Matthias Mugisha Photography

About Uganda

Uganda also known as the Pearl of Africa because of its natural beauty and endowment,  is a landlocked country in  East  Africa, situated north and northwest of Lake Victoria. Uganda’s capital city is Kampala with a population of about 2 million out of the national total  34 million people. .  The country has a total area of 236,040 sq km (91,136 sq mi), of which 36,330 sq km (14,027 mi) is inland water. Comparatively, the area occupied by Uganda is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon.  Uganda extends 787 km (489 mi) NNE – SSW and 486 km (302 mi) ESE – WNW .
 Uganda  is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is also bordered by Kenya and Tanzania.  Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962.


Politics and history

 The Ugandans were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago when Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country and brought iron-working skills and new ideas of social and political organization.

The Empire of Kitara covered most of the great lakes area, from Lake Albert, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, to Lake Kyoga. Its leadership headquarters were mainly in what became Ankole, believed to have been run by the Bachwezi dynasty in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, who may have followed a semi-legendary dynasty known as the Batembuzi.  Bunyoro-Kitara is claimed as the antecedent of later kingdoms; Buganda and  Ankole After the  Chwezi  empre collapsed  the twins,  Rukidi Mpuuga and Kato Kimera are believed to be the first kings of Bunyonro and Buganda.  Nilotic people including Luo and Ateker entered the area from the north, probably beginning about A.D. 120. They were cattle herders and subsistence farmers who settled mainly the northern and eastern parts of the country.

Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu there, establishing the Babiito dynasty of the current Omukama (ruler) of Bunyoro-Kitara. Luo migration continued until the 16th century, with some Luo settling amid Bantu people in Eastern Uganda, with others proceeding to the western shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya and Tanzania. The Ateker (Karimojong and Iteso) settled in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country, and some fused with the Luo in the area north of Lake Kyoga.

Arab traders  came in  from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s followed  in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile.

 Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.[8] The United Kingdom placed the area under the charter of the British East Africa Company in 1888, and ruled it as a protectorate from 1894. As several other territories and chiefdoms were integrated, the final protectorate called Uganda took shape in 1914.

Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962, maintaining its Commonwealth membership.

In 1966, following a power struggle between the Obote-led government and King Muteesa, the UPC-dominated Parliament changed 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 deposed by  dictator Amin Dada in  a military coup in 1971 Amin's reign was ended after the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1979 in which Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles invaded Uganda. This led to the return of Obote, who was deposed once more in 1985 by General Tito Okello. Okello ruled for six months until he was deposed   by the National Resistance Army (NRA) operating under the leadership of the current president, Yoweri Museveni, and various rebel groups. 

   Kampala city, the capital of Uganda                                                                                                                                     

The President of Uganda, currently Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is both head of state and head of government. The President appoints a Vice President, currently Edward Ssekandi, and a prime minister, currently Amama Mbabazi, who aid him in governing. The parliament is formed by the National Assembly, which has 332 members. 104 of these members are nominated by interest groups, including women and the army. The remaining members are elected for five-year terms during general elections. Constitutionally there are no presidential term limits.


Geography of Uganda

Uganda  averages about 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) above sea level, and this slopes very steadily downwards to the Sudanese Plain to the north. However, much of the south is poorly drained, while the centre is dominated by Lake Kyoga, which is also surrounded by extensive marshy areas. Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin. The Victoria Nile drains from the  Lake Victoria  into Lake Kyoga and thence into Lake Albert on the Congolese border. It then runs northwards into South Sudan. One small area on the eastern edge of Uganda is drained by the Turkwel River, part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Turkana.Southern Uganda is wetter with rain generally spread throughout the year.  Further to the north a dry season gradually emerges in North,  November to February is much drier than the rest of the year.

 The northeastern Karamoja region has the driest climate and is prone to droughts in some years. Rwenzori in the southwest on the border with Congo (DRC) receives heavy rain all year round. The south of the country is heavily influenced by one of the world's biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands. It prevents temperatures from varying significantly and increases cloudiness and rainfall.   Uganda contains many large lakes, besides Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, there are Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake George Lake  Bunyonyi and many others.


