Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, formally known as the Republic of Uganda with Kampala as its capital city. Kenya borders it on the east, South Sudan on the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, Rwanda on the south, and Tanzania on the south. A large portion of Lake Victoria is shared by Kenya and Tanzania in the country’s south. Uganda is a country in Africa’s Great Lakes region. Uganda is likewise part of the Nile Basin, with a diverse but usually modified tropical climate.
Presidents since Independence
Sir Edward Mutesa II served from 1962 to 1966
Apollo Milton Obote (Obote I) from 1966 to1971
Idi Amin Dada from 1971 to 1979
Yusuf Kironde Lule served from 13 April 1979 to 20 June 1979
Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa from 1979 to1980
Paul Muwanga from 12 May 1980 to 22 May 1980
Apollo Milton Obote (Obote II) from 1980 to 1985
Tito Okello Lutwa from 1985 to 1986
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni from 1986 to date
Ugandan tourism is centered on the country’s landscape and wildlife. It is a significant source of employment, investment, and foreign exchange, contributing 4.9 trillion Ugandan shillings (the US $1.88 billion or €1.4 billion as of August 2013) to Uganda’s GDP. The Uganda Tourism Board is in charge of maintaining tourism-related information in Uganda. Photo safaris through national parks and game reserves are the main draws. Mountain gorillas can also be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda is home to some of Africa’s oldest cultural kingdoms and a plethora of cultural sites. Uganda is a birder’s paradise, with over 1073 recorded bird species, ranking fourth in Africa and 16th worldwide. The white-capped Rwenzori mountains and the Great Rift Valley are among Uganda’s landscapes.
The economy is primarily agricultural, and it employs roughly four-fifths of the workforce. The mild climate of Uganda is ideal for the cultivation of both animals and crops. Uganda is listed as one of the world’s poorest countries. In 2012, 37.8% of the population had a daily income of less than $1.25. Despite making significant success in lowering the country’s poverty rate from 56 percent in 1992 to 24.5 percent in 2009, poverty remains widespread in Uganda’s rural areas, which are home to 84 percent of the country’s population.
Economic development and modernization have been massive efforts that have been hampered by the country’s political instability, as they have been in most African countries. Foreign investment in agricultural and essential industries, primarily from Western countries and former Asian immigrants, were encouraged to restore the damage done to the economy by the governments of Idi Amin and Milton Obote. The 1991 Investment Code provided tax and other incentives to local and foreign investors, as well as established the Uganda Investment Authority, which made obtaining licenses and investment approval easier for potential investors.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Uganda’s economy grew significantly, and the country was praised for its economic stability and strong growth rates. It’s one among the few African countries praised by the World Bank, IMF, and global financial community for its economic plans of government divestiture and privatization, as well as currency reform. Uganda has had particular success in obtaining international assistance and loans. It was chosen as one of the few countries to acquire debt relief in 1997 for its successful execution of demanding economic reform projects, and it has qualified for significant debt relief ever since. Uganda has been able to stay focused on fighting poverty and expanding economic growth, industries, and tourism as a result of this.
Uganda has 56 ethnic groups and approximately nine native communities, which were officially acknowledged in the 1995 constitution amendment of 2005.
The Baganda, who reside in the Kampala region and speak Luganda, are Uganda’s largest ethnic group (roughly one-fifth of the population).
The Ankole, Toro, Banyoro, and Basoga are other Bantu-speaking groups. To the east and north are Nilotic/Cushitic groups such as the Teso, Karimojong, Acholi, and Lango.
Uganda’s population has increased from 9.5 million in 1969 to 34.9 million in 2014. In the 12 years since the last intercensal period (September 2002), the population has grown by 10.6 million. Uganda has the world’s youngest median age, at 15 years. With 5.97 children born per woman, Uganda has the world’s fifth-highest total fertility rate (2014 estimates).
Before Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of Ugandan-Asians (mostly of Indian origin) in 1972, there were approximately 80,000 Indians in Uganda, reducing the population to as few as 7,000 people. After Amin’s fall and ouster in 1979, however, many Indians returned to Uganda. 90% of Ugandan Indians live in Kampala. According to the UNHCR, as of November 2018, Uganda was home to over 1.1 million refugees. The large percentage seems to be from African Great Lakes countries, especially South Sudan (68.0 percent) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (24.6 percent ).
Children spend seven years in primary school, six years in secondary school, then three to five years in post-secondary school, according to the educational system.
Primary school was declared free for all children by the government in 1997. This change has resulted in numerous advantages. In 1986, there were only two million primary school students. Six million children were enrolled in primary school by 1999, and this figure has since risen. Following significant gains in primary education access since the implementation of universal primary education (UPE) in 1997, Uganda became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement universal secondary education in 2007. Between 2007 and 2012, the Ugandan government took a bold step that resulted in a nearly 25% increase in lower secondary enrollment.
Uganda’s literacy rate was 66.8 percent according to the 2002 census (76.8 percent male and 57.7 percent female). Between 2002 and 2005, government spending on education accounted for 5.2 percent of GDP. The NCHE website listed 46 private, accredited universities as of 2020. Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Kyambogo University, Gulu University, Uganda Christian University, and Kampala International University are just a few examples.
Ugandans speak at least 32 languages, but English, Swahili (both official languages), and Ganda are the most widely spoken. English is the language of education and government, and while only a small percentage of the population is fluent in the language, it is very impossible to obtain a high position, prestige, or economic and political influence without it. Although Ugandans’ command of Swahili is significantly lower than that of Tanzania, Kenya, and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, it was chosen as another official national language because of its potential to facilitate regional integration. Furthermore, a huge proportion of Ugandans dislike Swahili, believing it to be the language of past rulers and soldiers. Uganda’s indigenous languages are intertwined with the country’s various ethnic groups.
Radio Uganda broadcasts in around 20 indigenous languages, including Alur, Ganda, Lugbara, Masaba, Rwanda, Nyankole, Nyole, Soga, and Teso, in addition to English, French, and Swahili (Iteso). The majority of Ugandans are multilingual.
Uganda has a three-fold religious heritage: indigenous faiths, Islam, and Christianity. About four-fifths of the population is Christian, with Roman Catholics and Protestants making up the majority (mostly Anglicans but also including Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, and Presbyterians). Muslim people make up about one-eighth of the population. The majority of the remaining people follow traditional religions. Islam and Christianity, as in other regions of Africa, have been mixed with local religions to create diverse syncretic religious traditions.
The first external religion to emerge was Islam, which gained political significance in the 1970s. During the colonial period, Christianity spread through zealous missionary work, particularly in the south, where Catholics were known as bafaransa (“the French”) and Protestants as bangerezza (“the English”) (“the British”). Rivalry and even enmity exist today between believers of these two streams of Christianity, which has always been stronger and deeper than that which exists between Christians and Muslims. The balokole (“born again”) revival was started in the early 1930s by a breakaway group of Anglican missionaries and numerous Ugandans, and it spread throughout Eastern Africa and beyond, becoming a significant force of Pentecostalism in Uganda.
Abayudaya Jews, descendants of converts to Judaism in the 1920s, dwell in small groups in eastern Uganda. Large numbers of Sikhs and Hindus existed throughout Uganda until 1972, when Asians were exiled; in recent years, with the return of South Asian practitioners, Sikhism and Hinduism have been reinstated in the country. The 1995 constitution guarantees religious freedom.