For other uses, see Uganda (disambiguation).
|Republic of Uganda
Jamhuri ya Uganda (Swahili)
and largest city
|Religion (2014 census)|
|Government||Unitary dominant-party presidential republic|
|Prime Minister||Ruhakana Rugunda|
|from the United Kingdom||9 October 1962|
|Current constitution||8 October 1995|
|Total||241,038 km (93,065 sq mi) (79th)|
|2018 estimate||42,729,036 (35th)|
|Density||157.1/km (406.9/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
low · 159th
|Currency||Ugandan shilling (UGX)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (EAT)|
|ISO 3166 code||UG|
The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region.
Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.
Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the UK, which established administrative law across the territory.
Uganda gained independence from the UK on 9 October 1962.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although "any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law."
Following constitutional amendments that removed term limits for the president, he was able to stand and was elected president of Uganda in the 2011 and in the 2016 general elections.
Main article: History of Uganda
Main article: Early history of Uganda
The residents of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700–2,300 years ago.
Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s.
They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile.
British Anglican missionaries arrived in the kingdom of Buganda in 1877 (a situation which gave rise to the death of the Uganda Martyrs) and were followed by French Catholic missionaries in 1879.
The British government chartered the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) to negotiate trade agreements in the region beginning in 1888.
From 1886, there were a series of religious wars in Buganda, initially between Muslims and Christians and then, from 1890, between ba-Ingleza Protestants and ba-Fransa Catholics.
Because of civil unrest and financial burdens, IBEAC claimed that it was unable to "maintain their occupation" in the region.
British commercial interests were ardent to protect the trade route of the Nile, which prompted the British government to annexe Buganda and adjoining territories to create the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.
Uganda Protectorate (1894–1962)
Main article: Uganda Protectorate
Most of the surviving Indians returned home, but 6,724 decided to remain in East Africa after the line's completion.
Subsequently, some became traders and took control of cotton ginning and sartorial retail.
From 1900 to 1920, a sleeping sickness epidemic in the southern part of Uganda, along the north shores of Lake Victoria, killed more than 250,000 people.
Independence (1962 to 1965)
In October 1963, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.
UPC and KY formed the first post-independence government with Milton Obote as executive prime minister, with the Buganda Kabaka (King) Edward Muteesa II holding the largely ceremonial position of president.
Buganda crisis (1962–1966)
Uganda's immediate post-independence years were dominated by the relationship between the central government and the largest regional kingdom – Buganda.
From the moment the British created the Uganda protectorate, the issue of how to manage the largest monarchy within the framework of a unitary state had always been a problem.
Colonial governors had failed to come up with a formula that worked.
This was further complicated by Buganda's nonchalant attitude to its relationship with the central government.
Buganda never sought independence, but rather appeared to be comfortable with a loose arrangement that guaranteed them privileges above the other subjects within the protectorate or a special status when the British left.
This was evidenced in part by hostilities between the British colonial authorities and Buganda prior to independence.
Within Buganda there were divisions – between those who wanted the Kabaka to remain a dominant monarch, and those who wanted to join with the rest of Uganda to create a modern secular state.
The split resulted in the creation of two dominant Buganda based parties – the Kabaka Yekka (Kabaka Only) KY, and the Democratic Party (DP) that had roots in the Catholic Church.
The bitterness between these two parties was extremely intense especially as the first elections for the post-Colonial parliament approached.
The Kabaka particularly disliked the DP leader, Benedicto Kiwanuka.
Outside Buganda, a quiet-spoken politician from Northern Uganda, Milton Obote, had forged an alliance of non-Buganda politicians to form the Uganda People's Congress (UPC).
The UPC at its heart was dominated by politicians who wanted to rectify what they saw as the regional inequality that favoured Buganda's special status.
This drew in substantial support from outside Buganda.
The party however remained a loose alliance of interests but Obote showed great skill at negotiating them into a common ground based on a federal formula.
At Independence, the Buganda question remained unresolved.
Uganda was one of the few colonial territories that achieved independence without a dominant political party with a clear majority in parliament.
In the pre-Independence elections, the UPC ran no candidates in Buganda and won 37 of the 61 directly elected seats (outside Buganda).
The DP won 24 seats outside Buganda.
The "special status" granted to Buganda meant that the 21 Buganda seats were elected by proportional representation reflecting the elections to the Buganda parliament – the Lukikko.
KY won a resounding victory over DP, winning all 21 seats.
The UPC reached a high at the end of 1964 when the leader of the DP in parliament, Basil Kiiza Bataringaya crossed the parliamentary floor with five other MPs, leaving DP with only nine seats.
The DP MPs were not particularly happy that their leader Benedicto Kiwanuka's hostility towards the Kabaka that was hindering their chances of compromise with KY.
The trickle of defections turned into a flood when 10 KY members crossed the floor when they realised the formal coalition with the UPC was no longer viable.
