UGANDA

Date of establishment: October 9, 1962

Brief history:

  • Pre-colonial period: The territory of today’s Uganda was inhabited by various ethnic groups such as the Baganda, Ankole, Bunyoro. These groups had their own kingdoms.
  • 19th century: During this period, the first European explorers arrived and contact with Arab traders took place. The British established a colony on the shores of Lake Victoria, which was the basis for future British rule in the area.
  • Colonialism: Uganda became part of the British colonial empire and was administered as a British protectorate. The British influenced the country’s politics, economy and society.
  • Independence: Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962 and became a sovereign state with its first president, Sirima Obote.
  • Obote and Amin’s rule: After the country’s independence, political instability and conflict began. Obote was impeached in 1971 and a military coup followed, bringing to power Idi Amin, who ruled with appalling brutality and repression.
  • Restoration of civilian rule: In 1979, Amin’s government was overthrown and a period of political instability ensued. In 1986, Yoweri Museveni came to power and put Uganda on the path to political stability and economic recovery.
  • Modern Uganda: Since the late 20th century, Uganda has been a country struggling to overcome the effects of conflict and rebuild its economy. The country has experienced economic, health and educational progress, but has also faced various challenges, including ethnic and political strife.

 

International abbreviation: UG

 

Currency: Ugandan shilling (UGX)

The Ugandan shilling was divided into smaller units called cents, but these are no longer used.

 

Internet domain: .ug

 

Dialing code: +256

 

Time zone: GMT +3

 

Geography:

Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, forms the southwestern border of Uganda. It is the second largest lake in the world, known for its rich fauna and flora.

The Rwenzori Mountains, also called the “Mountains of the Moon,” are located in the west. It has several peaks with permanent glaciers and is home to rare plants and animals.

Most of central and northern Uganda is covered by savannah. The country has several national parks such as Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth.

The eastern part is characterized by a flat landscape and is suitable for agriculture. It is home to cities like Jinja, where the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria.

The southern part is covered with rainforest, which is home to many species of tropical plants and animals. This region also includes Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, famous for mountain gorillas. Uganda is crossed by the Nile, Albert Nile and White Nile rivers. Murchison Falls on the Nile River is one of the most famous waterfalls in the country.

 

Highest peak: Mount Stanley 5 109 m (16 762 feet) above sea level.

Mount Stanley, also called Margherita or Ngaliema, is a massif located in the Ruwenzori Mountains of Africa on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The highest peak of the Margherita Peak massif is, at 5 109 m (16 762 feet), the highest peak in these states and the third highest mountain in Africa.

 

Climate:

The southern and western parts, including the areas around Lake Victoria and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, have equatorial rainforests with high rainfall throughout the year. This area has higher temperatures and high humidity. Central and northern Uganda has savannah and steppes with two rainy seasons – a shorter one in November and December and a longer one in April and May. This area has warmer temperatures and drier periods during the dry season.

The Rwenzori Mountains to the west have an alpine climate with cooler temperatures and high rainfall, including snowfall on the highest peaks. The eastern part has a hot and dry climate with lower rainfall. The area around Lake Victoria has stable temperatures and humidity.

 

Fauna and flora:

Uganda is known for being one of the best places in the world to see mountain gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla national parks are prime locations for gorilla trekking. Elephants are found in national parks such as Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth.

Lions, leopards, and buffaloes live in different national parks. Chimpanzees can be seen in Kibale and Budongo national parks. Uganda is a paradise for bird watchers with over 1 000 different species. Rainforests contain many rare plant species such as mahogany trees, bamboos, and orchids. The savannah and steppes of central and northern Uganda are characterized by acacias and grass. The Rwenzori Mountains and some other regions have thick bamboo thickets.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown in Uganda include bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, peas, beans, rice, coffee, tea, and sugarcane.

The country is famous for its coffee and tea, which are important export products. Coffee is mainly grown in the south of the country, while tea is mainly found in central Uganda.

Livestock, including cattle, sheep, and goats, is an important part of agriculture. Meat and milk are important sources of food and income for local communities. Thanks to the abundance of lakes and rivers, fishing is an important source of food and income. Apart from coffee and tea, the country also exports other crops such as flowers, oils (such as palm and soybean), and tropical fruits (such as pineapples and mangoes).

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Uganda has potential in oil and gas production. Oil discoveries in the Albertine Rift Valley region of western Uganda have led to considerable interest and investment. Precious metals and stones are also found in the country, including gold, diamonds, topaz, emeralds and other gems. However, the mining and trading of these stones are often accompanied by questions of legality.

One of the most famous mines in Uganda is the Kilembe copper mine, located in the west of the country. It also has several other mineral resources such as phosphates, calcium, iron ore, and more.

Construction materials such as limestone, stone, and sand are quarried and used for the construction of infrastructure and buildings.

Salt from Lake Katwe in southwestern Uganda serves as an important raw material source for the food industry.

 

Industry:

The food industry is one of the main sectors. It includes the processing of coffee, tea, sugar, flour, oils, and other products.

The textiles and clothing industry has growth potential. Some companies specialize in the production of clothing, batik, and weaving textile products.

The industry associated with building and construction is active due to infrastructure development and the real estate sector. The construction of apartments, commercial buildings, and transport infrastructure is increasingly visible.

Due to the abundance of forests, the country has a wood-related industry. Electricity generation, includes the use of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power and solar power.

The development of oil and gas production in the country could significantly affect Uganda’s industry and economy in the future. The potential for oil and gas production is in the Albertine Rift Valley in the west of the country.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: transport and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: Kasubi Tombs, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth and Ruwenzori National Parks, Mount Ngaliema, Kampala City, and Lake Victoria

Uganda is known for its national parks and game reserves that offer the opportunity to observe wild animals in their natural habitat. Tourists can visit national parks such as Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where they can see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and rare mountain gorillas.

The Rwenzori Mountains, known as the Mountains of the Moon, are a popular destination for climbers and trekkers. This mountain range offers a beautiful alpine landscape and is home to many unique plant species. Uganda is famous for its impressive waterfalls, including Murchison Falls on the Nile, the Sipi Falls in the east of the country and Jinja, where the Nile leaves Lake Victoria.

 

Waterparks in Uganda:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The head of state is the president, who is elected by universal suffrage. Uganda has a unicameral parliament. This legislature has lawmaking powers and executive oversight.

The government has various ministries and institutions that manage various branches of government, including health, education, defense, and others. The government is also actively involved in the economic development of the country and promotes investment and trade.

 

Capital city: Kampala

It lies on the southwestern shore of Lake Victoria. The city was founded by British colonialists at the beginning of the 20th century as the administrative center of the then British protectorate of Uganda. Over the years it became an important city and seat of government.

 

Area: 241 037 km2 (93 065 square miles)

 

Population: 46 000 000 (2022)

Uganda has many ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Baganda, Banyankole, Basoga, Bakiga, Banyarwanda, Iteso, and Acholi.

The official languages are English and Swahili. English is used in education, business, and administration. Local languages are also widespread and used in everyday life. The religion of Uganda is dominated by Christianity, mainly Catholicism and Anglicanism. Islam is also represented, especially among the inhabitants of the northern part of the country. There are also traditional African religious practices and beliefs.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 3

 

  1. Bwindi National Park (1994) – A national park on the border of savannah and forest.
  2. Ruwenzori National Park (1994) – A high mountain national park with glaciers and lakes.
  3. Tombs of the Buganda Kings at Kasubi (2001) – A palace from 1882, which became a burial ground in 1884. The main building of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga today houses four royal tombs.

 

National parks: 10

 

  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park
  2. Lake Mburo National Park
  3. Murchison Falls National Park
  4. Kidepo Valley National Park
  5. Kibale National Park
  6. Mount Elgon National Park
  7. Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  8. Semuliki National Park
  9. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  10. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park