Locally led impact networks, such as the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance (UAA), play a critical role in strengthening agricultural ecosystems by bringing their members together to address complex systemic challenges. They are able to deliver significant impact by aligning key actors who are committed to strengthening financial systems and resources, and increasing the income generating opportunities needed to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty in rural sub-Saharan Africa. This interview demonstrates the careful work that UAA have carried out over many years to increase collaboration and impact across the value chain.

“I think our role is not building the entire value chain, but to make sure that the platform contributes to the building of the value chain. So much of what is needed is out of our control, whether exporters can actually unite into one apex organization and really cooperate, whether they can share revenues with farmers better so that their farmers are more loyal and the exporters have a more dependable source of supply. That’s what we’re addressing in some of the pilot projects that we’re working on. That’ll be our contribution, to look at promoting specific pilot projects that we think hit the pain points, the areas of value chain development that could really be pivotal.” Steve Hodges, Chief Operating Officer, UAA

Listen to the interview with UAA’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Hodges and East Africa Networks Lead Fiona Nyong’o. In this interview you will hear Steve describe the careful work over many years in bringing agrobusinesses, small holder farmers and other actors across a crop value chain. Beginning with mapping key actors, through the building of trust, to eventually form a platform or network to increase collaboration and impact across the whole value chain. This builds on our earlier interview and case study with Edward Katende, CEO of UAA which you can find here.

UAA is one of nine impact networks across East and West Africa that Creative Metier has worked with over the past three years. This work explores impact network potential drawing on Creative Metier tools, resources and experiences and also tests the Converge networks approach, adapting it to the local context.

We would like to thank Small Foundation for their support for this research, Converge for their willingness to share their work which was one of the inspirations for this initiative, and the UAA team who entered so enthusiastically into this work and continue to engage with us.