Obote's charismatic speeches across the country were sweeping all before him, and the UPC was winning almost every local election held and increasing its control over all district councils and legislatures outside Buganda.
The response from the Kabaka was mute – probably content in his ceremonial role and symbolism in his part of the country.
However, there were also major divisions within his palace that made it difficult for him to act effectively against Obote.
By the time Uganda had become independent, Buganda "was a divided house with contending social and political forces" There were however problems brewing inside the UPC.
As its ranks swelled, the ethnic, religious, regional and personal interests began to shake the party.
The party's apparent strength was eroded in a complex sequence of factional conflicts in its central and regional structures.
And by 1966, the UPC was tearing itself apart.
The conflicts were further intensified by the newcomers who had crossed the parliamentary floor from DP and KY.
The UPC delegates arrived in Gulu in 1964 for their delegates conference.
Here was the first demonstration as to how Obote was losing control of his party.
The battle over the Secretary General of the party was a bitter contest between the new moderate's candidate – Grace Ibingira and the radical John Kakonge.
Ibingira subsequently became the symbol of the opposition to Obote within the UPC.
This is an important factor when looking at the subsequent events that led to the crisis between Buganda and the Central government.
For those outside the UPC (including KY supporters), this was a sign that Obote was vulnerable.
Keen observers realised the UPC was not a cohesive unit.
The collapse of the UPC-KY alliance openly revealed the dissatisfaction Obote and others had about Buganda's "special status".
In 1964 The government responded to demands from some parts of the vast Buganda Kingdom that they were not the Kabaka's subjects.
Prior to colonial rule Buganda had been rivalled by the neighbouring Bunyoro kingdom.
Buganda had conquered parts of Bunyoro and the British colonialists had formalised this in the Buganda Agreements.
Known as the "lost counties", the people in these areas wished to revert to being part of Bunyoro.
Obote decided to allow a referendum, which angered the Kabaka and most of the rest of Buganda.
The residents of the counties voted to return to Bunyoro despite the Kabaka's attempts to influence the vote.
Having lost the referendum, KY opposed the bill to pass the counties to Bunyoro, thus ending the alliance with the UPC.
The tribal nature of Ugandan politics was also manifesting itself in government.
The UPC which had previously been a national party began to break along tribal lines when Ibingira challenged Obote in the UPC.
The "North/South" ethnic divide that had been evident in economic and social spheres now entrenched itself in politics.
Obote surrounded himself with mainly northern politicians – A.
A. Neykon, Felix Onama, Alex Ojera – while Ibingira's supporters who were subsequently arrested and jailed with him, were mainly from the South – George Magezi, B. Kirya, Matthias Ngobi.
In time, the two factions acquired ethnic labels – "Bantu" (the mainly Southern Ibingira faction) and "Nilotic" (the mainly Northern Obote faction).
The perception that the government was at war with the Bantu was further enhanced when Obote arrested and imprisoned the mainly Bantu ministers who backed Ibingira.
These labels brought into the mix two very powerful influences.
First Buganda – the people of Buganda are Bantu and therefore naturally aligned to the Ibingira faction.
The Ibingira faction further advanced this alliance by accusing Obote of wanting to overthrow the Kabaka.
They were now aligned to opposing Obote.
Second – the security forces – the British colonialists had recruited the army and police almost exclusively from Northern Uganda due to their perceived suitability for these roles.
At independence, the army and police was dominated by northern tribes – mainly Nilotic.
They would now feel more affiliated to Obote, and he took full advantage of this to consolidate his power.
In April 1966, Obote passed out eight hundred new army recruits at Moroto, of whom seventy percent came from the Northern Region.
At the time there was a tendency to perceive central government and security forces as dominated by "northerners" – particularly the Acholi who through the UPC had significant access to government positions at national level.
In northern Uganda there were also varied degrees of anti-Buganda feelings, particularly over the kingdom's "special status" before and after independence, and all the economic and social benefits that came with this status.
"Obote brought significant numbers of northerners into the central state, both through the civil service and military, and created a patronage machine in Northern Uganda".
However, both "Bantu" and "Nilotic" labels represent significant ambiguities.
The Bantu category for example includes both Buganda and Bunyoro – historically bitter rivals.
The Nilotic label includes the Lugbara, Acholi and Langi who have bitter rivalries that were to define Uganda's military politics later.
Despite these ambiguities, these events unwittingly brought to fore the northerner/southerner political divide which to some extent still influences Ugandan politics.
The UPC fragmentation continued as opponents sensed Obote's vulnerability.
At local level where the UPC dominated most councils discontent began to challenge incumbent council leaders.
Even in Obote's home district, attempts were made to oust the head of the local district council in 1966.
A more worrying fact for the UPC was that the next national elections loomed in 1967 – and without the support of KY (who were now likely to back the DP), and the growing factionalism in the UPC, there was the real possibility that the UPC would be out of power in months.
