The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by 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, within which it shares borders with Kenya and Tanzania.

Background History

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.


Country Name:

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


  • name: Kampala
  • population: 1,535,000
  • geographic coordinates: 0 19 N, 32 25 E
  • time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)


  • 9 October 1962 (from the UK)

Government Type:

  • republic

Executive Branch:

  • chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (since seizing power on 26 January 1986)
  • head of government: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (since seizing power on 26 January 1986)
  • cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among elected legislators
  • elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 18 February 2011 (next to be held in 2016)

Legislative Branch:

  • structure: unicameral National Assembly

Judicial Branch:

  • structure: Court of Appeal; High Court

People & Society


  • 35,873,253 (global rank: 34)
  • growth rate: 3.582% (global rank: 4)


  • noun: Ugandan(s)
  • adjective: Ugandan

Major Cities:

  • Kampala (capital): 1.535 milion

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%


  • 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%


  • 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

Life Expectancy at Birth:

  • total population: 53.45 years (global rank: 204)
  • male: 52.4 years
  • female: 54.54 years

Infant Mortality:

  • total population: 61.22 deaths/1,000 live births (global rank: 27)
  • male: 64.78 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 57.56 deaths/1,000 live births

HIV/AIDS (2009 est.):

  • adult prevalence rate: 6.5% (global rank: 10)
  • people living with AIDS: 64,000 (global rank: 8)


  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 66.8%
  • male: 76.8%
  • female: 57.7%


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. Uganda has received about $2 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief. In 2007 Uganda received $10 million for a Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Program. 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. Oil revenues and taxes will become a larger source of government funding as oil comes on line in the next few years. Rising food and fuel prices in 2011 led to protests. Instability in southern Sudan is a risk for the Ugandan economy in 2012 because Uganda's main export partner is Sudan, and Uganda is a key destination for Sudanese refugees.
Gross Domestic Product:
  • GDP (PPP): $45.9 billion (global rank: 95)
  • GDP per capita (PPP): $1,300 (global rank: 204)
  • real growth rate: 6.4% (global rank: 35)
  • composition by sector: agriculture: 21.8%, industry: 26.1%, services: 52.1%


  • currency: Ugandan Shillings (UGX)
  • exchange rate (per US Dollar): 2,567


  • population below poverty line: NA
  • unemployment rate: NA

Agricultural Products:

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


  • sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles; cement, steel production

Exports Commodities:

  • coffee, fish and fish products, tea, cotton, flowers, horticultural products; gold

Imports Commodities:

  • capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies; cereals



  • East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo


  • total: 241,038 sq km (global rank: 81)
  • land: 197,100 sq km
  • water: 43,938 sq km
  • comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon


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

Land Use:

  • arable land: 21.57%
  • permanent crops: 8.92%
  • other: 69.51%

Natural Resources:

  • copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land, gold

Current Environmental Issues:

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

Transnational Issues

  • international disputes: Uganda 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 (country of origin): 215,700 (Sudan); 28,880 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 24,900 (Rwanda)
  • internally displaced persons: 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)

Published: Monday, September 08, 2008