Regardless of its origin, what is not in dispute is its accuracy. Uganda still has the most wonderful environment. Over the Christmas holidays, my two sons and I visited Queen Elizabeth National Park in SW Uganda and enjoyed chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge, a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel and several drives through the northern sector of the park. Our journey took us past crater lakes and the foothills of the Rwenzori (pictured above) between Fort Portal and Kasese, the Ankole tea extates at Bushenyi and through the savannah lands between Mbarara and Masaka. A delight! The following week, we also made a short visit to Jinja, for a day's whitewater rafting on the Nile, a day both thrilling and terrifying in equal measure. For once, the tourism slogan chosen by Uganda - Gifted by Nature - is no exaggeration.
Ugandans are justifiably proud of the name 'Pearl of Africa". As evidence, many Ugandan organizations have chosen “Pearl” in their names. My own favourite, until recently, was the superb Pearl range of sauces, jams and pickles manufactured in Kasese - the chilli and garlic sauce is second to none. But now there is a new Pearl, Pearl Capital Partners, formed last year to be the fund management business for AAC’s successor funds, the African Seed Investment Fund and the AAC Fund (in formation). My colleagues and I are proud of being one of the very few venture capital / private equity fund managers resident in Uganda, and what better name to choose to assert our Ugandan connection?
True, Pearl lacks originality, but then again, imagination and originality are not usually associated with the focus on facts, figures and empirical analysis required by successful venture capital and private equity investment managers.