Obote went after KY with a new act of parliament in early 1966 that blocked any attempt by KY to expand outside Buganda.
KY appeared to respond in parliament through one of their few remaining MPs, the terminally ill Daudi Ochieng.
Ochieng was an irony – although from Northern Uganda, he had risen high in the ranks of KY and become a close confidant to the Kabaka who had gifted him with large land titles in Buganda.
In Obote's absence from Parliament, Ochieng laid bare the illegal plundering of ivory and gold from the Congo that had been orchestrated by Obote's army chief of staff, Colonel Idi Amin.
He further alleged that Obote, Onama and Neykon had all benefited from the scheme.
Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion to censure Amin and investigate Obote's involvement.
This shook the government and raised tensions in the country.
KY further demonstrated its ability to challenge Obote from within his party at the UPC Buganda conference where Godfrey Binaisa (the Attorney General) was ousted by a faction believed to have the backing of KY, Ibingira and other anti-Obote elements in Buganda.
Obote's response was to arrest Ibingira and other ministers at a cabinet meeting and to assume special powers in February 1966.
In March 1966, Obote also announced that the offices of President and Vice-President would cease to exist – effectively dismissing the Kabaka.
Obote also gave Amin more power – giving him the Army Commander position over the previous holder (Opolot) who had relations to Buganda through marriage (possibly believing Opolot would be reluctant to take military action against the Kabaka if it came to that).
Obote abolished the constitution and effectively suspended elections due in a few months.
Obote went on television and radio to accuse the Kabaka of various offences including requesting foreign troops which appears to have been explored by the Kabaka following the rumours of Amin plotting a coup.
Obote further dismantled the authority of the Kabaka by announcing among other measures:
- The abolition of independent public service commissions for federal units. This removed the Kabaka's authority to appoint civil servants in Buganda.
- The abolition of the Buganda High Court – removing any judicial authority the Kabaka had.
- The bringing of Buganda financial management under further central control.
- Abolition of lands for Buganda chiefs. Land is one the key sources of Kabaka's power over his subjects.
The lines were now drawn for a show down between Buganda and the Central government.
Historians may argue about whether this could have been avoided through compromise.
This was unlikely as Obote now felt emboldened and saw the Kabaka as weak.
Indeed, by accepting the presidency four years earlier and siding with the UPC, the Kabaka had divided his people and taken the side of one against the other.
Within Buganda's political institutions, rivalries driven by religion and personal ambition made the institutions ineffective and unable to respond to the central government moves.
The Kabaka was often regarded as aloof and unresponsive to advice from the younger Buganda politicians who better understood the new post-Independence politics, unlike the traditionalists who were ambivalent to what was going on as long as their traditional benefits were maintained.
The Kabaka favoured the neo-traditionalists.
In May 1966, the Kabaka made his move.
He asked for foreign help and the Buganda parliament demanded that the Uganda government leave Buganda (including the capital, Kampala).
In response Obote ordered Idi Amin to attack the Kabaka's palace.
The battle for the Kabaka's palace was fierce – the Kabaka's guards putting up more resistance that had been expected.
The British trained Captain – the Kabaka with about 120 armed men kept Idi Amin at bay for twelve hours.
It is estimated that up to 2,000 people died in the battle which ended when the army called in heavier guns and overran the palace.
The anticipated countryside uprising in Buganda did not materialise and a few hours later a beaming Obote met the press to relish his victory.
The Kabaka escaped over the palace walls and was transported into exile in London by supporters.
He died there three years later.
1966–1971 (before the coup)
In 1966, following a power struggle between the Obote-led government and King Muteesa, Obote suspended the constitution and removed the ceremonial president and vice-president.
In 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic and abolished the traditional kingdoms.
Obote was declared the president.
1971 (after the coup) –1979 (end of Amin regime)
Main article: History of Uganda (1971–79)
Amin ruled Uganda as dictator with the support of the military for the next eight years.
He carried out mass killings within the country to maintain his rule.
An estimated 80,000–500,000 Ugandans lost their lives during his regime.
One hundred of the 250 passengers originally on board were held hostage until an Israeli commando raid rescued them ten days later.
Amin's reign was ended after the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1979, in which Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles invaded Uganda.
Main article: History of Uganda (1979–present)
Yoweri Museveni has been president since his forces toppled the previous regime in January 1986.
Political parties in Uganda were restricted in their activities beginning that year, in a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence.
In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by Museveni, political parties continued to exist, but they could operate only a headquarters office.
They could not open branches, hold rallies, or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties).
A constitutional referendum cancelled this nineteen-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, Museveni was lauded by western countries as part of a new generation of African leaders.
