Facts


Population: 41,49 million (2016)
Area: 241 038 km²
Capital City: Kampala


About Uganda
Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate. Uganda 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.


Currency

The Ugandan Shilling is the currency of Uganda. The currency code for Shillings is UGX, and the currency symbol is UGX.

Climate


Uganda has a warm tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 25-19°C (77-84°F), apart from in the mountains area, which are much cooler; the top of Mount Elgo is often covered with snow. the hottest months are December to February. Evenings can be chilly after the heat of the day with temperatures around 17-8°C (63-64°F). The annual rainfall between 900 and 1,500 millimetres (35 and 60 inches). Temperature variations throughout the year are little, however, there is a warmer period from December to March, more noticeable in the north, and a cooler period from June to September. In general, the temperatures are pleasant, although sometimes it can get hot during the day, especially from December to April, while nights can be cool or even cold, depending on altitude, throughout the year, but especially from June to August.


Language

There are 41 living languages in Uganda. But only three are ever mentioned in debates about the East African nation’s official language: Luganda, Swahili and English. All three are controversial, and present an interesting starting point for a debate around the choices Uganda could exercise in choosing a language policy.


Economy

The Bank of Uganda is the central bank of Uganda and handles monetary policy along with the printing of the Ugandan shilling.
In 2015, Uganda’s economy generated export income from the following merchandise: coffee (US $402.63 million), oil re-exports (US $131.25 million), base metals and products (US $120.00 million), fish (US $117.56 million), maize (US $90.97 million), cement (US $80.13 million), tobacco (US $73.13 million), tea (US $69.94 million), sugar (US $66.43 million), hides and skins (US $62.71 million), cocoa beans (US $55.67 million), beans (US $53.88 million), simsim (US $52.20 million), flowers (US $51.44 million), and other products (US $766.77 million).
The country has been experiencing consistent economic growth. In fiscal year 2015–16, Uganda recorded gross domestic product growth of 4.6 percent in real terms and 11.6 percent in nominal terms. This compares to 5.0 percent real growth in fiscal year 2014–15.
The country has largely untapped reserves of both crude oil and natural gas. While agriculture accounted for 56 percent of the economy in 1986, with coffee as its main export, it has now been surpassed by the services sector, which accounted for 52 percent of GDP in 2007. In the 1950s, the British colonial regime encouraged some 500,000 subsistence farmers to join co-operatives. Since 1986, the government (with the support of foreign countries and international agencies) has acted to rehabilitate an economy devastated during the regime of Idi Amin and the subsequent civil war.
In 2012, the World Bank still listed Uganda on the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries list.
Economic growth has not always led to poverty reduction. Despite an average annual growth of 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2003, poverty levels increased by 3.8 percent during that time. This has highlighted the importance of avoiding jobless growth and is part of the rising awareness in development circles of the need for equitable growth not just in Uganda, but across the developing world.
With the Uganda securities exchanges established in 1996, several equities have been listed. The government has used the stock market as an avenue for privatisation. All government treasury issues are listed on the securities exchange. The Capital Markets Authority has licensed 18 brokers, asset managers, and investment advisors including: African Alliance Investment Bank, Baroda Capital Markets Uganda Limited, Crane Financial Services Uganda Limited, Crested Stocks and Securities Limited, Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Equity Stock Brokers Uganda Limited, Renaissance Capital Investment Bank and UAP Financial Services Limited. As one of the ways of increasing formal domestic savings, pension sector reform is the centre of attention (2007).
Uganda traditionally depends on Kenya for access to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. Efforts have intensified to establish a second access route to the sea via the lakeside ports of Bukasa in Uganda and Musoma in Tanzania, connected by railway to Arusha in the Tanzanian interior and to the port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean.
Uganda is a member of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.
Uganda has a large diaspora, residing mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom. This diaspora has contributed enormously to Uganda’s economic growth through remittances and other investments (especially property). According to the World Bank, Uganda received in 2016 an estimated US $1.099 billion in remittances from abroad, second only to Kenya (US $1.574 billion) in the East African Community. Uganda also serves as an economic hub for a number of neighbouring countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Rwanda.


