Assiimwe Allan is a 22-year-old student in his second year at the Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, taking statistics as his major and mathematics as his minor.
In August 2015, Allan teamed up with five fellow hardworking students to form a transformation movement project called Coffee Max which will be operationalized through the registration of a business company at the Makerere University. The Coffee Max project intends to develop a new generation of young people to embrace and enjoy coffee in its full diversity. As a result, this will increase domestic coffee consumption amongst the young people and integrate them more along activities in the coffee value chain.
Allan began this project with the aim to popularize coffee as a trendy beverage amongst university students which, in turn, would reduce alcoholism. He and his team participated in the annual Uganda coffee festival that was hosted in November 2015 and organized by NUCAFE in conjunction with the Uganda Coffee Developed Authority (UCDA). In addition, Allan developed a strong passion to boost his fellow young people, especially his fellow university students with entrepreneurial skills to assist them to be self-employed which in turn will reduce the overwhelming youth unemployment rate in Uganda.
The project will start with the purchase of automated coffee vending machines that will offer a wider variety of coffee beverage. This will be followed with a vigorous coffee club at the Makerere University and accompanied by trendy promotional materials for awareness creation of the endless attributes of coffee. The project looks forward to utilising online platforms as a way of promoting its sensitization programs.
To this end, Allan and his team have engaged with the National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) for capacity building and mentorship as NUCAFE has a wider range of experience and knowledge that will help assist the project in overcoming any foreseeable likely challenges in the future. In addition, NUCAFE also supported them with a grant to initiate the project and ensure that it would be self-sustaining. Furthermore, the project is also backed up with a team of committed students ready to carry out various operational activities
The project has the potential to kick-off to a great start as it is located in an area with a large “trendy” middle-class population made up of students from the Makerere University. They will provide an incredible ready market for the project to explore the business opportunities within the vicinity, that has not yet been realized.
And what of the future? Allan had this to say, “The business shall celebrate the enduring success by achieving self-sustenance. This will include paying off its workers and running day-to-day activities. Increase in company savings will definitely deem business success. This will be accompanied by the registration of Coffee Max as a separate legal entity. Expansion of the coffee club at the university and Coffee Max acquiring more business investments such as more vending machines will also be an enormous measure of success.”
TRAC-LIFT Marketing & Communications Team – Wednesday 09th March 2016
Venue: Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Source: The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) Blog