His presidency has been marred, however, by invading and occupying the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the Second Congo War, resulting in an estimated 5.4 million deaths since 1998, and by participating in other conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
He has struggled for years in the civil war against the Lord's Resistance Army, which has been guilty of numerous crimes against humanity, including child slavery, the Atiak massacre, and other mass murders.
Conflict in northern Uganda has killed thousands and displaced millions.
Parliament abolished presidential term limits in 2005, allegedly because Museveni used public funds to pay US$2,000 to each member of parliament who supported the measure.
Presidential elections were held in February 2006.
Museveni ran against several candidates, the most prominent of them being Kizza Besigye.
On 20 February 2011, the Uganda Electoral Commission declared the incumbent president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the winning candidate of the 2011 elections that were held on 18 February 2011.
The opposition however, were not satisfied with the results, condemning them as full of sham and rigging.
According to the official results, Museveni won with 68 percent of the votes.
This easily topped his nearest challenger, Besigye, who had been Museveni's physician and told reporters that he and his supporters "downrightly snub" the outcome as well as the unremitting rule of Museveni or any person he may appoint.
Besigye added that the rigged elections would definitely lead to an illegitimate leadership and that it is up to Ugandans to critically analyse this.
The European Union's Election Observation Mission reported on improvements and flaws of the Ugandan electoral process: "The electoral campaign and polling day were conducted in a peaceful manner [...] However, the electoral process was marred by avoidable administrative and logistical failures that led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disfranchised."
Since August 2012, hacktivist group Anonymous has threatened Ugandan officials and hacked official government websites over its anti-gay bills.
Some international donors have threatened to cut financial aid to the country if anti-gay bills continue.
Indicators of a plan for succession by the president's son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, have increased tensions.
Main article: Geography of Uganda
Uganda is located in southeast Africa between 1º N and 4º N latitude, and 30º E and 35º E longitude, its geography is very diverse consisting of volcanic hills, mountains, and lakes.
The country sits at an average of 900 meters above sea level.
Both the eastern and western borders of Uganda have mountains.
The Ruwenzori mountain range contains the highest peak in Uganda, which is named Alexandra and measures 5,094 meters.
Lakes and rivers
Much of the south of the country is heavily influenced by one of the world's biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands.
Most important cities are located in the south, near this lake, including the capital Kampala and the nearby city of Entebbe.
Lake Kyoga is in the centre of the country and is surrounded by extensive marshy areas.
Although landlocked, Uganda contains many large lakes.
Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin.
The Victoria Nile drains from Lake Victoria into Lake Kyoga and thence into Lake Albert on the Congolese border.
It then runs northwards into South Sudan.
The extreme north-eastern part of Uganda drains into the Lotikipi Basin, which is primarily in Kenya.
Environment and conservation
Main article: Conservation in Uganda
Uganda has 60 protected areas, including ten national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Kibale National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park.
Government and politics
Main article: Human rights in Uganda
There are many areas which continue to attract concern when it comes to human rights in Uganda.
A UN official accused the LRA in February 2009 of "appalling brutality" in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The number of internally displaced persons is estimated at 1.4 million.
Torture continues to be a widespread practice amongst security organisations.
Attacks on political freedom in the country, including the arrest and beating of opposition members of parliament, have led to international criticism, culminating in May 2005 in a decision by the British government to withhold part of its aid to the country.
The arrest of the main opposition leader Kizza Besigye and the siege of the High Court during a hearing of Besigye's case by heavily armed security forces – before the February 2006 elections – led to condemnation.
Child labour is common in Uganda.
Many child workers are active in agriculture.
Children who work on tobacco farms in Uganda are exposed to health hazards.
Child domestic servants in Uganda risk sexual abuse.
Trafficking of children occurs.
The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants reported several violations of refugee rights in 2007, including forcible deportations by the Ugandan government and violence directed against refugees.
Torture and extrajudicial killings have been a pervasive problem in Uganda in recent years.
For instance, according to a 2012 US State Department report, "the African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation for Torture Victims registered 170 allegations of torture against police, 214 against the UPDF, 1 against military police, 23 against the Special Investigations Unit, 361 against unspecified security personnel, and 24 against prison officials" between January and September 2012.
In September 2009 Museveni refused Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi, the Baganda king, permission to visit some areas of Buganda Kingdom, particularly the Kayunga district.
Riots occurred and over 40 people were killed while others remain imprisoned to this date.
Furthermore, 9 more people were killed during the April 2011 "Walk to Work" demonstrations.
According to the Humans Rights Watch 2013 World Report on Uganda, the government has failed to investigate the killings associated with both of these events.
Main article: LGBT rights in Uganda
In 2007, a Ugandan newspaper, the Red Pepper, published a list of allegedly gay men, many of whom suffered harassment as a result.
On 9 October 2010, the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone published a front-page article titled "100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leak" that listed the names, addresses, and photographs of 100 homosexuals alongside a yellow banner that read "Hang Them".
