Why is education the focus of this Strategy?
Education has long been recognized as a basic right which is premised on the understanding that it permits the successive transmission of beneficial culture i.e. technical skills, customs, beliefs, values, laws and knowledge across generations (Ssekamwa, 1997). Indeed, putting education at the center of development has great potential to transform societies. Access to quality education promotes empowerment and thus, is a gateway that spurs social cohesion and prosperity by improving human capital and the opportunity for individuals to improve their livelihoods and lead a full and beneficial life. Unfortunately, these benefits are seldom enjoyed by remote rural societies resulting in their continued marginalization and unrelenting poverty. The average pupil-teacher primary school ratio of 42.7 in Uganda (The Global Economy.com) shows that the ratio is poor for effective learning throughout the country. This is significantly worse in rural areas. These disturbing metrics are also commonplace in neighbouring
countries especially those recovering from civil wars. The focus of RAE is to reverse these patterns, building on its three pioneer initiatives, 

a) Increasing access to education for the gild child and marginalized communities,
b) Increasing access to improved agricultural technologies, and
c) Skilling the Youth through School Garden Learning Labs.

Why is Agriculture the focus of this Strategy? 
Agriculture being the mainstay of Uganda’s rural economy means that sustainable economic development and decent employment and resultant livelihoods can be attained through promotion of well-designed, competitive and inclusive agricultural enterprises. This strategy applies especially in rural areas where residents derive their livelihoods from agriculture. The local rural economies in Uganda and neighbouring countries revolves around agriculture. Promotion of proven agricultural innovations are likely to mitigate the extreme hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition evident in these rural communities. Furthermore agri-business and entrepreneurship using digital technologies to aggregate and link to markets offer good scope to engage youth and women as this would reduce unemployment and revitalize rural economies.

Why is environment sustenance a focus of this Strategy?
Development challenges including rapid population growth, climate vulnerability, resource depletion, energy poverty, inequality and poverty, are often multifaceted, intertwined and hit rural communities hardest. Rising food prices and public disease outbreaks (e.g. COVID-19 and cholera), all testify to the repercussions of inadequate environment sustenance and health. RAE considers both environment sustenance (i.e. responsibility of conserving natural resources) essential. It supports the agri-ecosystem and the well-being of both current and future generations, providing access to not only improved, climate-adapted agriculture and quality education but also to clean air, water sanitation, safe use of agrochemicals, good hygiene and health services. This strategy therefore includes both environment sustenance and health.

Why is Youth Employment and Community Advancement the focus of this Strategy?
Africa has the fastest growing population with the continent expected to constitute about 47% of the world population by 2050. Of that population, about 70% will be youth (less than 35 years old). This mushrooming population is already posing significant challenges with the overwhelming majority of the youth (>70%) being unemployed apart from increasing rural poverty and contributing to environmental degradation. This is made worse because most of the rural areas in Africa remain underdeveloped, underserved and often marginalized. As such targeted interventions are needed to train and skill the youths so as to make them employable and job creators. Furthermore,
interventions areas needed to improve and increase livelihood opportunities for rural communities, including providing necessary safeguards especially for girl child, women and vulnerable communities. Hence, RAE will prioritize interventions that enhance youth skill development for job creation and employability while at the same time promoting safeguards for the target communities. RAE will build on its efforts of catalyzing rural transformation through intentional community engagement.

Why are Digital Services the focus of this Strategy?
Digital services catalyze economic growth, enhance governance, and bridge societal gaps. Embracing digital technologies in rural areas accelerates efficiency, transparency, and accessibility, fostering a more inclusive and connected rural community. By focusing on digital services, RAE aims to harness the power of information technology to aggregate farm production and inputs, provide opportunities for small businesses and youth self-employment, streamline public services, empower youths and women, and attract investments. The improved access to information and aggregation enhanced by digital communication and AI tools helps small-scale and remote farmers overcome their poor infrastructure and lack of economies of scale. This strategy recognizes the transformative potential of the digital landscape which is at the forefront of the global digital revolution. RAE emphasis on digital services aligns with the Uganda’s vision for a technologically advanced, economically vibrant, and socially equitable future.
RAE will therefore build on its ongoing efforts of enhancing access to digital learning for Rural Schools and Communities.