Districts, counties and kingdoms Uganda is divided into districts, spread across four administrative regions: Northern, Eastern, Central (Kingdom of Buganda) and Western. The districts are subdivided into counties. A number of districts have been added in the past few years.  Uganda has over  100 districts. Each district is divided into sub-districts, counties, sub-counties, parishes and villages.Parallel with the state administration, six traditional Bantu kingdoms have remained, enjoying some degrees of mainly cultural autonomy. The kingdoms are Toro, Ankole, Busoga, Bunyoro, Buganda and Rwenzururu.

 Economy:  The country has commenced economic reforms and growth has been robust.  Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt, gas and oil.  Confirmed oil reserves stand at 2.5 billion barrels. Uganda is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.

Languages:  Uganda has over forty languages on of  which forms a majority. The most widely spoken local language in Uganda is Luganda. Swahili, a widely used language throughout eastern and central East Africa, was approved as the country's second official national language in 2005.

 Population:   Uganda’s population has grown from 4.8 million people in 1950 to 34 million in 2011. Christians at 84% are the majority  followed  by  Muslims at 12%. Traditional indigenous beliefs are practiced in some rural areas and are sometimes blended with or practiced alongside Christianity or Islam. In addition to a small community of Jewish expatriates centered in Kampala, Uganda is home to the Abayudaya, a native Jewish community dating from the early 1900s in Eastern Uganda. One of the world's seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship is located on the outskirts of Kampala.

 Indian nationals are the most significant immigrant population; members of this community are primarily Ismaili (Shi'a Muslim followers of the Aga Khan) or Hindu. More than 30 years ago, there were about 80,000 Indians in Uganda. Today there are about 15,000 after Amin expelled them in  early 1970s

Sport:Football is the most popular sport in Uganda[citation needed. Games involving the national football team usually attract large crowds with Ugandans from all walks of life. The Ugandan Super League is the top division of Ugandan football.

 Football in Uganda is managed by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA). The association administers the national football team, as well as the Super League. South African broadcaster DStv through its Super Sport network broadcasts the Ugandan League to 46 different countries in sub Saharan Africa.There is a strong following amongst Ugandans for European club football especially the English Premier League.

Cricket and Rugby have also  experienced rapid growth.  Rallying is also a popular sport in Uganda with the country having successfully staged a round of the African Rally Championship (ARC), Pearl of Africa Rally since 1996 when it was a candidate event. The country has gone on to produce African rally champions such as Charles Muhangi who won the 1999 ARC crown.  Other Sports activities include hockey.

Ugandan cuisine: Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional cooking with English, Arab, Asian and especially Indian influences.


Quick facts  about Uganda

Location:  Eastern Africa, west of Kenya

Geographic coordinates:  1 00 N, 32 00 E

Area:   total: 236,040 sq km, land: 199,710 sq km, water: 36,330 sq km

Area - comparative:    slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries:    total: 2,698 km

border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 765 km, Kenya 933 km, Rwanda 169 km, Sudan 435 km, Tanzania 396 km

Coastline:    0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:   none (landlocked)

Climate:  tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast

Terrain: mostly plateau with rim of mountains

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Lake Albert 621 m

highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m

Natural resources: oil, gas  copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land

Land use:    arable land: 25.88%

permanent crops: 10.65%

other: 63.47% (2001)

Irrigated land:     90 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:       NA

Environment - current issues:    draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; poaching is widespread

Environment - international agreements:   party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note:   landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers

Population:  about 34 milion ( 2011)

Age structure:   0-14 years: 50.1% (male 6,875,663/female 6,784,378) 15-64 years: 47.7% (male 6,511,867/female 6,494,859)  65 years and over: 2.2% (male 263,790/female 338,925) (2005 est.)

Median age:   total: 14.97 years

male: 14.87 years

female: 15.08 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:    3.31% (2005 est.)

Birth rate:     47.39 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate:  12.8 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Sex ratio:   at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:   total: 67.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 71.18 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 64.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 51.59 years

male: 50.74 years

female: 52.46 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:      6.74 children born/woman (2005 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:    4.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:   530,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:    78,000 (2003 est.)

