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Uganda Historical and Political Profile

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Uganda Index

  • Uganda-Rail and Road Systems
  • Uganda-Batoro
  • Uganda-Western Nilotic Language Groups
  • Uganda-Regional Organizations
  • Uganda-Foreign Trade
  • Uganda-Fishing
  • Uganda-Balance of Payments
  • Uganda-RELIGION
  • Uganda-Kenya and Tanzania
  • Uganda-Cotton
  • Uganda-Introduction
  • Uganda-Zaire
  • Uganda-Long-Distance Trade and Foreign Contact
  • Uganda-LABOR FORCE
  • Uganda-Britain
  • Uganda-Early Development INTERNAL SECURITY SERVICES
  • Uganda-The School System
  • Uganda-Social Welfare
  • Uganda-EDUCATION
  • Uganda-Military Service
  • Uganda-Coffee
  • Uganda-Conditions of Service
  • Uganda-GEOGRAPHY
  • Uganda-Iteso
  • Uganda-Land Use
  • Uganda-Millenarian Religions
  • Uganda-Aid
  • Uganda-Sugar
  • Uganda-The Interim Period: 1979-80 UGANDA AFTER AMIN
  • Uganda-Foreign Assistance in the 1960s and 1970s FOREIGN MILITARY ASSISTANCE
  • Uganda-Judicial System
  • Uganda-The Rise of the National Resistance Army
  • Uganda-Tea
  • Uganda-Fears of Regional Domination
  • Uganda-Buganda and the Kingship
  • Uganda-Primary Education
  • Uganda-Postsecondary Education
  • Uganda-Currency and Inflation
  • Uganda-Manufacturing
  • Uganda-Kakwa
  • Uganda-Early Development MILITARY HISTORY
  • Uganda-Surprise Political Tactics
  • Uganda-Foreword
  • Uganda-The Soviet Union
  • Uganda-Local Administration
  • Uganda-Kadogos
  • Uganda-Rwandans
  • Uganda-Mining
  • Uganda-Eastern Lacustrine Bantu
  • Uganda-The Issue of Independence
  • Uganda-Sudan
  • Uganda-Kenya
  • Uganda-Patterns of Crime and the Government's Response
  • Uganda-Forestry
  • Uganda-Energy
  • Uganda-The First Obote Regime: The Growth of the Military
  • Uganda-Local Religions
  • Uganda-The Second Obote Regime: 1981-85
  • Uganda-INDUSTRY
  • Uganda-Veterans
  • Uganda-Domestic Credit
  • Uganda-The Return of Military Rule: 1985
  • Uganda-Banyankole
  • Uganda-Eastern Nilotic Language Groups
  • Uganda-Educational Finance
  • Uganda-Asians
  • Uganda-Communications
  • Uganda-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Uganda-Yakan Religion
  • Uganda-Construction Materials
  • Uganda-SOCIETY
  • Uganda-Central Sudanic Language Groups
  • Uganda-Teachers
  • Uganda-Holy Spirit Movement
  • Uganda-Air Transport
  • Uganda-Chapter 3 - The Economy
  • Uganda-The Executive
  • Uganda-Defense Spending
  • Uganda-Chapter 5 - National Security
  • Uganda-Military Strength
  • Uganda-Uganda's Other Neighbors--Sudan, Rwanda, and Zaire
  • Uganda-World Religions
  • Uganda-Rwanda
  • Uganda-The Second Obote Regime: Repression Continues
  • Uganda-Budgets
  • Uganda-The National Resistance Council
  • Uganda-Foreigners
  • Uganda-Basoga
  • Uganda-Idi Amin and Military Rule
  • Uganda-Livestock
  • Uganda-Alur
  • Uganda-Climate
  • Uganda-Israel
  • Uganda-World War I
  • Uganda-Western Lacustrine Bantu
  • Uganda-Regional Cooperation
  • Uganda-Foreign Assistance in the 1980s
  • Uganda-Elections
  • Uganda-Rehabilitation and Development Plan
  • Uganda-Chapter 1 - Historical Setting
  • Uganda-Composition and Distribution
  • Uganda-Acknowledgments
  • Uganda-Direct Economic Involvement
  • Uganda-Bagisu
  • Uganda-Secondary Education
  • Uganda-Banking
  • Uganda-Postindependence Security Services
  • Uganda-Islam
  • Uganda-Health Care
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-UGANDA BEFORE 1900
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-World War II
  • Uganda-Chapter 2 - The Society and Its Environment
  • Uganda-Langi and Acholi
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-External Debt
  • Uganda-UGANDA
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-Mountains
  • Uganda-Preface
  • Uganda-Political Parties
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-Karamojong Cluster
  • Uganda-Constitutional Authority
  • Uganda-Consumer Goods
  • Uganda-Chapter 4 - Government and Politics
  • Uganda-Tobacco
  • Uganda-Banyoro
  • Uganda
  • Uganda-Location and Size PHYSICAL SETTING
  • Uganda-The United States
  • Uganda-Prison System
  • Uganda-Crops
  • Uganda-TOURISM
  • BackgroundThe colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of Yoweri MUSEVENI since 1986 has brought relative stability and economic growth to Uganda. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections. In January 2009, Uganda assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.
    LocationEastern Africa, west of Kenya
    Area(sq km)total: 241,038 sq km
    land: 197,100 sq km
    water: 43,938 sq km
    Geographic coordinates1 00 N, 32 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)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(km)0 km (landlocked)