The paper also alleged that homosexuals aimed to recruit Ugandan children.
This publication attracted international attention and criticism from human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, No Peace Without Justice and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
According to gay rights activists, many Ugandans have been attacked since the publication.
On 27 January 2011, gay rights activist David Kato was murdered.
In 2009, the Ugandan parliament considered an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would have broadened the criminalisation of homosexuality by introducing the death penalty for people who have previous convictions, or are HIV-positive, and engage in same-sex sexual acts.
The bill also included provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited back to Uganda for punishment, and included penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organizations that support legal protection for homosexuality or sodomy.
The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked into Ugandan government websites in protest of the bill.
The debate of the bill was delayed in response to global condemnation but was eventually passed on 20 December 2013 and signed by President Yoweri Museveni on 24 February 2014.
The death penalty was dropped in the final legislation.
The law was widely condemned by the international community.
Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden said they would withhold aid.
The World Bank on 28 February 2014 said it would postpone a US$90 million loan, while the United States said it was reviewing ties with Uganda.
A 13 August 2014 news report said that the Ugandan attorney general had dropped all plans to appeal, per a directive from President Museveni who was concerned about foreign reaction to the bill and who also said that any newly introduced bill should not criminalise same-sex relationships between consenting adults.
Progress on the continent of Africa has been slow but progressing with South Africa being the only country where same sex marriages are recognised.
Economy and infrastructure
In 2015, Uganda's economy generated export income from the following merchandise: coffee (US$402.63 million), oil re-exports (US$131.25 million), base metals and products (US$120.00 million), fish (US$117.56 million), maize (US$90.97 million), cement (US$80.13 million), tobacco (US$73.13 million), tea (US$69.94 million), sugar (US$66.43 million), hides and skins (US$62.71 million), cocoa beans (US$55.67 million), beans (US$53.88 million), simsim (US$52.20 million), flowers (US$51.44 million), and other products (US$766.77 million).
The country has been experiencing consistent economic growth.
In fiscal year 2015–16, Uganda recorded gross domestic product growth of 4.6 percent in real terms and 11.6 percent in nominal terms.
This compares to 5.0 percent real growth in fiscal year 2014–15.
The country has largely untapped reserves of both crude oil and natural gas.
While agriculture accounted for 56 percent of the economy in 1986, with coffee as its main export, it has now been surpassed by the services sector, which accounted for 52 percent of GDP in 2007.
In the 1950s, the British colonial regime encouraged some 500,000 subsistence farmers to join co-operatives.
Since 1986, the government (with the support of foreign countries and international agencies) has acted to rehabilitate an economy devastated during the regime of Idi Amin and the subsequent civil war.
In 2012, the World Bank still listed Uganda on the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries list.
Economic growth has not always led to poverty reduction.
Despite an average annual growth of 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2003, poverty levels increased by 3.8 percent during that time.
This has highlighted the importance of avoiding jobless growth and is part of the rising awareness in development circles of the need for equitable growth not just in Uganda, but across the developing world.
With the Uganda securities exchanges established in 1996, several equities have been listed.
The government has used the stock market as an avenue for privatisation.
All government treasury issues are listed on the securities exchange.
The Capital Markets Authority has licensed 18 brokers, asset managers, and investment advisors including: African Alliance Investment Bank, Baroda Capital Markets Uganda Limited, Crane Financial Services Uganda Limited, Crested Stocks and Securities Limited, Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Equity Stock Brokers Uganda Limited, Renaissance Capital Investment Bank and UAP Financial Services Limited.
As one of the ways of increasing formal domestic savings, pension sector reform is the centre of attention (2007).
Uganda traditionally depends on Kenya for access to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.
Efforts have intensified to establish a second access route to the sea via the lakeside ports of Bukasa in Uganda and Musoma in Tanzania, connected by railway to Arusha in the Tanzanian interior and to the port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean.
Uganda has a large diaspora, residing mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom.
This diaspora has contributed enormously to Uganda's economic growth through remittances and other investments (especially property).
According to the World Bank, Uganda received in 2016 an estimated US$1.099 billion in remittances from abroad, second only to Kenya (US$1.574 billion) in the East African Community.
and seventh in Africa Uganda also serves as an economic hub for a number of neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Rwanda.
The Ugandan Bureau of Statistics announced inflation was 4.6 percent in November 2016.
On 29 June 2018, Uganda's statistics agency said the country registered a drop in inflation to 3.4 percent in the financial year ending 2017/18 compared to the 5.7 percent recorded in the financial year 2016/17.
Since the 1990s, the economy in Uganda is growing.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average of 6.7% annually during the period 1990–2015, whereas real GDP per capita grew at 3.3% per annum during the same period.
Main article: Poverty in Uganda
Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world.
In 2012, 37.8 percent of the population lived on less than $1.25 a day.
