About Uganda [ Country ]

Here we've distilled information and facts from various sources about the location, size, population, geography, transport, climate, economy, history, government, law, and so on, of Uganda; into a view that makes sense for a traveller to, or within, this country.

Location

Eastern Africa, west of Kenya

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

lowest point: Lake Albert 621 m
highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m

Geo Notes

Landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers

Approved Official Names

conventional long form: Republic of Uganda
conventional short form: Uganda

Capital City

name: Kampala
geographic coordinates: 0 19 N, 32 25 E
time difference: UTC+3

Administrative Divisions

80 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

Natuaral Hazards

NA

Environmental Issues

Draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; widespread poaching

Infectious Diseases

degree 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)

Life Expectancy

total population: 52.98 years
male: 51.92 years
female: 54.07 years (2010 est.)

Sex Ratio

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: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Languages Spoken

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

Religions Practiced

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)

Legal System

Based on English common law and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

National Holiday

Independence Day, 9 October (1962)

Telephone System

general assessment: mobile cellular service is increasing rapidly, but the number of main lines is still deficient; work underway on a national backbone information and communications technology infrastructure; international phone networks and Internet connectivity provided through satellite and VSAT applications
domestic: intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations, fixed and mobile-cellular systems for short-range traffic; mobile-cellular teledensity about 30 per 100 persons in 2009
international: country code - 256; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; analog links to Kenya and Tanzania

Broadcast Media

Public broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), operates radio and television networks; Uganda first began licensing privately-owned stations in the 1990s; by 2007 there were nearly 150 radio and 35 TV stations, mostly based in and around Kampala; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available in Kampala (2007)

Background

The 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.

Economy Overview

Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Uganda has never conducted a national minerals survey. 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. Since 1990 economic reforms ushered in an era of solid economic growth based on continued investment in infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, lower inflation, better 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. 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. The global economic downturn has hurt Uganda's exports; however, Uganda's GDP growth is still relatively strong due to past reforms and sound management of the downturn.

National Anthem

name: "Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty!"
lyrics/music: George Wilberforce KAKOMOA
note: adopted 1962

Uganda location map
Size

total: 241,038 sq km
land: 197,100 sq km
water: 43,938 sq km

Uganda flag
Population

33,398,682 (July 2010 est.)

Nationality

noun: 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)

HIV/AIDS Rate

5.4% (2007 est.)

Independence Date

9 October 1962 (from the UK)

Government Type

Republic

Voting Rights

18 years of age; universal

Internet Users

2.5 million (2008)

Internet Hosts

19,927 (2010)

Internet Country Code

.ug

Refugees & IDPs

refugees (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)

Number Airports

46 (2010)

Number Paved Airports

total: 5
over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Railways

total: 1,244 km
narrow gauge: 1,244 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways

total: 70,746 km
paved: 16,272 km
unpaved: 54,474 km (2003)

Inland Waterways

On Lake Victoria, 200 km on Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga, and parts of Albert Nile (2008)

Ports & Terminals

Entebbe, Jinja, Port Bell

National Budget

revenues: $2.301 billion
expenditures: $2.549 billion (2009 est.)

Account Balance

-$875.2 million (2009 est.)
-$917.1 million (2008 est.)

Exchange Rates

Ugandan shillings (UGX) per US dollar - 2,073.3 (2009), 1,658.1 (2008), 1,685.8 (2007), 1,834.9 (2006), 1,780.7 (2005)

Inflation Rate

12.7% (2009 est.)
11.6% (2008 est.)

Main Industries

Sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles; cement, steel production

Agricultural Products

Coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, pulses, cut flowers; beef, goat meat, milk, poultry

Labor Force

15.01 million (2009 est.)

Main Occupations

agriculture: 82%
industry: 5%
services: 13% (1999 est.)

Unemployment Rate

NA%

GDP (USD Parity)

$38.12 billion (2009 est.)
$36.22 billion (2008 est.)
$32.8 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP Per Capita

$1,200 (2009 est.)
$1,200 (2008 est.)
$1,100 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

Family Income Percent

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 34.1% (2005)

Family Income Gini

45.7 (2002)
37.4 (1996)

Below Poverty

35% (2001 est.)