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041 4342196 utb@utb.go.ug

UTB Partners With Absa to Advance Girl-Child Education through the KH3-7 Hills Run

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has joined forces with Absa bank-Uganda and other partners to enhance girl child education through orchestrating the KH3-Hills Marathon.

This collaboration re-affirms their shared commitment to heighten the enrolment of girls at all education levels in all learning institutions, an initiative aimed at achieving gender equality in Uganda’s education system.

The run was flagged off by Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy speaker of Parliament on March 17th, 2023 at Kololo airstrip. It was tailored towards raising proceeds dubbed “Run Her Race” to aid in returning girls who have dropped out of school prematurely.

It is of noteworthy mention that the current picture in Uganda concerning girl-child education is daunting. According to the 2019 statistics by the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, over 700,000 girls in Uganda aged 6 to 12 never attended school. 

Additionally, half of girls aged 15 to 24 are illiterate, and four in five girls do not attend high school. This situation persists in higher learning institutions.

Economic factors, notably poverty in most families, especially in rural areas, make sending girls to school and retaining them difficult. Traditional gender roles further disadvantage girls, pushing them into economic activities instead of school.

This vulnerability leads to pregnancy, human trafficking, sexual abuse, domestic violence, HIV infections, and a life with limited choices. 

A recent World Bank study indicates that limited educational opportunities for girls in developing countries cost between USD 15 trillion and 30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity earnings, impacting livelihoods, communities, and countries.

In her remarks, the CEO of UTB, Lilly Ajarova underlined the agency’s unwavering commitment to working with all partners to actualize gender equality in Uganda, aimed at perpetuating equal opportunities for girls within the country’s education system.

“Uganda Tourism Board is committed to closely collaborating with every player striving to ensure that every girl-child in Uganda attains the best education destined for them, and increasing the enrollment of girls at all education levels,” affirmed Ajarova.

She highlighted that events like these offer participants a chance to experience Uganda’s scenic beauty as they traverse through Kampala’s hills, potentially enticing them to explore other tourist attractions in the country, hence a boost to domestic tourism.

Mumba Kalifungwa, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda, speaking to why the bank chose this initiative said that the bank’s citizenship ambition is to be an active force for good in the communities where it operates.

“Advancing education and youth employment as well as promoting a just society are some of our key citizenship pillars. Additionally, the 4thSustainable Development Goal (SDG) speaks to the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all while the 5th one speaks to achieving gender equality for all. We believe that this is our small contribution to achieving this goal in Uganda,” he said.

Helen Basuta Nangonzi, Absa Bank Uganda’s marketing and Customer Experience Director underscored Absa’s commitment to giving back to the community, through orchestrating a myriad of social responsibility initiatives, such as the Marathon that was held.

“The activity kicked off at 6:00 am with a warm-up session and the official flagging off went well, participation went well. The proceeds from the run will go towards supporting the girl-child education initiatives, which is a major component of Absa bank’s promise of being an active force for good,” Miss Nangonzi said.

The run included a 5KM and 22 Km races. The 5km race kicked off from Kololo airstrip to Acacia Avenue, to Kololo Hill Drive, then to Prince Charles Drive, Ibis Valley to Impala Avenue, Upper Kololo Terrace, then to Wampewo Avenue before finally returning to the airstrip.

The 22 KM race, spanning the 7 Hills of Kampala kicked off from Kololo airstrip to Acacia Avenue, Kyadondo Road, Akibua Road, then to Nakasero Hill Road, to Kyagwe Road, to Rashid Khammis Road, Ginnery Road and then connecting to old Kampala Road, to Namirembe Road.

From Namirembe Raod, the route goes through Willis Road, Centenary Road, and then to Cathedral Hill Road, Mbogo Road, Albert Cook Road to Muteesa 1 Road, then to Sensera Road, St. Lawrence University Lane and connecting to Lubiri Ring Lane. 

The route then connected to Musajja Alumbwa Raod, then to Lubiri Ring Road, Mengo Hill Road, Nsambya Estate Road, then to Heritage Road and Gaba Road, then to Kibuli Road, Jinja Road then to Wampewo Avenue and subsequently, Kololo Airstrip.

The overall winner, Philip Kiptoo (1:13:36), won a 50×100 land title donated by Bakayima Real Estate Agents. Additionally, the Top 2 Females (Chemusto and Chesang from Joshua Cheptegi Athletics Club) and the Top 2 males (Ategeka and Agaba from KH3 Running Club) and will be sponsored by Absa Bank-Uganda to participate in the Johannesburg leg of the2025 Absa Run Your City Series in South Africa.

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