Despite making enormous progress in reducing the countrywide poverty incidence from 56 percent of the population in 1992 to 24.5 percent in 2009, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country's rural areas, which are home to 84 percent of Ugandans.
People in rural areas of Uganda depend on farming as the main source of income and 90 per cent of all rural women work in the agricultural sector.
In addition to agricultural work, rural women are responsible for the caretaking of their families.
The average Ugandan woman spends 9 hours a day on domestic tasks, such as preparing food and clothing, fetching water and firewood, and caring for the elderly, the sick as well as orphans.
As such, women on average work longer hours than men, between 12 and 18 hours per day, with a mean of 15 hours, as compared to men, who work between 8 and 10 hours a day.
To supplement their income, rural women may engage in small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as rearing and selling local breeds of animals.
Nonetheless, because of their heavy workload, they have little time for these income-generating activities.
The poor cannot support their children at school and in most cases, girls drop out of school to help out in domestic work or to get married.
Other girls engage in sex work.
As a result, young women tend to have older and more sexually experienced partners and this puts women at a disproportionate risk of getting affected by HIV, accounting for about 5.7 per cent of all adults living with HIV in Uganda.
Maternal health in rural Uganda lags behind national policy targets and the Millennium Development Goals, with geographical inaccessibility, lack of transport and financial burdens identified as key demand-side constraints to accessing maternal health services; as such, interventions like intermediate transport mechanisms have been adopted as a means to improve women's access to maternal health care services in rural regions of the country.
Gender inequality is the main hindrance to reducing women's poverty.
Women are subjected to an overall lower social status than men.
For many women, this reduces their power to act independently, participate in community life, become educated and escape reliance upon abusive men.
There are 35 airports in Uganda.
Commercial airlines operate scheduled passenger services out of four airports.
In 2017 the airport traffic hit 1.53 million passengers, 8% more than the previous year.
A second international airport, Hoima International Airport, is currently under construction.
Road transportation is the most important way of transportation in Uganda.
95% of freight and passenger traffic is handled by road traffic.
The road network in Uganda is approximately 80,448 miles (129,469 km) long.
About 4% of these roads are paved which means about 3,293 miles (5,300 km).
The different types of roads are national roads (13,676 mi (22,009 km)—17%), district roads (20,916 mi (33,661 km)—26%), urban roads (5,631 mi (9,062 km)—7%), and community roads (40,224 mi (64,734 km)—50%).
The national roads make up about 17% of the road network but carry over 80% of the total road traffic.
In Uganda there are 83,000 private cars which means 2.94 cars per 1000 inhabitants.
The rail network in Uganda is approximately 783 miles (1,260 km) long.
The longest lines are the main line from Kampala to Tororo (155 miles (249 km)), the western line from Kampala to Kasese (207 miles (333 km)), the northern line from Tororo to Pakwach (398 miles (641 km)).
Main article: Communications in Uganda
There are seven telecommunications companies serving over 21 million subscribers in a population of over 34 million.
More than 95 percent of internet connections are made using mobile phones.
The total mobile and fixed telephony subscriptions increased from over 20 million to over 21 million yielding an increment of over 1.1 million subscribers (5.4 increase) compared to the 4.1 percent increases realised in the previous quarter Q4 2014 (October–December).
|Indicators||Q4 2014||Q1 2015||Change (%)|
|Mobile Subscriptions (prepaid)||20,257,656||21,347,079||5.4|
|Mobile Subscriptions (post-paid)||108,285||110,282||1.8|
See also: Energy in Uganda
Uganda is richly endowed with abundant energy resources, which are fairly distributed throughout the country.
These include hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, peat and fossil fuels.
In the 1980s, the majority of energy in Uganda came from charcoal and wood.
However, oil was found in the Lake Albert area, totaling an estimated 95 million cubic metres (3.4×10^ cu ft) barrels of crude.
Heritage Oil discovered one of the largest crude oil finds in Uganda, and continues operations there.
Uganda and Tanzania signed a deal on 13 September 2016 that will see the two countries build a 1,445km, $3.5bn crude oil pipeline.
The Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP), also known as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will be the first of its kind in East Africa, will connect Uganda’s oil-rich Hoima region with the Indian ocean through the Tanga port in Tanzania.
Water supply and sanitation
Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Uganda
According to a 2006 published report, the Ugandan water supply and sanitation sector had made substantial progress in urban areas since the mid-1990s, with substantial increases in coverage as well as in operational and commercial performance.
Sector reforms in the period 1998–2003 included the commercialisation and modernisation of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation operating in cities and larger towns, as well as decentralisation and private sector participation in small towns.
Although these reforms have attracted significant international attention, 38 percent of the population still had no access to an improved water source in 2010.
Concerning access to improved sanitation, figures have varied widely.
