Facts about Uganda

World Facts Index

UgandaThe 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.

Geography of Uganda

Eastern Africa, west of Kenya
1 00 N, 32 00 E
total: 236,040 sq km
water: 36,330 sq km
land: 199,710 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:
total: 2,698 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 765 km, Kenya 933 km, Rwanda 169 km, Sudan 435 km, Tanzania 396 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast
mostly plateau with rim of mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Albert 621 m
highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m
Natural resources:
copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land
Environment current issues:
draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; poaching is widespread
Geography - note:
landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers

Population of Uganda

31,367,972 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 50% (male 7,091,763/female 6,996,385)
15-64 years: 47.8% (male 6,762,071/female 6,727,230)
65 years and over: 2.2% (male 266,931/female 351,374)
Median age:
15 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
66.15 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.67 years
male: 51.68 years
female: 53.69 years
Fertility rate:
6.71 children born/woman
noun: Ugandan(s)
adjective: Ugandan
Ethnic groups:
Baganda 17%, Ankole 8%, Basoga 8%, Iteso 8%, Bakiga 7%, Langi 6%, Rwanda 6%, Bagisu 5%, Acholi 4%, Lugbara 4%, Batoro 3%, Bunyoro 3%, Alur 2%, Bagwere 2%, Bakonjo 2%, Jopodhola 2%, Karamojong 2%, Rundi 2%, non-African (European, Asian, Arab) 1%, other 8%
Roman Catholic 33%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 18%
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
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 69.9%
male: 79.5%
female: 60.4%


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Uganda
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
56 districts
9 October 1962 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 9 October (1962)
8 October 1995; adopted by the interim, 284-member Constituent Assembly, charged with debating the draft constitution that had been proposed in May 1993; the Constituent Assembly was dissolved upon the promulgation of the constitution in October 1995
Legal system:
in 1995, the government restored the legal system to one based on English common law and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; the prime minister assists the president in the supervision of the cabinet
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among elected legislators
elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (303 members - 214 directly elected by popular vote, 81 nominated by legally established special interest groups [women 56, army 10, disabled 5, youth 5, labor 5], 8 ex officio members; members serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature); High Court (judges are appointed by the president)


Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals. 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. During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved 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, and a consistent upturn in Uganda's export markets. 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.

$29.13 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 31.1%
industry: 22.2%
services: 46.9%
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
13.17 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 82%, industry 5%, services 13%
revenues: $1.845 billion
expenditures: $1.904 billion
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.9%
hydro: 99.1%
other: 0%
sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement
coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, pulses; beef, goat meat, milk, poultry, cut flowers
coffee, fish and fish products, tea; gold, cotton, flowers, horticultural products
Export partners:
Kenya 15.5%, Belgium 9.8%, Netherlands 9.6%, France 7%, Germany 4.9%, Rwanda 4.1%
capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies; cereals
Import partners:
Kenya 33.2%, UAE 7.9%, South Africa 6.7%, India 6%, China 5.2%, UK 4.4%, US 4.1%
Ugandan shilling (UGX)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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