Nationality:    noun: Ugandan(s)

adjective: Ugandan

Ethnic groups:   Baganda 17%, Ankole 8%, Basoga 8%, Iteso 8%, Bakiga 7%, Langi 6%, Rwanda 6%, Bagisu 5%, Acholi 4%, Lugbara 4%, Batoro 3%, Bunyoro 3%, Alur 2%, Bagwere 2%, Bakonjo 2%, Jopodhola 2%, Karamojong 2%, Rundi 2%, non-African (European, Asian, Arab) 1%, other 8%

Religions:    Roman Catholic 33%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 18%

Languages:       English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic

Literacy:    definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 69.9%

male: 79.5%

female: 60.4% (2003 est.)

Government      Uganda

Country name:   conventional long form: Republic of Uganda

conventional short form: Uganda

Government type:   republic

Capital:    Kampala

Administrative divisions:   over 100 districts:   districts; Adjumani, Apac, Arua, Bugiri, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Busia, Gulu, Hoima, Iganga, Jinja, Kabale, Kabarole, Kaberamaido, Kalangala, Kampala, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Katakwi, Kayunga, Kibale, Kiboga, Kisoro, Kitgum, Kotido, Kumi, Kyenjojo, Lira, Luwero, Masaka, Masindi, Mayuge, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Moyo, Mpigi, Mubende, Mukono, Nakapiripirit, Nakasongola, Nebbi, Ntungamo, Pader, Pallisa, Rakai, Rukungiri, Sembabule, Sironko, Soroti, Tororo, Wakiso, Yumbe ( TO BE UPDATED)

Independence:      9 October 1962 (from UK)

Constitution:          8 October 1995

Legal system:         in 1995, the government restored the legal system to one based on English common law and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage:    18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:   chief of state: President  Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since seizing power 26 January 1986); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President:  Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since seizing power 29 January 1986); Prime Minister  Amama Mbabazi. note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; the prime minister assists the president in the supervision of the cabinet and is head of government  business in Parliament.

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president.

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly (303 members - 214 directly elected by popular vote, 81 nominated by legally established special interest groups [women 56, army 10, disabled 5, youth 5, labor 5], 8 ex officio members; members serve five-year terms)  to be updated

Judicial branch:    Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature); High Court (judges are appointed by the president)

Political parties and leaders:


Flag description:    six equal horizontal bands of black (top), yellow, red, black, yellow, and red; a white disk is superimposed at the center and depicts a red-crested crane (the national symbol) facing the hoist side

Rest to be updated.

GDP (purchasing power parity):              

GDP - real growth rate:

GDP - per capita:      purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 35.8%, industry: 20.8%, services: 43.6% (2004 est.)

Labour force:     12.41 million (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:    agriculture 82%, industry 5%, services 13% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:  Population below poverty line:    35% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:   lowest 10%: 4%, highest 10%: 21% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  37.4 (1996)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):   

Investment (gross fixed):              



Public debt:             

Agriculture - products:    coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, pulses; beef, goat meat, milk, poultry, cut flowers

Industries:         sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement, steel production

Industrial production growth rate: 

Electricity - production:
Electricity - production by source:




Electricity - consumption:
Electricity - exports: 

Electricity - imports:            

Oil - production:

 Oil - consumption:             

Oil - exports:          

Oil - imports:            

Current account balance:            


Exports - commodities:  coffee, fish and fish products, tea; gold, cotton, flowers, horticultural products

Exports - partners:    Kenya 15%, Netherlands 10.7%, Belgium 9%, France 4.4%, Germany 4.4% (2004)


Imports - commodities:   capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies; cereals

Imports - partners:   Kenya 32.3%, UAE 7.3%, South Africa 6.5%, India 5.8%, China 5.6%, UK 5.1%, US 4.8%, Japan 4.8% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

Debt - external:

Economic aid - recipient:

Currency (code):    Ugandan shilling (UGX)

Currency code:     UGX               

Transportation Uganda

Railways:          total: 1,241 km

narrow gauge:

Highways:  Paved:

unpaved: 25,191 km (1999 est.)

Waterways:        300 km (on Lake Victoria, 200 km on Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga, and parts of Albert Nile) (2004 est.)

Ports and harbors:           Entebbe, Jinja, Port Bell

Airports:       29 (2004 est.)

Airportwith paved runways:        

Airports - with unpaved runways: