Uganda Country Facts

By | March 21, 2024
Uganda
Capital city Kampala
Surface 236,040 km²
Population 42,729,000
Road network length 5,370 km
Length of highway network 45 km
First highway 2018
Motorway name Expressway
Traffic drives Left
License plate code EAU

Uganda, formally the Republic of Uganda (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a country in central Africa. The country is approximately 6 times the size of the Netherlands and has 42 million inhabitants. The capital is Kampala.

Geography

Uganda is located in the transition from Central to East Africa, on the immense Lake Victoria. The country borders South Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. The capital Kampala is located near Lake Victoria in the center of the country. Uganda measures approximately 550 kilometers from east to west and 530 kilometers from north to south. The country forms the transition zone from the savannas in the north to the jungles of the south. In addition to the immense Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and Lake Edward are also important, as well as Lake Kyoga, a reservoir.

Large parts of Uganda are fairly flat, the country largely consists of a plateau at 900 to 1200 meters altitude. On the edges of the country are a number of higher mountain ranges. The highest point is the 5,109 meter high Mount Stanley, the third highest mountain in Africa. However, this is an isolated mountain range. On the border with Tanzania and the border with Kenya are old volcanoes of more than 4,000 meters high. These, too, are isolated mountains that rise far above the surrounding land.

Uganda has a tropical climate, which is somewhat tempered by the higher altitude of the country. The maximum temperature in Kampala is around 27-28°C all year round. Precipitation falls all year round, making Uganda a fertile country. In Kampala there is almost 1300 mm of precipitation per year. There is permanent snow on the highest peaks around Mount Stanley.

Demographics

The Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.

Uganda is relatively densely populated and has to deal with a rapidly growing population, which puts pressure on raw materials and the economy. The country grew from just 5 million inhabitants in 1950 to 24 million in 2000 and more than 42 million in 2018. Uganda has the lowest median age in the world and one of the highest birth rates, causing a rapid population growth.

Despite its large population, Uganda has few large cities. The capital Kampala is by far the largest city with 1.6 million inhabitants. However, the urban region of Kampala is much larger and has 6.7 million inhabitants, making it one of the larger cities in Africa. Nansana, Kira and Makindye Ssabagabo are cities that have between 200,000 and 350,000 inhabitants, these are all towns around Kampala. The largest city outside this region is Mbarara. Uganda has 10 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

The country has numerous ethnic groups of which only the Baganda make up more than 10%. In Uganda 43 languages ​​are spoken, these are Bantu languages ​​in the south and Nilotic languages ​​in the north. The official language is English and it is widely used in the media, government and education. Swahili also received official status in 2005, but is mainly spoken in the north as a lingua franca.

Economy

Uganda is a developing country with widespread poverty, but in some areas it is more developed than most neighboring countries. It is one of the most fertile countries in Africa, with precipitation all year round. It is estimated that Uganda could provide food for almost all of Africa if it were developed by mechanized means. A large part of the population works in agriculture for their own food supply. However, a problem for the economy is political instability and limited infrastructure, as well as the country’s location in the interior of Africa. The country has limited raw materials, the main exports are agricultural products, such as coffee, fish and tobacco. There is some industrial activity with electronics and textiles.

History

Historical kingdoms ruled the area, the country is named after the Buganda kingdom. In the 1830s the area was visited by Arab traders, followed by the British in the 1860s. Due to unrest between population groups, the British protectorate of Uganda was proclaimed in 1894. In the 1890s, a railway line was built from Uganda to Mombasa by Indian workers. A large part of them migrated back to India, but a part remained in Uganda. Uganda remained outside the conflict zones of World War I and was a major producer of agricultural products during the World Wars. Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom in 1962.

As an independent country, Uganda was initially governed by the Milton Obote regime, resulting in economic mismanagement, hyperinflation, shortages and human rights violations. The Obote regime was overthrown in 1971 by Idi Amin, who initially had the support of the west. This changed quite quickly, however, Uganda was a brutal dictatorship under Amin with severe repression. In 1979, Amin’s regime fell after a war broke out with Tanzania, which eventually won. Afterwards, Obote came back to power, but was then overthrown again by Yoweri Museveni, who is still in power.

Uganda remained unsettled after that, civil war broke out after Obote returned to power in 1980 and continued after Museveni came to power in 1986. Internal conflict continued to rage, with various rebel groups fighting the government. This was mainly in the north and east of the country. Most prominent of these was the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army. This gradually weakened in the decades that followed. However, the country was involved in the Second Congolese Civil War, during which Uganda invaded the DR Congo in 1998. The country withdrew its troops in 2003.

 

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