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Jamhuri ya Uganda (Swahili)
Republic of Uganda (English)
Republic of Uganda
Flag of Uganda
Coat of arms of Uganda
flag coat of arms
Motto : For God and My Country

( English for "For God and my country" )

Official language Swahili and English
regional Luganda (in the Kingdom of Buganda )
Capital Kampala
State and form of government presidential republic
Head of state President
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Head of government Prime Minister
Ruhakana Rugunda
area 241,037 km²
population 41.58 million (2020 estimate)
Population density 173 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 3.4% (2019)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 36.48 billion ( 99th )
  • $ 105.39 billion ( 87. )
  • 916 USD ( 170. )
  • 2,646 USD ( 169. )
Human Development Index 0.544 ( 159th ) (2019)
currency Ugandan Shilling (UGX)
independence October 9, 1962
(from the UK )
National anthem Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty
Time zone UTC + 3
License Plate EAU
ISO 3166 UG , UGA, 800
Internet TLD .ug
Phone code +256
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Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda , (Swahili and German: [ uˈganda ]; English: [ jʊˈgændə ]) is a landlocked country in East Africa . The capital and largest city ​​of Uganda is Kampala . With a nominal gross national product of US $ 638 per capita annually , the country is one of the poorest in the world.

Uganda borders with South Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west . The borders with Kenya and Tanzania run partly through Lake Victoria .

The republic is an authoritarian regime, which was initially conceived as a one-party system after independence from the United Kingdom . The country has recently opened up to a process of democratization . The official languages ​​are English and Swahili, in the autonomous kingdom of Buganda also Luganda ; another 40 languages ​​are used in everyday life.

Uganda is a member of the African Union , the Commonwealth of Nations , the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the East African Community .

There were two waves of immigration from West Africa to Uganda between 1000 BC. AD 1000 and AD 1000 The people who immigrated in the second wave were likely the ancestors of the Bantu-speaking population.

From 1966 to 1986, under the governments of Milton Obote and Idi Amin , the country was marked by an authoritarian style of government, violence, serious human rights violations, civil war-like conditions and economic decline. Under Idi Amin, all residents of Asian descent were also expelled from the country. The country has been ruled by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni since 1986. Even under his government there were human rights violations and involvement in internal military conflicts in neighboring countries. Nevertheless, a certain calm and economic recovery set in.

Country name

The choronym "Uganda" refers to the Kingdom of Buganda , which comprises the southeastern part of the country. Buganda is mainly inhabited by Bantu , whose Bantu languages precede a basic word (here Ganda ) with a nominal class prefix, which denotes the type of word in question. So, Bu ganda is the land of the Ba ganda who speak the Lu ganda language. Since Europeans first met the peoples of Uganda on the coast of Tanzania, the name Uganda was coined, which comes from the Swahili language , which uses the prefix U- instead of the prefix Bu- for a country .


Fishermen on the Kazinga Canal, which connects the Eduardsee with the Georgsee .

Uganda is characterized by lakes, the White Nile (here: Victoria Nile and Albert Nile ), primeval forests and savannas . The equator runs through the south of the country . The lowest point in Uganda is the lower reaches of the Albert Nile at about 610 meters above sea level ( Albertsee 621 m above sea level). The Margherita Peak (also: Mount Stanley) in the Ruwenzori Mountains as the highest point is 5110 meters high. Both extreme points are close to each other. The total area of ​​the country is 241,038 square kilometers, of which 199,710 square kilometers are land and 36,330 square kilometers are water. Northeast Uganda is semi-arid .

Important raw materials in the country are copper , cobalt , limestone , nickel and rock salt . Hydropower and agriculturally good land are other resources. In 2009, large oil and natural gas deposits were discovered in Uganda. The secured reserves amount to at least 700 million barrels of oil.


Lobelia species from the mountain rainforest of the Ruwenzori Mountains

The tropical climate in the south and in the middle of the country is affected by the fact that Uganda is mostly located on a plateau around 1000 meters above sea ​​level . The climate is tropical and warm, but significantly cooled by the altitude. Therefore it is neither excessively hot nor particularly cold. The temperatures fluctuate between 25 and 30 ° C during the day, at night it is usually around 17 ° C. The extreme values ​​are between 10 and 35 ° C. The precipitation (1000–1500 mm) used to be spread over the whole year, there were only two drier periods (December to February and June to August). In the meantime, however, there are regions in Uganda, especially in the north, where it has not rained for years, while the rest of the formerly tropical and humid country is increasingly becoming dependent on the monsoons and only has one rainy season.


Uganda has a rich flora. The savannah of East Africa merges into the rainforest of Central Africa, which has a positive effect on the biodiversity of plants and animals.


"Tree lions" near Ishasha in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park

The original fauna is best preserved in the national parks , but there it has also been affected by the civil war. Game drives and game drives can be enjoyed in the two major nature reserves, Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park . The Uganda Kob (Kobus thomasi) , a species of antelope belonging to the waterbuck genus, is almost only native to Uganda . The heraldic animal, the crowned crane , can still be seen frequently, especially around Lake Victoria.


Nine national parks and six game reserves testify to the natural beauty of the country and the will to protect it. They are spread across the country and are mostly located near the borders and less in the center of the country. This protects different landscapes and communities. Some of the parks should be briefly highlighted here.

The Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by its location at the foot of the Ruwenzori Mountains and on Lake Edward and Lake Georg . Hippos and pelicans catch the eye, and the occurrence of African buffalo , elephants , lions , various antelopes and more than 600 bird species indicate the ecological diversity of the area.

The Ruwenzori National Park aims to protect the mountain and glacier regions of the Ruwenzori Mountains, one of the sources of the Nile, with its unique flora.

The largest protected area in the country extends over the Murchison Falls National Park . A spectacular waterfall of the Nile gave this park its name, where Nile crocodiles and hippos live. A special feature of this protected area is the rare Uganda giraffe (also: Rothschild giraffe).

The Kibale National Park is known for its habituated chimps . Its rainforests are home to, among others. a total of 13 species of primates (including the red colobus and the eastern monkey ) as well as a larger population of forest elephants . It covers 766 km² and is about 40 km south of Fort Portal.

The Bwindi National Park is home to one of two remaining populations of mountain gorillas worldwide. A sign of the increasing tourist importance of the gorillas in the Bwindi Rainforest and in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the fact that the endangered animals graced the back of the country's highest banknote in 2007 and 2010.

The drainage of wetlands, deforestation, overgrazing and other negative uses are harmful to nature and the environment. In Victoria alien water hyacinths grow. The introduction of the Nile perch in Lake Victoria to increase fishing yields led to the extermination of numerous endemic fish species, especially the cichlids , other species are threatened. This is an ecological catastrophe and an example of false "development aid", the harm of which outweighs the benefits.

Uganda has signed the Kyoto climate protection protocol and numerous other environmental and nature conservation agreements.



Population development in millions of inhabitants
Age pyramid in millions of inhabitants

Uganda's population is very young and growing rapidly. The median age in 2020 was estimated to be 16.7 years. The proportion of under 15-year-olds was 46.5% in 2019. This is due to the high fertility rate , which was 4.8 children per woman in 2019, but has been falling since the late 1990s. This is also due to the fact that the proportion of married women with access to modern contraceptives has now risen to 54%. The population growth is still 3.4%. The population is expected to double to 90 million by 2050.

Ethnic groups

According to the 2014 census, over 60 peoples live together in Uganda, each with their own languages, cultures and customs, and in some cases with their own religions. More than half of the population, a total of 60%, are Bantu , who live mainly in the areas south and west of Lake Kioga . The largest Bantu people are the eponymous Baganda , who make up 16.3% of the population as the titular nation , followed by the Banyankore (also called Ankole) with 9.4% and the Basoga with 8.7%. Other significant Bantu peoples with more than 1 million people are the Bakiga (Bahiga) with 7.0% and the Bagisu with 4.8%.

In the central north live Nilotes , especially Langi with 6.2% and Acholi with 4.3% of the population, as well as Alur and Jopodhola ; the Nilotic peoples make up 15% of the population. The proportion of hamitonilots is just as large, especially the Iteso with 6.9% and the Karamojong . Together, nilots and hamitonilots make up 24% of the population.

