx, Ernst & Young, Moneygram, Price Waterhouse Coopers, General Motors, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Hertz.