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Uganda

Uganda is located in the eastern centre of Africa directly at the Equator. Winston Churchill called it "The perl of Africa" - a hint to the diverse and absolutely beautiful nature that welcomes its visitors.

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Country & People

LOCATION

Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South 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, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. It takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.

POPULATION

In Uganda there are over 40 different cultures, each with its own language and traditions. More than half of the population, about 60 %, belong to the Bantu which are separated into several little groups like the Baganda, the Ankole or the Basoga.

English and Swahili are the two official languages, Swahili is used in police and military service but normally not in administration. Additionally there is Luganda, the language of the Baganda and official language in the autonomic Kingdom of Buganda in the centre of the country. In every-day life, the normal national languages are used.

About 85% of the inhabitants are Christians, most of them belonging to the Roman Catholic or Anglican Church. About 12% of the people are Muslims, only about 1% belong to the traditional African religions.

UGANDA'S CITIES

KAMPALA

Kampala is the capital of Uganda and one of its 80 districts. It is located a few kilometres from Lake Victoria. It has a diverse ethnic population, although the Baganda, the local ethnic group, make up over 60% of the greater Kampala region. The city grew as the capital of the Buganda kingdom, from which several buildings survive, including the Kasubi Tombs (built in 1881), the Lubiri Palace, the Buganda Parliament and the Buganda Court of Justice. Severely damaged in the Uganda-Tanzania War, the city has since then been rebuilt with constructions of new buildings including hotels, banks, shopping malls, educational institutions, hospitals and improvement of war torn buildings and infrastructure.

GULU

Gulu is a city in Northern Uganda and the commercial and administrative centre of Gulu District. It is the home of Gulu University, which has a wide range of programs ranging from agriculture to medicine, business management and conflict resolution. Pece Stadium is Gulu's public stadium, and the largest in Northern Uganda with a capacity of 30,000 people.

LIRA

Lira is a city in the north of Uganda and the third largest city of the country. It is the centre of the tribe of the Langi and and Bishop's See of the diocese Lira.

HISTORY

The Ugandans were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago. Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country. These groups brought and developed ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization. Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile.

Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879. The United Kingdom placed the area under the charter of the British East Africa Company in 1888, and ruled it as a protectorate from 1894.Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962, maintaining its Commonwealth membership. After a military coup in 1971, the elected president was deposed from power and the dictator Idi Amin seized control of the country. Amin ruled Uganda with the military for the next eight years and carried out mass killings within the country to maintain his rule. Amin's reign was ended after the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1979, in which Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles invaded Uganda. Today's president Museveni has been in power since 1986. In the mid- to late 1990s, he was lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders.

ECONOMY

The main export good is coffee, followed by tea, fish from Lake Victoria and tobacco. 11% of the banana cultivation world-wide comes from Uganda.

After the Civil War the economy started to grow consistently, about 5 - 6% per year. About 82% of the population works in the agricultural sector and makes up for 22% of the total economic power. Even today most of the farmers only produce for their own needs.  

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