In the north live 7% of the Sudan- speaking groups, the largest of which - with 3.2% of the total population - are the Lugbara .

The Ik are a very small minority with 0.02% of the total population. The proportion of non-Africans is low with a total of 0.98% - Asians with 0.820%, Europeans with 0.095% and Arabs with 0.066%.

According to the results of the 2014 census, 504,200 non-Ugandans live in the country. 135,505 people are citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are also 118,836 Sudanese (probably mostly South Sudanese), 91,231 Rwandans, 45,541 Tanzanians, 34,120 Kenyans, 21,798 Burundians and 13,804 Somalis. The foreigners also included 13,794 Asians, mostly of Indian origin, 2,473 Europeans (including 989 British) and 1,634 Americans. A total of 18,128 foreigners were of unknown nationality.


Language groups in Uganda

English and Swahili (since the constitutional amendment of September 2005) are the two official languages. Swahili is in fact the language of command used by the police and the military and is hardly used in civil administration.

In addition, Luganda - the language of the Baganda ethnic group and a language of the Niger-Congo language area - is the official language of the autonomous kingdom of Buganda in central Uganda , which has existed since pre-colonial times . In everyday life, on the other hand, the national languages ​​are used, such as other languages ​​of the Niger-Congo language area, as well as Nilo-Saharan languages and, to a lesser extent, Arabic . Some of them are official languages ​​of the African Great Lakes Kingdoms .


Pilgrimage Church of Namugongo
Mosque in Uganda

Around 85% of the total population of Uganda are Christians . The vast majority of them profess either the Roman Catholic (39%) or the Anglican Church (32%). Almost 14% of Ugandans are mostly Sunni Muslims . Officially only 0.1% of the population are followers of traditional African religions . There is also a small community of black African Jews , the Abayudaya near Mbale , which has around 750 members. For some time now, Pentecostal evangelical Christians and other free churches have been greatly expanding their influence, particularly with US support. As a result, the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches are recording significant membership losses that have so far been difficult to quantify. In 2005, the New Apostolic Church looked after 266,722 believers (0.9%) in this country.

According to the 2002 and 2014 census, the Ugandan population belongs to the different religions as follows:

religion 1991 2002 2014
number percent number percent number percent
Roman Catholic Church 7,426,511 44.5 10,242,594 41.9 13,407,764 39.3
Anglican Church 6,541,830 39.2 8,782,821 35.9 10,941,268 32.1
Islam 1,758,101 10.5 2,956,121 12.1 4,663,204 13.7
Pentecostal Movement - - 1,129,647 4.6 1  3,790,564 11.1
Seventh-day Adventists 179,624 1.1 367.972 1.5 590.257 1.7
Orthodox Church 4,738 0.0 35.505 0.1 48,421 0.1
Other christl. Denominations 101.914 0.6 286,581 1.2 2  176.130 0.5
Baha'i - - 18,614 0.1 29,601 0.1
Others non-Christian Religions 658.987 4.0 159,259 0.7 3  31,739 0.1
Traditional religions - - 241,630 1.0 33,805 0.1
Non-denominational - - 212,388 0.9 78.254 0.2
All in all 16,671,705 100.0 24,433,132 100.0 4  34.124.155 100.0
1 Pentecostals, born again Christians, and evangelicals
2 including 105,780 Baptists, 26,062 Salvation Armymen, 22,270 Jehovah's Witnesses and 22,018 Presbyterians
3 including 13,905 Hindus, 8195 Mammonites, 7189 Jews and 2450 Buddhists
4th including 333,148 Others, including 66,335 New Apostolic and other Mennonites


The average life expectancy at birth was 63.4 years in 2019. The infant mortality rate is 4.4%, and the mortality at 5.9%. The maternal mortality is 0.43%. There are 0.08 doctors per 1000 people. 56% of the population have access to clean drinking water, 41% to sanitary facilities.

The HIV infection rate is 5–15%, the number of people infected with HIV is 600,000, and in 2001 there were 84,000 HIV deaths. Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa to raise AIDS in public discourse. Awareness campaigns started early and HIV / AIDS is discussed very openly in comparison to other African countries . Since Uganda, as a model country in the fight against HIV, receives donations from abroad and is under high international pressure to succeed, all information on the population should be critically examined from this point of view. For the reasons mentioned, people infected with HIV are sometimes given preference in medical care.

At the end of July 2012, the country came into the spotlight of the world because of the spread of an Ebola epidemic in the Kibaale district .

The global COVID-19 pandemic reached Uganda with the first case on March 20, 2020.

See also: COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda

Development of life expectancy
Period Life expectancy in
Period Life expectancy in
1950-1955 40.1 1985-1990 47.5
1955-1960 1990-1995
1960-1965 1995-2000 44.3
1965-1970 48.6 2000-2005 49.0
1970-1975 2005-2010 54.4
1975-1980 2010-2015 59.5
1980-1985 2015-2020 62.8


Uganda has been able to develop its education system significantly over the past few decades. Since the abolition of school fees in 1996, 98% of children have started school. In the country, the median school attendance increased from 2.8 years in 1990 to 6.2 years in 2015. Accordingly, the literacy rate rose to 76.5% by 2018. The state continues to expand the school and university infrastructure, with the private sector (especially churches) playing a particularly important role. The high population growth of over three percent (one million more children are expected to go to school every year), however, represents a particular challenge. The expected school attendance of the younger generation is 11.4 years.

Since 1997 there has been free primary education (Universal Primary Education, UPE), which has since been expanded to include secondary education (Universal Secondary Education, USE). So far, however, only 15% of the students attend secondary school.



The Twa (formerly: pygmies ) are probably the oldest ethnic groups living in Uganda today. Around 2000 years ago, agricultural Bantu immigrated , who pushed the pygmies back and were in turn pushed south by Nilots from the north. There were always conflicts between the Nilotic ethnic groups and the Bantu ethnic groups, but these have now gone beyond mere tribalism .

Time of kingdoms

From the 15th century, today's aristocracies, above all kingdoms, formed among the Bantu, especially in the south of what is now Uganda. Buganda played a leading role among them . Other kingdoms were Ankole , Bunyoro , Rwenzururu , which crosses the border with the Congo, and Toro , to which the Ugandan part of Rwenzururu had been allocated at least during the colonial period .

The Nilotic groups of the north were nomads and pastoralists who organized themselves into smaller units.

In the 19th century, Arab traders from the east coast of Africa maintained a well-organized trade network in the Great Lakes region. Their incentive was the ivory trade and the slave trade . Islam was established in some areas , but traditional religions remained predominant in many regions .

Protectorate period

Around 1860, the two British explorers John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant were the first Europeans to reach the source of the Nile . At this time the European colonization of East Africa began . Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries were among the first Europeans to settle in the area. In a short time they asserted their faith in numerous ethnic groups.

Uganda became a British protectorate in 1894 . The colonial economy promoted cotton and coffee cultivation. For this purpose, the Uganda Railway was built from Mombasa via Nairobi to Kampala .

Prior to independence, elections were not a priority in Uganda as the colonial government determined the country. At that time there were only elections to LEGCO (Legislative Council), created in 1920 by the colonial government, which was small and consisted only of Europeans. Of its 62 members, five were women who had been appointed MPs.


In the 1950s, a controlled process of decolonization got under way, with parties and a congress. The first direct elections were the 1958 parliamentary elections . At that time, there were voting rights restrictions in the areas of property and educational requirements. The 1961 elections were held on the basis of less restricted suffrage, allowing more women to participate.

Uganda gained independence on October 9, 1962. King Mutesa II became President and Milton Obote became the first Prime Minister of the independent country. The unrestricted active and passive right to vote for women was introduced with independence in 1962.

Mutesa II was ousted in 1966 by Prime Minister Milton Obote, who introduced a one-party system and carried out radical socialization in the sense of “African socialism”, sometimes in bloody massacres. This alienated Obote from the population. Idi Amin , also a Nilote , who had risen to become a commander (major general), took advantage of this: While Obote was absent, he took power in a military coup in 1971.