According to government figures, it was 70 percent in rural areas and 81 percent in urban areas in 2011, while according to UN figures it was only 34 percent.
The water and sanitation sector was recognised as a key area under the 2004 Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), Uganda's main strategy paper to fight poverty.
According to a 2006 published report, a comprehensive expenditure framework had been introduced to co-ordinate financial support by external donors, the national government, and nongovernmental organisations.
The PEAP estimated that from 2001 to 2015, about US$1.4 billion, or US$92 million per year, was needed to increase water supply coverage up to 95 percent, with rural areas needing US$956 million, urban areas and large towns needing US$281 million, and small towns needing US$136 million.
Main article: Education in Uganda
Uganda’s educational system, while lacking in many areas, has seen significant change in recent years.
The educational system is set up so that children spend seven years in primary school, six years in secondary school, and three to five years in post secondary school.
In 1997, the government declared that primary school would be free for all children.
This amendment has had huge benefits.
In 1986, only two million children were attending primary school.
By 1999, six million children were attending primary school, and this number has continued to climb.
Following significant gains in access to primary education since 1997 when universal primary education (UPE) was introduced, Uganda in 2007 became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce universal secondary education (USE).
This bold step by the Government of Uganda led to an increase in lower secondary enrolment of nearly 25% between 2007 and 2012.
At the 2002 census, Uganda had a literacy rate of 66.8 percent (76.8 percent male and 57.7 percent female).
Public spending on education was at 5.2 percent of the 2002–2005 GDP.
As of 2020, the NCHE website listed 46 private accredited universities.
to mention a few, Makerere University, Mbarara University of science and technology, Kyambogo University, Gulu University, Uganda Christian University, Kampala international University among many more.
There were eight physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s.
Uganda's elimination of user fees at state health facilities in 2001 has resulted in an 80 percent increase in visits, with over half of this increase coming from the poorest 20 percent of the population.
This policy has been cited as a key factor in helping Uganda achieve its Millennium Development Goals and as an example of the importance of equity in achieving those goals.
Despite this policy, many users are denied care if they do not provide their own medical equipment, as happened in the highly publicised case of Jennifer Anguko.
Poor communication within hospitals, low satisfaction with health services and distance to health service providers undermine the provision of quality health care to people living in Uganda, and particularly for those in poor and elderly-headed households.
The provision of subsidies for poor and rural populations, along with the extension of public private partnerships, have been identified as important provisions to enable vulnerable populations to access health services.
Life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 53.45 years in 2012.
The infant mortality rate was approximately 61 deaths per 1,000 children in 2012.
On 4 October 2012, the Ministry of Health officially declared the end of the outbreak after at least 16 people had died.
The Health Ministry announced on 16 August 2013 that three people had died in northern Uganda from a suspected outbreak of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever.
Uganda has been among the rare HIV success stories.
Infection rates of 30 per cent of the population in the 1980s fell to 6.4 percent by the end of 2008.
Meanwhile, the practice of abstinence was found to have decreased.
Less than half of all sexually active unmarried women use a modern contraceptive method, a fraction that has barely changed from 2000 to 2011.
However, only ~26% of married women used contraceptives in 2011.
The use of contraceptives also differs substantially between poor (~15%) and wealthy women (~40%).
As a result, Ugandan women have ~6 children while they prefer to have around ~4.
According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), more than 40% of births are unplanned.
In 2010, the Ugandan Ministry of Health estimated that unsafe abortion accounted for 8% of the country's maternal deaths.
The 2006 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) indicated that roughly 6,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications.
Pilot studies in 2012 by Future Health Systems have shown that this rate could be significantly reduced by implementing a voucher scheme for health services and transport to clinics.
The prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) is low: according to a 2013 UNICEF report, only 1 percent of women in Uganda have undergone FGM, with the practice being illegal in the country.
Crime and law enforcement
In Uganda, the Allied Democratic Forces is considered a violent rebel force that opposes the Ugandan government.
These rebels are an enemy of the Uganda People's Defence Force and are considered an affiliate of Al-Shabaab.
Main article: Tourism in Uganda
Tourism in Uganda is focused on Uganda's landscape and wildlife.
It is a major driver of employment, investment and foreign exchange, contributing 4.9 trillion Ugandan shillings (US$1.88 billion or €1.4 billion as of August 2013) to Uganda's GDP in the financial year 2012–13.
The Uganda Tourism Board is responsible for maintaining information pertaining to tourism in Uganda.
The main attractions are photo safaris through the National parks and game Reserves.
Other attractions include the Mountain Gorillas found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP), Uganda having some of the oldest cultural kingdom in Africa has many Cultural sites.
Uganda is a birding paradise boasting a massive bird list of more of than 1073 recorded bird species ranking 4th in Africa's bird species and 16th internationally.
Science and technology
Main article: Science and technology in Uganda
The National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy dates from 2009.