Education

The system of education in Uganda has a structure of 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education (divided into 4 years of lower secondary and 2 years of upper secondary school), and 3 to 5 years of post-secondary education. The government of Uganda recognizes education as a basic human right and continues to strive to provide free primary education to all children in the country, however, issues with funding, teacher training, rural populations, and inadequate facilities continue to hinder the progress of educational development in Uganda.


Government and politics

The President of Uganda is both head of state and head of government. The president appoints a vice-president and a prime minister to aid him in governing.
U.S. President George W. Bush met with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda, July 11, 2003.
The parliament is formed by the National Assembly, which has 449 members. These include; 290 constituency representatives, 116 district woman representatives, 10 representatives of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, 5 representatives of the youth, 5 representatives of workers, 5 representatives of persons with disabilities and 18 ex-official members.


Culture


Uganda has a very strong cultural heritage. Many regions in Uganda have kingdoms including Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro and Toro.Ugandans are remarkablly hospitable and hail from a diversity of rich cultures and life styles Each tribe has it’s own traditional dance ; The banyankole perform their Kitagururo dance , the Banyoro have their Runyege , Acholi have the Bwora and Otole dances . The Alur people from the West Nile have the traditional Agwal dance ,Bagisu have the Imbalu dance during circumcission ceremonies.
Culture and traditions are also expressed through a wide range of arts and Crafts made from wood ,Papyrus reeds and local materials . These include black smithimplements ,beaded Jewellery, wood carvings and batiks.They can be found all over the city in village bazaars, gift shops,hotels , Urban galleries and the National Theatre Craft Market. While on your Uganda travel or safari, consider taking on a cultural tour to the known destinations.


Health

Uganda has been among the rare HIV success stories. Infection rates of 30 per cent of the population in the 1980s fell to 6.4 percent by the end of 2008. However, there has been a spike in recent years compared to the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, the practice of abstinence was found to have decreased.
The prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) is low: according to a 2013 UNICEF report, Only 1 percent of women in Uganda have undergone FGM, with the practice being illegal in the country.
Life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 53.45 years in 2012. The infant mortality rate was approximately 61 deaths per 1,000 children in 2012. There were eight physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s. The 2006 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) indicated that roughly 6,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications. However, recent pilot studies by Future Health Systems have shown that this rate could be significantly reduced by implementing a voucher scheme for health services and transport to clinics.
Uganda’s elimination of user fees at state health facilities in 2001 has resulted in an 80 percent increase in visits, with over half of this increase coming from the poorest 20 percent of the population. This policy has been cited as a key factor in helping Uganda achieve its Millennium Development Goals and as an example of the importance of equity in achieving those goals. Despite this policy, many users are denied care if they do not provide their own medical equipment, as happened in the highly publicised case of Jennifer Anguko. Poor communication within hospitals, low satisfaction with health services and distance to health service providers undermine the provision of quality health care to people living in Uganda, and particularly for those in poor and elderly-headed households. The provision of subsidies for poor and rural populations, along with the extension of public private partnerships, have been identified as important provisions to enable vulnerable populations to access health services.
In July 2012, there was an Ebola outbreak in the Kibaale District of the country. On 4 October 2012, the Ministry of Health officially declared the end of the outbreak after at least 16 people had died.
The Health Ministry announced on 16 August 2013 that three people had died in northern Uganda from a suspected outbreak of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever.


Safety


Opportunistic crime like burglaries, muggings, drive-by bag snatches and thefts from vehicles occur in Uganda. There have been a few cases of individuals being drugged and robbed on public transport and in bars. Don’t accept food and drink from strangers.
Don’t carry large sums of cash or wear expensive looking jewellery or watches. Take particular care of your passport. Take extra care when going out on foot and avoid walking after dark wherever possible.
Keep car doors locked and windows shut when driving in towns. There have been a number of thefts from cars and taxis while stationary in traffic. Don’t leave valuables in vehicles. If you are stopped by armed criminals, don’t resist. Inter-communal violence happens in north-east Uganda (sometimes referred to as the Karamoja region) as well as occasional attacks on security forces. Foreigners are not usually the target of the violence but you should remain vigilant and exercise caution if travelling in the region.
The north east is particularly susceptible to flooding during the rainy season (from March to May and October to November). Monitor local media and take care in all remote areas including the use of suitably equipped 4 wheel drive vehicles.


