My name is Brian Amanya, a first-year student pursuing a bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree at Gulu University. The programme is fully funded by the MasterCard Foundation under the Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev).
Every day, I live by the vision of the TAGDev programme, which is to produce a cohort of African scholars who are job creators rather than job seekers. This mantra is what motivated me to save part of my stipend from the MasterCard scholarship to venture into projects that could bring in an income, but also create employment.
At the beginning of 2020 for instance, I noticed that the trading centre in my home town did not have decent accommodation for people visiting the area. So, I used some of the family land to construct a three—room guest house., which my mother supervised in my absence. But since returning home after institutions of learning were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I oversee the running of the business.
I only charge Shs8000 per night. I also cut costs by engaging in the cleaning and maintenance of the premises myself. Like some businesses, it faces the challenge of having few clients and being a small space. I hope to expand the business to offer more accommodation facilities.
I also run a second enterprise in the area of agriculture. During the lockdown, I decided to engage in farming. I grow crops such as potatoes, beans, maize and cassava. My only challenge with the crops is where to get genuine, high yielding seedlings. But the rains have been consistent, and I hope to get a good harvest at the end of the day.
During the lockdown, I also started a blog site https://amanyabrian.business.blog, a platform I use to share business tips, although it is not yet monetised. Because acquiring knowledge is a continuous process, I spend my spare time reading school books and those on financial literacy.
By Brian Amanya