Dictatorships and massacres

The Idi Amin's dictatorship from 1971 to 1979 was responsible for the murder of over 300,000 opposition members. Members of other ethnic groups were killed, and Asian immigrants, especially Indians , who were decisive in trade, were expelled from the country. Amin raged until 1979, and the population lived in constant fear of brutal acts of violence. Operation Entebbe , the liberation of the hostages of an Air France plane hijacked by Arab terrorists on the flight from Tel Aviv to Paris to Entebbe by an Israeli commando in 1976 also took place during this period .

After the sudden attack by Ugandan troops on Tanzania in 1978, during which Idi Amin intended to annex the Kagera area in northwestern Tanzania, after the Tanzanian counterattack in April 1979, the capital Kampala became with the participation of Ugandan rebel groups, including the current head of state Yoweri Museveni was conquered. But in the elections in September 1980, Milton Obote came back to power, although he was accused of election manipulation. Then Museveni took action against him with a rebel army. In his second term in office, Obote again had political opponents murdered, entire ethnic groups were persecuted again, and torture and terror were worse than ever in the country.


Yoweri Kaguta Museveni started a successful guerrilla war with a few faithful. In January 1986, his National Resistance Army (NRA) captured the capital Kampala. Museveni was initially sworn in as Ugandan President without election. First elections to a provisional parliament took place in February 1989.

The 1995 Constitution required one MP for each district. Outside of this quota, which is reserved for women, politicians hardly manage to enter parliament (as of 2006).

Presidential elections were held for the first time in May 1996 and Museveni was confirmed in office with 75% of the vote, as was the case in March 2001 (69%). If these elections took place under the often criticized ban on the activity of political parties, i.e. a de facto unity party, they were approved in 2005. In the subsequent elections in 2006 , Museveni was re-elected (59%), although his candidacy was only possible after a constitutional amendment after more than two terms in office.

In the 20-year civil war in northern Uganda, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) terrorized the population from Sudan , who also suffered from attacks by Ugandan government troops. Several negotiations between the conflicting parties failed until, after preliminary talks in August 2006, on February 23, 2008, through the mediation of South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar, a ceasefire agreement was signed by representatives of both parties. The leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony , had pledged his support for the agreement, but had not yet personally signed it as of March 2010. However, since then Northern Uganda has been spared major raids; the LRA continues to practice violence in northeastern Congo and may have relocated to Darfur .

On February 18, 2011, presidential elections were held again in Uganda. After a 25-year reign, incumbent Yoweri Museveni won it with 68.38% of the vote. Its strongest competitor, Kizza Besigye of the coalition of the opposition parties Inter Party Coalition and the Forum for Democratic Change, received only 26.01% of the vote. The elections were largely peaceful, but unrest broke out in April 2011.

In the February 2016 election, President Museveni was confirmed in office with 60.6%. In the parliamentary elections that took place at the same time, the ruling party NRM (National Resistance Movement) achieved a two-thirds majority in parliament. Competitor Kizza Besigye emerged as the loser for the fourth time with 35.6% of the vote. Election observers criticized the lack of independence of the election commission, the express violence of the security forces against the opposition, the media and the public, violation of freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, and the financial superiority of the president and his party. The Supreme Court acknowledged irregularities. A commission was formed to implement the electoral reforms called for by the court.

The government appointed by the president consists of 81 ministers and state ministers. The Democratic Party (DP) and the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) each provide a minister. The salaries of parliamentarians have so far been more than a hundred times the average earnings in the country. In 2019, the parliamentarians also set an increase in their diets by almost 40%, which means additional costs of around 15.2 million euros for the taxpayer. Each of the 459 MPs earns between 3,500 and 7,000 euros a month.


Political indices
Name of the index Index value Worldwide rank Interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 92.8 out of 120 24 of 178 Stability of the country: Alarm
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
Democracy index 5.02 out of 10 99 of 167 Hybrid regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World 34 of 100 --- Freedom status: not free
0 = not free / 100 = free
Freedom of the press ranking 40.95 out of 100 125 of 180 Difficult situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 28 out of 100 137 of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2019

Political system

President Yoweri Museveni, July 2003

President Yoweri Museveni has been the head of state since 1986 . In the presidential election on January 14, 2021, Museveni prevailed with 59% against his strongest rival Bobi Wine , who received 35%. The opposition speaks of electoral fraud. The media reported one of the "most violent election campaigns ever" in the country. Numerous candidates were arrested on the pretext of violating Corona rules, the Internet was switched off on election day, journalists were attacked, and government critics were intimidated. International election observers were not admitted.

After 35 years in office, Museveni is now taking on another five-year term, although he himself has criticized long-term rulers in the past. A constitutional amendment lifted a restriction on terms of office, as did the maximum age limit for presidents.

The president appoints the head of government as head of state. This has been Ruhakana Rugunda since September 2014 , who replaced Amama Mbabazi , who was in office from 2011 . The Ugandan government uses authoritarian and democratic elements.

The legislature lies with the Ugandan parliament ( honeycomb ). This is always dominated by Museveni's ruling party, the National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O), or “Movement” for short. In addition, the military also has a de facto leading role.

90% of the Ugandan population voted in a referendum in 2000 to keep the one-party system. In another referendum on July 28, 2005, however, a clear majority of voters (92.5%) voted in favor of an “opening of political space” proposed by Museveni. This was a first step towards a democratic multi-party system. Until the constitutional amendment in 2006, the Movement was of the opinion that there is no basis for a multi-party system in Uganda and that the existing old parties are the cause of Uganda's problems. While they have not been banned, they have been denied most of the activities that make up a party .


  • Forum for Democratic Change, FDC (2010 presidential candidate: Kizza Besigye)
  • National Progressive Movement (NPM; Chair: Dr. Venansius Baryamureeba , party since April 7, 2004 )
  • National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O; party since 2003 )
  • Uganda Green Party
  • Uganda Libertarian Action (ULA)
  • G7 (opposition list alliance in the 2006 election)

Inter-Party Cooperation: Oppositional alliance in the 2010 election, with Besigye (FDC) as presidential candidate

Tutsi , Hutu , Lendu , Hema (Hima) and other ethnic groups, associated rebels, armed gangs and various government forces operate in the Great Lakes region between Uganda, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to take control of populous areas and economic resources. One danger here is that individual ethnic groups dominate, which in turn leads to rebellion among the disadvantaged. Uganda's government is also involved in this dispute with money, military aid, trainers and, in some cases, open military operations. These are currently mainly taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but also in South Sudan.


Foreign policy

Uganda pursues a pragmatic foreign policy, the priorities of which are regional integration, increasing prosperity and maintaining national security in line with the positions of the African Union . Uganda is part of the East African Community (EAC), the goal of which is a comprehensive political and economic union between the states of East Africa . A common market has existed since 2010 and the introduction of a common currency is planned. The country is also a member of the African Union. In addition to expanding regional economic and trade relations, Uganda relies on the support of western industrialized countries and international institutions such as the United Nations Development Program , the European Union , the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the IMF in order to advance its development. The People's Republic of China is playing an increasingly important role and is involved in major projects (for example in road construction), for which China has repeatedly provided overall financing.

As a landlocked country, Uganda depends on good relations with its neighboring countries. Relations with Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya are working optimally. A large part of Uganda's foreign trade is conducted through ports in Kenya and Tanzania. There have been conflicts with the DR Congo since the presence of Ugandan troops in Eastern Congo from 1997 to 2003. Uganda is directly affected by the instability in the Congo, including: through the penetration of armed militias on its national territory and through refugee flows from the neighboring country. An intergovernmental agreement in Arusha in 2007 improved relations between the two states.

Human rights

The current government presents itself as positive towards human rights and has actually signed and ratified all important international treaties and conventions. However, there are significant deficits, for example in dealing with political parties and opponents of the regime. According to DW editor Iddi Ssessanga, Museveni "fought to liberate Uganda from dictatorship, only to turn the country into a dictatorship that previous rulers would envy him for." The recruiting of child soldiers also arouses media interest . Only Joseph Kony , leader of the Lord's Resistance Army was, prior to his leaving the country responsible for the kidnapping and enslavement of at least 25,000 children and adolescents.