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

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Lake Albert 621 m
    highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m
    Natural resourcescopper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land, gold
    Land use(%)arable land: 21.57%
    permanent crops: 8.92%
    other: 69.51% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)90 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)66 cu km (1970)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 0.3 cu km/yr (43%/17%/40%)
    per capita: 10 cu m/yr (2002)
    Natural hazardsNA
    Environment - current issuesdraining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; widespread poaching
    Environment - international agreementsparty 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 - notelandlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 50% (male 8,152,830/female 8,034,366)
    15-64 years: 47.9% (male 7,789,209/female 7,703,143)
    65 years and over: 2.1% (male 286,693/female 403,317) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 15 years
    male: 14.9 years
    female: 15.1 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)2.692% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)47.84 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)12.09 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-8.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 13% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 64.82 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 68.46 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 61.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 52.72 years
    male: 51.66 years
    female: 53.81 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)6.77 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Ugandan(s)
    adjective: Ugandan
    Ethnic groups(%)Baganda 16.9%, Banyakole 9.5%, Basoga 8.4%, Bakiga 6.9%, Iteso 6.4%, Langi 6.1%, Acholi 4.7%, Bagisu 4.6%, Lugbara 4.2%, Bunyoro 2.7%, other 29.6% (2002 census)

    Religions(%)Roman Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 42% (Anglican 35.9%, Pentecostal 4.6%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.5%), Muslim 12.1%, other 3.1%, none 0.9% (2002 census)
    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

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Uganda
    conventional short form: Uganda
    Government typerepublic
    Capitalname: Kampala
    geographic coordinates: 0 19 N, 32 25 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions80 districts; Abim, Adjumani, Amolatar, Amuria, Amuru, Apac, Arua, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bukedea, Bukwa, Bulisa, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Busia, Butaleja, Dokolo, Gulu, Hoima, Ibanda, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja, Kaabong, Kabale, Kabarole, Kaberamaido, Kalangala, Kaliro, Kampala, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Katakwi, Kayunga, Kibale, Kiboga, Kiruhara, Kisoro, Kitgum, Koboko, Kotido, Kumi, Kyenjojo, Lira, Luwero, Lyantonde, Manafwa, Maracha, Masaka, Masindi, Mayuge, Mbale, Mbarara, Mityana, Moroto, Moyo, Mpigi, Mubende, Mukono, Nakapiripirit, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namutumba, Nebbi, Ntungamo, Oyam, Pader, Pallisa, Rakai, Rukungiri, Sembabule, Sironko, Soroti, Tororo, Wakiso, Yumbe
    Constitution8 October 1995; amended in 2005
    note: the amendments in 2005 removed presidential term limits and legalized a multiparty political system

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

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: President Lt. 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 Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since seizing power 26 January 1986); Prime Minister Apolo NSIBAMBI (since 5 April 1999); note - the prime minister assists the president in the supervision of the cabinet
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among elected legislators
    elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 23 February 2006 (next to be held in February 2011)
    election results: Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI elected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI 59.3%, Kizza BESIGYE 37.4%, other 3.3%

    Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly (332 seats; 215 members elected by popular vote, 104 nominated by legally established special interest groups [women 79, army 10, disabled 5, youth 5, labor 5], 13 ex officio members; serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 23 February 2006 (next to be held in February 2011)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NRM 205, FDC 37, UPC 9, DP 8, CP 1, JEEMA 1, independents 37, other 34

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

    Political pressure groups and leadersLord's Resistance Army or LRA [Joseph KONY]; Young Parliamentary Association [Henry BANYENZAKI]; Parliamentary Advocacy Forum or PAFO; National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda or NAWOU [Florence NEKYON]; The Ugandan Coalition for Political Accountability to Women or COPAW
    International organization participationAfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Flag descriptionsix 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