Its overarching goal is to ‘strengthen national capability to generate, transfer and apply scientific knowledge, skills and technologies that ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources for the realisation of Uganda's development objectives.’ The policy precedes Uganda Vision 2040, which was launched in April 2013 to transform ‘Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years,’ in the words of the Cabinet.
Uganda Vision 2040 vows to strengthen the private sector, improve education and training, modernize infrastructure and the underdeveloped services and agriculture sectors, foster industrialization and promote good governance, among other goals.
Potential areas for economic development include oil and gas, tourism, minerals and information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Research funding climbed between 2008 and 2010 from 0.33% to 0.48% of GDP.
Over the same period, the number of researchers doubled (in head counts) from 1 387 to 2 823, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
This represents a leap from 44 to 83 researchers per million inhabitants over the same period.
One in four researchers is a woman.
Uganda has been able to manufacture prototype of cars called kiira in which the government invested 70usd.
Main article: Demographics of Uganda
Uganda's population grew from 9.5 million people in 1969 to 34.9 million in 2014.
With respect to the last inter-censal period (September 2002), the population increased by 10.6 million people in the past 12 years.
Uganda's median age of 15 years is the lowest in the world.
Uganda has the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.97 children born per woman (2014 estimates).
Many Indians, however, returned to Uganda after Amin's fall ouster in 1979.
Around 90 percent of Ugandan Indians reside in Kampala.
According to the UNHCR, Uganda hosts over 1.1 million refugees on its soil as of November 2018.
Main article: Languages of Uganda
Swahili, a widely used language throughout the African Great Lakes region, was approved as the country's second official national language in 2005.
English was the only official language until the constitution was amended in 2005.
Although Swahili has not been favoured by the Bantu-speaking populations of the south and south-west of the country, it is an important lingua franca in the northern regions.
It is also widely used in the police and military forces, which may be a historical result of the disproportionate recruitment of northerners into the security forces during the colonial period.
The status of Swahili has thus alternated with the political group in power.
For example, Idi Amin, who came from the north-west, declared Swahili to be the national language.
Main article: Religion in Uganda
The next most reported religion of Uganda was Islam, with Muslims representing 13.7 percent of the population, up from 12.1% in 2002.
The remainder of the population according to the 2014 census followed traditional religions (0.1 percent, down from 1% in 2002), other religions (1.4 percent), or had no religious affiliation (0.2 percent).
Largest cities and towns
Owing to the large number of communities, culture within Uganda is diverse.
Many Asians (mostly from India) who were expelled during the regime of Idi Amin have returned to Uganda.
Football is the national sport in Uganda.
They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals.
Uganda at the Commonwealth Games has collected 13 gold medals and a total 49 medals, all in boxing and athletics.
The Uganda national boxing team is called The Bombers.
They have won four medals at the Summer Olympics from 1968 to 1980, as well as two medals the 1974 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
In athletics, John Akii-Bua won the first Olympic gold medal for Uganda.
Halimah Nakaayi won the 800 meters race at the 2019 World Championships.
The country has an increasingly successful national basketball team.
It is nicknamed "The Silverbacks," and made its debut at the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship.
In July 2011, Kampala, Uganda qualified for the 2011 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the first time, beating Saudi Arabian baseball team Dharan LL, although visa complications prevented them from attending the series.
Little League teams from Uganda qualified for and attended the 2012 Little League World Series.
Main article: Cinema of Uganda
The Ugandan film industry is relatively young.
It is developing quickly, but still faces an assortment of challenges.
There has been support for the industry as seen in the proliferation of film festivals such as Amakula, Pearl International Film Festival, Maisha African Film Festival and Manya Human Rights Festival.
However, filmmakers struggle against the competing markets from other countries on the continent such as those in Nigeria and South Africa in addition to the big budget films from Hollywood.
The first publicly recognised film that was produced solely by Ugandans was Feelings Struggle, which was directed and written by Hajji Ashraf Ssemwogerere in 2005.
This marks the year of ascent of film in Uganda, a time where many enthusiasts were proud to classify themselves as cinematographers in varied capacities.
The local film industry is polarised between two types of filmmakers.
The second is the filmmaker who has the film aesthetic, but with limited funds has to depend on the competitive scramble for donor cash.
Though cinema in Uganda is evolving, it still faces major challenges.
Along with technical problems such as refining acting and editing skills, there are issues regarding funding and lack of government support and investment.
There are no schools in the country dedicated to film, banks do not extend credit to film ventures, and distribution and marketing of movies remains poor.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is preparing regulations starting in 2014 that require Ugandan television to broadcast 70 percent Ugandan content and of this, 40 percent to be independent productions.
With the emphasis on Ugandan Film and the UCC regulations favouring Ugandan productions for mainstream television, Ugandan film may become more prominent and successful in the near future.
Main article: Media of Uganda
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda.