OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Uganda
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 238,461 Sq Km (92,070 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 21,941,400
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Uganda is a landlocked country located
in East Central Africa. It is bound by Rwanda, Lake Victoria
and Tanzania to the south, Kenya to the east, Sudan to the
north and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) to the
west. Most of the country is a vast plateau with the main
mountain ranges of Mufumbiro and Ruwenzori located in the
west as well as Mt. Elgon to the east. The volcanic Mt.
Mufumbiro Highlands are separated from the Ruwenzori Mountains
by low valleys which contain Lake George and the Kazinga
Channel. The country lies within the upper basin of the
White Nile while the principal rivers are the Victoria Nile
and the Albert Nile. The country has many rivers and lakes
that are interconnected by swamps. Major Cities (pop. est.);
Kampala 773,000, Jinja 61,000, Mbale 54,000, Masaka 49,000
(1991). Land Use; forested 28%, pastures 9%, agricultural-cultivated
34%, other 29% (1993).
CLIMATE: Uganda has an equatorial climate with temperatures moderated
by altitude. In general, the main dry season is from November to March
with July the coolest month of the year. The areas of Lake Victoria as
well as the west and southwest mountains receive the highest amount of
rainfall with an annual average precipitation exceeding 1,500 mm (60 inches)
whereas the areas in the center or northeast receive less than 1,000 mm
(39 inches) annually. Average annual temperature ranges in Kampala are
from 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 20 degrees
Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.
PEOPLE: Around 99% of the population are Black Africans with
over 40 tribes that are categorized into four groups according to their
languages. (1) The Bantu who account for 67% of the population. (2) The
East Nilotic who account for 12%. (3) The Western Nilotic who account for
15% and (4) the Central Sudanic who account for less than 5%. Other ethnic
alien minorities include Rwandans, Sudanese, Zaireans, Kenyans and Arabs.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 90 persons per sq km (227
persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 11.3% urban, 88.7% rural (1991).
Sex Distribution; 49.0% male, 51.0% female (1991). Life Expectancy at Birth;
49.4 years male, 52.7 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 48% under 15,
26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 7% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1985).
Birth Rate; 50.1 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 15.4 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 34.7 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 103.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians which account for 70% of the population,
of which 50% are Roman Catholic and 28% are Protestant. Around 7% of the
population are Muslims and the remainder follow local native tribal beliefs.
LANGUAGES: The official languages are English and Swahili, with
Swahili also the national language. There are as many African languages
used as there are tribes.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
or incomplete primary 58.2%, primary 33.9%, lower secondary 5.0%, upper
secondary 2.5%, higher 0.4% (1969). Literacy; literate population aged
15 or over 4,822,000 or 69.7% (1985).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On Oct. 9, 1962 Uganda gained
full independence from Britain. In 1966 Prime Minister Milton Obote with
the assistance of the Army under Maj.Gen. Idi Amin seized control of the
government and in 1967 a new constitution was adopted that abolished the
country's kingdoms and made the country a republic within the Commonwealth.
In 1971 the Ugandan Army overthrew Pres. Obote and set up a military government
with Maj.Gen. Idi Amin as President. In 1972 Pres. Amin ordered an estimated
45,000 Asians living in Uganda to leave the country. In 1976 Pres. Amin
declared himself President for life. In Oct. 1978 a border dispute led
to Ugandan forces invading Tanzania. Tanzania retaliated by invading Uganda
and assisting Ugandans who opposed Pres. Amin to overthrow the government.
In Apr. 1979 Idi Amin escaped into exile while during his eight years of
rule an estimated 300,000 Ugandans were killed. In Dec. 1980 Obote was
re-elected President and opposition leader Yoweri Museveni formed the National
Resistance Army (NRA) which embarked on a guerrilla campaign against Pres.
Obote. During the civil war Pres. Obote alienated the Alcholi Army faction
by appointing a Langi as commander-in-chief which resulted in a Acholi-led
coup ousting Pres. Obote in July 1985. The National Assembly was dissolved
and a Military Council was established with Gen. Tito Okello as head. The
Military Council was unable to defeat the NRA and on Jan. 29, 1986 Museveni
was inaugurated as President. Pres. Museveni established a National Resistance
Council (NRC) and abolished all political parties. Other guerrilla groups
such as the Holy Spirit Army led by Alice Lakwena continued to attack the
NRA forces. In Dec. 1987 Lakwena was captured in Kenya and in June 1988
the NRC signed a peace agreement with the Uganda People's Democratic Party.
