John Mugabe & ALED: The Heart of Liberty in Uganda
By Ken Schoolland, March 2023
John and Shivan Mugabe , founders of Action for Liberty & Economic Development (ALED), invited Kenli and me to participate in numerous activities they organized in Entebbe in early March. Every event highlighted different dimensions of the rich and challenging life of Uganda. Kenli made a presentation for the Miss Uganda pageant organization, advising elite beauties of Uganda how to make the most of their drive for improving Uganda by turning their passions into entrepreneurial success. She was warmly received..
I was invited to speak about entrepreneurship at an assembly of the students at Lakeview Secondary School. The crowd broke into a roar of discourse when I asked if boys or girls made the better entrepreneurs. A copy of my book had been deposited in the school library by ALED and some had actually read it with gusto. I challenged them to send me a review to post on the Jonathan Gullible website.
John took us on a site visit where a woman was being denied property rights in Uganda. In the company of a paralegal who was offering support and advice to a widow whose relatives were trying to take her property. When her husband passed away, all of his relatives harassed her endlessly, destroyed her banana trees, beat her, and tried to bribe the courts to deny her claims as asserted in her deceased husband’s will. John has been tireless in championing the rights of women to property, largely denied in Uganda. We were informed that the presence of foreigners on the scene helps to bolster her case.
Kenli was invited to make a presentation at the Rotaract Club of Entebbe. She spoke to a large and attentive audience of budding entrepreneurs about using the internet to build their businesses.
We were escorted on motorbikes to Entebbe Comprehensive Secondary School where Kenli was invited to speak to a class about entrepreneurship and how to turn their talents into a career on the internet. We were also treated to a class in the schoolyard where instruction included the making of crafts for sale…to help pay school fees.
The Mtindo Network Development Initiative is a youth-led think tank centre for leadership development, entrepreneurship & advocacy. In collaboration with Mwesige Joram Kyenjojo, ALED, and The Atlas Network, Mtindo hosted a program on economic literacy by exploring Bruce Koerber’s book, The Divine Economy Model. This was followed with a presentation by Kenli about entrepreneurship and social media on the internet and by me about the use of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible for free market economics education.
Mtindo and ALED then moved the activities to the Kampala campus of one of the most prestigious institutions in Uganda, Makerere University. Meeting many of the students we gave presentations about freedom, economic development, and entrepreneurship.
The next day we were taken to a Catholic school, the University of Kitsubi, that was in the midst of preparations to celebrate all the food, dance, and cultural traditions of the various regions of Uganda and of international students attending the school. We both gave presentations to a packed audience about entrepreneurship and economic development. Before departing we visited the library and presented copies of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible and copies of Trade and Globalization by Eamonn Butler for their collection.
A grand event we were privileged to experience was the community gathering to promote the empowerment of women. This was hosted by all the staff of ALED at their office grounds. It was a very encouraging site to see, of so many women charged up for the championing of rights…especially for a recognition of the importance to women of property rights and equal treatment before the law. Bravo to John Mugabe, his whole team, and to his wife, Shivan, who takes care of them all. May daughter, Michelle, grow up in a nation that has greater respect for women as a result of their work.