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At a ground-breaking event on 27 November, 500 people will come together to talk about business and the MDGs. What is unique about the event is that the speakers and participants will be from one small village in Western Uganda: Kikuube Village outside Masindi.
All too often high-level events bring together experts to talk about the poor. Project Diaspora, in partnership with lead-sponsor Business Fights Poverty, is changing that: Villages in Action is a first-of-its-kind conference that will provide a platform for the voices of the poor.
The event will be webstreamed live onto this site, thanks to support from Orange Uganda. A global audience of thousands will also engage with the conference through social media tools like Twitter (follow hashtag #VIA2010
), Facebook and the blogs here on Business Fights Poverty, Villages in Action
and Project Diaspora
The goal of this one-day conference is to showcase the grassroots efforts driving economic development and improving the welfare of the community – all with little or no assistance from international aid organisations.
The keynote speech will be delivered by the village’s Local Council (LC1) chairperson, Milly Businge, who represents this village of 270 homesteads and just over 1000 people. Even though she had no knowledge of the MDGs prior to the planning of this conference, her keynote will revolve around the development springing up due to the shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming of sugar cane. As more farmers turn their uncultivated parcels of land into sugar cane out-grower parcels for the local sugar cane factory, development has followed.
The conference will also showcase Kikuube’s first hardware shop – a start-up SME which was opened by an enterprising young woman, Pamela Nyakato, who identified an opportunity and now has a thriving business. Individual efforts like these are directly contributing to local development as well the achievement of the MDGs.
Most of the presenters and panelists will be from the village itself, mixed in with local subject-specific experts and practitioners. Participants will be members of the community, and community leaders.
If you would like to join the event, click the RSVP option on the right-hand-side of this page. A link to the live webstream will be included on the Business Fights Poverty home page from 11am UK time on 27 December.
For information on getting to Kikuube Village, Uganda, click here