Transport

Uganda Taxis and Car Rental
Kampala and its neighboring towns run on a shared taxi system, which are mini-buses that run on a fixed route and are called taxis. These can be flagged down or stopped anywhere along their route. This is a cheap and convenient way to get around, although conductors sometimes overcharge visitors. Private taxis, called special hires, are also available but rates should be negotiated before jumping in. Yellow Cab Taxi (+256-71-313-3331) and TAPS Taxi (+256-312-514-800) are a couple of reliable taxi companies in Kampala. Moped, motorcycle and scooter taxi service is also available; the vehicles are called boda-bodas. Although they are a fun and fast way to zip around they can also be quite dangerous in Kampala, but offer a cheap way to get around the smaller cities and towns.
Car rental is available in Uganda, but not highly recommended as vehicles are quite expensive and most travelers find it is better to negotiate with a special hire taxi to get from one destination to the next. If hiring a car it is best to do so at a reputable company upon arriving at the Entebbe International Airport to ensure the vehicle is of sound quality.
Uganda Water Taxis
Boats are available between Entebbe and the Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria. Visitors can also take a cruise along the Victoria Nile and organize guided boat tours on any of Uganda’s Great African Lakes.
Uganda Trains and Buses
There is a pretty decent bus service in Uganda, which includes mini-buses (taxis) and regular buses. Neither of these run on a fixed schedule and they often only depart when full, but are a cheap way to get from one destination to the next. Inter-city buses are often faster than mini-buses, as they don’t continuously stop en route. They are also cheaper, but can fill up quickly and can get overcrowded, with people often standing in the aisles.
Uganda’s Post Bus, which is run by the country’s postal service, is one of the country’s more reliable bus services. All of its buses depart at 8:00 a.m. either from Kampala or to Kampala, making stops at various post offices along the way. These buses are comfortable and very affordable.
The Uganda Railways Corporation runs two train lines in Uganda, one from Kampala to Port Bell on Murchison Bay at Lake Victoria, and the other from Kampala to Tororo at the Kenyan border. These are the only passenger trains currently running in the country.


Cuisine


Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional and modern cooking styles, practices, foods and dishes in Uganda, with English, Arab, and Asian (especially Indian) influences. Like the cuisines of most countries, it varies in complexity, from the most basic, a starchy filler with a sauce of beans or meat, to several-course meals served in upper-class homes and high-end restaurants. Most tribes in Uganda have their own speciality dish or delicacy. Many dishes include various vegetables, potatoes, yams, bananas and other tropical fruits. Chicken, pork, fish (usually fresh, but there is also a dried variety, reconstituted for stewing), beef, goat and mutton are all commonly eaten, although among the rural poor, meats are consumed less than in other areas, and mostly eaten in the form of bushmeat. Nyama is the Swahili word for “meat”.
Main dishes are usually centered on a sauce or stew of groundnuts, beans or meat. The starch traditionally comes from ugali (maize meal) or matooke (steamed and mashed green banana) in the South, or an ugali-like dish made from millet in the North. Ugali/posho is cooked up into a thick porridge for breakfast.
For main meals, white maize flour is added to the saucepan and stirred into the ugali/posho until the consistency is firm. It is then turned out onto a serving plate and cut into individual slices (or served onto individual plates in the kitchen). Cassava, yam, and African sweet potato are also eaten; the more affluent include white (often called “Irish”) potato and rice in their diets. Soybeans were promoted as a healthy food staple in the 1970s and this is also used, especially for breakfast. Chapati, an Asian flatbread, is also part of Ugandan cuisine.

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