    Economy - overviewUganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, sizable mineral deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate and stabilize the economy by undertaking currency reform, raising producer prices on export crops, increasing prices of petroleum products, and improving civil service wages. The policy changes are especially aimed at dampening inflation and boosting production and export earnings. During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. Growth continues to be solid, despite variability in the price of coffee, Uganda's principal export, and a consistent upturn in Uganda's export markets. In 2000, Uganda qualified for enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$40.08 billion (2008 est.)
    $37 billion (2007 est.)
    $34.21 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$14.57 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)8.3% (2008 est.)
    8.2% (2007 est.)
    7.1% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,300 (2008 est.)
    $1,200 (2007 est.)
    $1,200 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 21.5%
    industry: 24.6%
    services: 53.9% (2008 est.)
    Labor force14.54 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 82%
    industry: 5%
    services: 13% (1999 est.)
    Unemployment rate(%)NA%
    Population below poverty line(%)35% (2001 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2.6%
    highest 10%: 34.1% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index45.7 (2002)
    37.4 (1996)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)23.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $2.621 billion
    expenditures: $2.939 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)12.1% (2008 est.)
    6.1% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$1.488 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.347 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$1.485 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.258 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$1.464 billion (31 December 2008)
    $640.3 million (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$NA (31 December 2008)
    $NA (31 December 2007)
    $116.3 million (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$1.198 billion (2005)

    Public debt(% of GDP)18.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
    73.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productscoffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, pulses, cut flowers; beef, goat meat, milk, poultry
    Industriessugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles; cement, steel production

    Industrial production growth rate(%)7% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$1.088 billion (2008 est.)
    -$744.7 million (2007 est.)
    Exports$2.688 billion (2008 est.)
    $1.686 billion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)coffee, fish and fish products, tea, cotton, flowers, horticultural products; gold
    Exports - partners(%)Sudan 14.3%, Kenya 9.5%, Switzerland 9%, Rwanda 7.9%, UAE 7.4%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.3%, UK 6.9%, Netherlands 4.7%, Germany 4.4% (2008)
    Imports$3.98 billion (2008 est.)
    $2.983 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies; cereals
    Imports - partners(%)UAE 11.4%, Kenya 11.3%, India 10.4%, China 8.1%, South Africa 6.7%, Japan 5.9% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.301 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $2.56 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$1.835 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $1.498 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
    Exchange ratesUgandan shillings (UGX) per US dollar - 1,658.1 (2008 est.), 1,685.8 (2007), 1,834.9 (2006), 1,780.7 (2005), 1,810.3 (2004)

    Currency (code)Ugandan shilling (UGX)

    Telephones - main lines in use168,500 (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular8.555 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: seriously inadequate; mobile cellular service is increasing rapidly, but the number of main lines is still deficient; e-mail and Internet services are available
    domestic: intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations, fixed and mobile-cellular systems for short-range traffic
    international: country code - 256; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; analog links to Kenya and Tanzania
    Internet country code.ug
    Internet users2.5 million (2008)
    Airports35 (2009)
    Roadways(km)total: 70,746 km
    paved: 16,272 km
    unpaved: 54,474 km (2003)

    Ports and terminalsEntebbe, Jinja, Port Bell
    Military branchesUganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF): Army (includes Marine Unit), Air Force (2007)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-26 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military duty; 18-30 years of age for professionals; 9-year service obligation; the government has stated that recruitment below 18 years of age could occur with proper consent and that "no person under the apparent age of 13 years shall be enrolled in the armed forces"; Ugandan citizenship and secondary education required (2009)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 6,532,894
    females age 16-49: 6,352,416 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 3,996,597
    females age 16-49: 3,899,717 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 399,134
    female: 395,505 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)2.2% of GDP (2006)
    Disputes - internationalUganda is subject to armed fighting among hostile ethnic groups, rebels, armed gangs, militias, and various government forces that extend across its borders; Uganda hosts 209,860 Sudanese, 27,560 Congolese, and 19,710 Rwandan refugees, while Ugandan refugees as well as members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) seek shelter in southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Garamba National Park; LRA forces have also attacked Kenyan villages across the border

    Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 215,700 (Sudan); 28,880 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 24,900 (Rwanda)
    IDPs: 1.27 million (350,000 IDPs returned in 2006 following ongoing peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda) (2007)
    Electricity - production(kWh)2.256 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 0.9%
    hydro: 99.1%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)2.068 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)30 million kWh (2007)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)bbl/day NA
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)13,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)13,090 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)5.4% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS940,000 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deaths77,000 (2007 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, plague, and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 66.8%
    male: 76.8%
    female: 57.7% (2002 census)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 10 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 10 years (2004)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)5.2% of GDP (2004)

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