In Oct. 1988 a coup plot was discovered and in Nov. 1989 Pres. Museveni
replaced the leaders of his guerrilla forces, which were in transition
to a regular army. In early 1990 the NRC released around 336 prisoners
of war as the NRA launched a new offensive against rebels in the north
and east. In May 1990, 26 civilians were shot and killed by the NRA when
they were mistaken for rebels. In July 1990 opposition parties and Obote,
who had returned from exile, pressed demands for a return to a multiparty
political system, although Pres. Museveni believed it was too early for
such a move. In Apr. 1991 the NRA launched another major offensive at the
rebels in the north of the country who remained active. On April 15, 1991
northern members of the NRC met to discuss a rebel screening program setup
in the northern districts which was causing divisions within the NRA. Following
the meeting three men, including Omara Atubo the foreign affairs minister,
were detained and later charged with treason along with 13 others. In June
1991 the NRC announced that some 60,000 Asians expelled from Uganda by
Idi Amin could reclaim their property. Also in 1991 as part of the northern
rebel screening process hundreds of civilians were detained in a stadium
in Gulu and subject to poor treatment by the NRA. On Mar. 28, 1992 Pres.
Museveni announced a restructure of government departments that included
the merging of the Finance and Economic Planning ministries. In April 1992
Pres. Museveni called on all Ugandans to plant trees as part of a national
campaign to fight the effects of deforestation. On June 30, 1992 the government
announced plans to lay off some 5,000 public sector workers. On July 4,
1992 Pres. Museveni launched a USD$93.6 million reconstruction program
funded by the World Bank for the northern districts where the the rebels
resistance had been the strongest. On Aug. 8, 1992 the government signed
an agreement with Rwanda in an attempt to end their border disputes and
clashes between the two countries that had lasted for several years. Also
in 1992 the NRC reinforced it's opposition to party politics until the
completion of the constitutional reforms. On Feb. 16, 1993 the government
announced a plan to democratically elect a 180-member constituent assembly
to draft a new constitution. On May 24, 1993 Pres. Museveni again reiterated
his opposition to a multiparty political system. In July 1993 the government
amended the constitution to restore the traditional rulers of the former
4 southern kingdoms, although their role was to be only a cultural one
and not political. In Nov. 1993 a date was set for legislative elections
to be held in March 1994. Also in 1993 Uganda received financial aid and/or
loans to the tune of some USD$1,000,000,000.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Shilling (USh) divided
into 100 Cents.
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $3,425,000,000 (1993). Public
Debt; USD $2,495,000,000 (1992). Imports; USD $717,700,000 (1994). Exports;
USD $253,900,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $50,000,000 (1993). Balance
of Trade; USD -$463,800,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 8,365,000
or 49.6% of total population (1991). Unemployed; N/A.
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA,
the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Australia.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Coffee, Copper, Cotton, Fish, Livestock,
Maize, Millet, Phosphates, Sorghum, Sugar, Tea, Timber, Yams.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Copper Processing, Food Processing,
Metal Processing, Motor Vehicles, Mining, Textiles.
MAIN EXPORTS: Coffee, Cotton, Tea.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 1,240 km (771 mi) (1990),
passenger-km 109,000,000 (67,729,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km
103,000,000 (70,545,000 short ton-mi) (1990). Roads; length 28,332 km (17,605
mi) (1986). Vehicles; cars 35,492 (1990), trucks and buses 5,646 (1986).
Merchant Marine; vessels 3 (1990), deadweight tonnage 8,600 (1988). Air
Transport; passenger-km 67,000,000 (41,632,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo
ton-km 3,000,000 (2,055,000 short ton-mi) (1990).
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 4 with a total circulation
of 55,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 3,500,000 (1993). Television; receivers
115,000 (1994). Telephones; units 20,800 (1993).
MILITARY: 50,000 (1995) total active duty personnel with 97.6%
army, 0.8% navy and 1.6% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 1.4% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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