Converting from bartering to monetary systems

BrianUganda 2015


The monetary economy in Hamar is in its infancy, but growing for a number of reasons. The big goal of Hamar men still does revolve around large herds of livestock and affording more jewellery. Goats and cows are predominantly used for trade, marriage and status. There are currently few crops grown in the Hamar communities, just small fields of sorghum and maize, but as rainfall is increasingly unreliable, the need to generate household income to support a healthy diet and more stable life is becoming really important. Generating income is also a means to help Hamar communities create the financial ability to improve their calf quality and potentially reduce herd sizes. This is also linked to the conservation of Mago National Park. A focus of our enterprise project is also with women – we are partnered with a local economic empowerment initiative and hope to help them sustainably benefit from tourism and associated enterprises as well as find enterprising solutions to serve the local market.

This is a resource-constrained environment so our volunteers do their best to transfer their skills and knowledge to a very different context and will discover simple opportunities from available financial, physical and human resources. It’s a great challenge and pushes you think outside the box. Through these projects I will be a real part of building the foundations for a self-sufficient and proud Africa.