In Uganda, homosexual people are persecuted politically and legally. Homosexuality can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 14 years and same-sex marriages are expressly prohibited by law. The introduction of the death penalty for homosexuals has been discussed since 2009, and a corresponding motion was submitted to parliament in 2011. The decision was postponed twice due to international protests. In February 2012, the draft, this time without the planned introduction of the death penalty, was brought back to parliament and signed by Yoweri Museveni in February 2014 , according to which homosexuals face sentences ranging from 14 years to life. In August 2014 the tightening paragraph of the law, but not the law itself, was overturned by the Ugandan Constitutional Court for purely formal reasons without reference to the human rights situation.

There is often a homophobic mood among the population. This is cheered in particular by Christian preachers, who are funded by clerical associations from the United States, as well as by Muslim preachers. As in Russia, in order to enforce religiously colored propaganda, homosexuality is usually equated with pedophilia . The topic aroused particular interest in Western countries when the Ugandan media openly called for the killing of homosexual men in 2010 and published lists of actual or alleged gay men with names, photos and addresses. When the gay activist David Kato was murdered a short time later, the Ugandan police showed disinterest and many questions remained unanswered.

In April 2011, police operations in demonstrations (“ walk-to-work ” protests against high food and fuel prices) killed eight people and wounded more than 250 others. Opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested and had to be hospitalized for several days.

Due to corruption in the Ugandan government and the tightening of legal penalties against homosexual people with life imprisonment, a number of Western countries including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States continued development aid for 2013 and 2014 Uganda from.


Yoweri Kaguta Museveni conquered the capital Kampala in January 1986 with his National Resistance Army (NRA). The Museveni government was legitimized in the 1996 presidential elections and the NRA was renamed the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF) .

The UPDF has 46,800 active staff (2014). Uganda spent just under 1.7 percent of its economic output or 445 million US dollars on its armed forces in 2017. The UPDF is divided into

The headquarters are in Kampala . The Chief of Defense Forces has been General David Muhoozi since January 2017 . The UPDF is currently participating in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) with more than 6,200 soldiers .

Administrative division

Uganda consists of the 4 regions Central , Eastern , Western and Northern . The country is divided into 134 districts and the capital Kampala

In 2016, 16.4% of the population lived in cities or urban areas. Many cities in Uganda are growing rapidly. The seven largest cities with over 200,000 inhabitants are (as of 2020 projection):

  1. Kampala : 1,680,000 inhabitants
  2. Nansana : 533,000 inhabitants
  3. Kira Town : 463,000 inhabitants
  4. Makindye Ssabagabo : 413,000 inhabitants
  5. Kyengera : 285,000 inhabitants
  6. Mbarara : 221,000 inhabitants
  7. Kasangati : 208,000 inhabitants


Market in a rural region

Location and development

The economy in the south and in the middle of the country is prospering . As was the case during the British Protectorate, the main export is coffee with 20–30% of export earnings. Tea (5%), fish (7.5%) from Lake Victoria and tobacco (4%) are also exported. The share of banana cultivation in world production is 11% (1998). The cocoa harvest in the 2004/2005 season was only 500 tons, while the 2007/2008 season closed at 13,000 tons. Uganda is one of the gold exporting countries and delivered around 2.7 tons in 2007. In the following years, exports fell to less than 1 ton (0.9 t in 2010).

All exports together had a total value of 961.7 million US dollars in 2006 versus imports of 1.945 billion US dollars. Oil discoveries at Lake Albert indicate growing export income, but assume an oil price of 80 dollars per barrel in order to be profitable. After the turmoil of the times of Amine and Obote had ended and Uganda stabilized under Museveni, economic growth began with steady growth rates of around 5–6% annually. Nevertheless, Uganda is still one of the poorest countries in the world : in 2003, the proportion of the population with an income of less than one US dollar per day was 82%. In 2005 there were only 100 ATMs across the country, which meant that prepaid cards for mobile phones or minutes of calls could develop into a kind of parallel currency.

