In Uganda, 12.3 million people (30.1% of the population) lived below the poverty line of U.S. $1.77 per person per day (Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2021). The number of Ugandans who are not poor but vulnerable has increased over recent years as well, as did the number of those who shift in and out of poverty.
To combat this and provide economic opportunity, the Rwenzori Tourism Academy was founded in 2019 to upskill and empower local communities, particularly those bordering the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site, Rwenzori Mountains.
In 2020, the organization and its destination marketing partners knew they had to find every available tool to build a more sustainable local economy on tourism.
The organization needed immediate support to build courses, deliver training to remote areas, and activate their most promising students for leadership roles. Because the area is quite distant from city centers and access to training was not easily available, there was a gap between the regional ambition to grow tourism and the tools to empower their workforce.
Until their partnership with The Tourism Academy | tourismacademy.org.
The Tourism Academy quickly invited two promising Rwenzori students to participate in a six month internship program with the goal of learning to build their own online courses and develop a grant funding strategy.
Rwenzori Academy leadership was invited to join The Tourism Academy's Advisory Panel where they could connect with leaders in the destination development industry.
Rwenzori students were given immediate access to more than 200 online courses offered via the TourismAcademy.org platform.
In the first year of collaboration, this partnership produced:
It is through our careers that we impact the world and more so through tourism we break cultural and geographical barriers.
--Vincent Agaba, Rwenzori Tourism Academy