Mr. Timothy Jokkene inspects his improved breed of cattle at his ranch. He dreams of transforming the economy of war- ravaged acholiland through his bemonstration ranch.
“The West has had their economic boom and it has cooled down. The current boom we see in the Middle East (because of its oil) and in Asia will also cool down. Africa is the next economic boom”
“Africa is endowed with all the best natural resources in the world. Look at its climate for instance. Sub- Saharan Africa has twelve hours of sunshine and twelve hours of darkness. It has good rainfall, virgin land for mass farming, natural pastures, fresh water and minerals”.
GULU-UGANDA: A Ugandan entrepreneur says that the next “economic boom” will be in Africa because the continent is endowed with best natural resources and good climate in the world.
Mr. Timothy Jokkene, who has invested over 1.4 million dollars (over 5 billion shillings) in various enterprises in Uganda, says sub-Saharan Africa has the best climate in the world; with twelve hours of sunshine, virgin land and very good rainfall.
“The West has had their economic boom and it has cooled down. The current boom we see in the Middle East (because of its oil) and in Asia will also cool down. Africa is the next economic boom”, says Mr. Jokkene.
“Africa is endowed with all the best natural resources in the world. Look at its climate for instance. Sub- Saharan Africa has twelve hours of sunshine and twelve hours of darkness. It has very good rainfall, virgin land mass for farming, natural pastures, fresh water, plenty of cheap labor and minerals”, he says.
He made the remarks to a group of Gulu based journalists on May 16, 2017, when they visited him at his ranch located at Lagot-lek village in Gulu district, sixty kilometers north of Gulu town. The ranch is registered as Northern Ranch Limited.
He says the missing link for Africa to take off is the knowledge and technology exchange that the West has and Africa still lacks.
He said Africa is riddled with lots of conflicts because of poverty and the people are redundant; adding that conflicts will only end with massive investment in production of food crops and animals to supply the world market.
Mr. Jokkene appealed to the Africans in the diaspora to return home with their mental resources and help Africa take off economically.
“Time is running out for you Africans in the diaspora. We need your “mental resources” to develop Africa. It is now time you come back home”, he says.
Jokkene’s dream of transforming the economy of Africa
Mr. Jokkene says two of his enterprises, Talanta Microfinance and Northern Ranch, are meant to transform the economy of war ravaged Northern Uganda from small subsistence farming to large scale commercial farming.
He says he has partnered with one of the banks in the Middle East who have invested five billion US dollars to introduce “Islamic banking” in Uganda to help boost production.
He appealed to businessmen and commercial farmers in northern Uganda with good and properly laid down business plans to come for financial support at his Talanta Microfinance instead of running to commercial banks who charge exorbitant interests.
“Islamic banking is already here with us in town. Its primary interest is to help you grow your businesses by enabling you acquire assets like tractors for opening farmlands, warehouses, machineries and factories”.
Talanta Microfinance targets to support 3000 groups of farmers in Acholi sub-regions with ox-ploughs and pairs of oxen to enable farmers graduate from traditional hand-hoes to opening land using oxen so as to boost production.
“If we can make our farmers produce agricultural produce worth $1.4 million dollars in a season and we get market for it, then there is no reason to say that there is still poverty in northern Uganda”
Who is Timothy Jokkene?
Mr. Jokkene was born in October 1958 to the late Batulumayo Ojara, a shop keeper at Ajulu, near Sir Samuel Baker’s Fort Patiko in Gulu district. He was dotted on by his father to the extent that he was the only child permitted to sell in the shop at a tender age.
He developed his skills in business from his father’s shop and by the time he dropped out of formal education after high school in 1983, he had already bought 36 herds of cattle for himself.
Married with four children, Mr. Jokkene was briefly arrested by the Museveni regime and detained at Luzira prison in 1987. After coming out of detention he began serious business in 1989 by acquiring Caltex Petrol Station in Gulu and successfully running it throughout these years.
Currently he runs three petrol stations, a microfinance institution, and a ranch which with 500 herds of cross bred cattle, a secondary school and two health centers.