Like most countries in the world, Uganda is affected by climate change . Experts assume that due to the new climate situation, for example, coffee growing in Uganda will no longer be possible in a few years.


The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 26.4 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity , the GDP is 91.5 billion US dollars or 2400 US dollars per inhabitant. The real growth was 4.4%. The Agriculture , in about 71% of the residents are employed, generated 25.8% of total economic output. The low share of agricultural output is due to the fact that many farmers still produce for their own needs . The industry has a GDP share of 23.2% (7% of employees) and the service sector of 51% (22% of employees). The inflation rate is 5.8% (2017). The unemployment rate was 9.4% in 2014, but many jobs are informal and underemployment is widespread. The total number of employees is estimated at 15.8 million for 2017; 47.9% of them are women.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Uganda ranks 114th out of 137 countries (2017-18). In 2017, the country ranks 91st out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .

year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
4.69 billion 6.71 billion 10.08 billion 15.36 billion 22.16 billion 35.82 billion 39.53 billion 43.85 billion 49.38 billion 53.77 billion 58.59 billion 63.88 billion 66.52 billion 70.78 billion 75.33 billion 80.46 billion 83.39 billion 88.67 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
416 509 639 826 1,016 1,389 1,482 1,589 1,728 1,820 1,920 2,026 2,044 2.112 2,185 2,267 2,281 2,354
GDP growth
−3.9% −3.0% 6.5% 9.2% 3.9% 10.0% 7.0% 8.1% 10.4% 8.1% 7.7% 6.8% 2.2% 4.7% 4.6% 5.7% 2.3% 4.5%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
... ... ... ... 63% 55% 36% 22% 20% 19% 22% 23% 25% 28% 31% 33% 37% 39%

Source: IMF

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 5.410 billion . This was offset by revenues of $ 3.748 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 6.3% of GDP . The total national debt in 2016 was 36.8% of GDP.

In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:



The universities in the country are:


The Ugandan media can be critical of the government, although the government has reacted sharply to reports on sensitive issues such as the rebel war in the north and the country's involvement in the civil war in the Congo in the past, as well as the issue of child soldiers. The media landscape has been liberalized since President Museveni came to power. Over 100 radio stations are registered. In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Uganda was ranked 112th out of 180 countries.



In 2016, 19.0% of the population used the internet.


Since the mid-1990s, a lively hip-hop scene has established itself, especially in the capital Kampala . Since the mid-2000s, this has been increasingly committed to projects for social issues. Through the documentary film Bouncing Cats or the German-Ugandan donation track Blue Uganda , some of the projects also received media coverage in Germany. One of the most famous musicians in the country is Bobi Wine , who mixes ragga , dancehall and afrobeat and is now making headlines as a politician.

public holidays

The national holiday is celebrated on October 9th. Other national holidays are:


  • Klaus Schlichte: What comes after the state collapse? Regulations of violence in Uganda . In: Africa spectrum . No. 1 . Hamburg 2005, p. 83-113 .
  • Anouk Batard: Rich and Holy in Uganda. Evangelical churches proselytize into their own pockets . In: Le Monde diplomatique . No. 8476 . Berlin January 11, 2008, p. 16 f .
  • Joachim Buwembo: How to be a Ugandan . 2nd Edition. Fountain Publishers, Kampala 2008, ISBN 978-9970-02-379-0 .
  • Richard Nzita, Mbaga Niwampa: Peoples And Cultures of Uganda . 3. Edition. Fountain Publishers, Kampala 1998, ISBN 9970-02-031-5 (first edition: 1993).

Web links

Portal: Uganda  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Uganda
Commons : Uganda  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Uganda  - on the news
Wiktionary: Uganda  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikimedia Atlas: Uganda  - geographical and historical maps
Wikisource: Constitution of the Republic of Uganda  - Sources and full texts (English)
Wikivoyage: Uganda  Travel Guide

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Coordinates: 1 °  N , 32 °  E