Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
National Computer Board
National Computer Board>Africa-Uganda


The 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.

East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates:   
1 00 N, 32 00 E

Map references:   

total: 241,038 sq km
country comparison to the world: 81
land: 197,100 sq km
water: 43,938 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, South 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, gold

Land use:   
arable land: 21.57%
permanent crops: 8.92%
other: 69.51% (2005)

Irrigated land:   
90 sq km (2008)

Total renewable water resources:   
66 cu km (1970)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):   
total: 0.3 cu km/yr (43%/17%/40%)
per capita: 10 cu m/yr (2002)

Natural hazards:   

Environment - current issues:    
draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; widespread poaching

Environment - international agreements:   
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note:   
landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers

noun: Ugandan(s)
adjective: Ugandan

Ethnic groups
Baganda 16.9%, Banyakole 9.5%, Basoga 8.4%, Bakiga 6.9%, Iteso 6.4%, Langi 6.1%, Acholi 4.7%, Bagisu 4.6%, Lugbara 4.2%, Bunyoro 2.7%, other 29.6% (2002 census) 

Roman Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 42% (Anglican 35.9%, Pentecostal 4.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.5%), Muslim 12.1%, other 3.1%, none 0.9% (2002 census) .

35,873,253 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure:   
0-14 years: 49.9% (male 8,692,239/female 8,564,571)
15-64 years: 48.1% (male 8,383,548/female 8,255,473)
65 years and over: 2.1% (male 291,602/female 424,817) (2011 est.)

Population growth rate:   
3.582% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4 

Birth rate:   
47.38 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2 

Death rate:   
11.54 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34 
Major cities - population:   
KAMPALA (capital) 1.535 million (2009)
Life expectancy at birth:   
total population: 53.45 years
country comparison to the world: 204
male: 52.4 years
female: 54.54 years (2012 est.)
Health expenditures:   
8.2% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 51 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:   
6.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10 

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:   
1.2 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8 

HIV/AIDS - deaths:   
64,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8 


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: 66.8%
male: 76.8%
female: 57.7% (2002 census)

Government type:   

name: Kampala
geographic coordinates: 0 19 N, 32 25 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:   
112 districts; Abim, Adjumani, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amudat, Amuria, Amuru, Apac, Arua, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Buhweju, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bukwa, Bulisa, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Busia, Butaleja, Butambala, Buvuma, Bwikwe, Dokolo, Gombe, Gulu, Hoima, Ibanda, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja, Kaabong, Kabale, Kabarole, Kaberamaido, Kalangala, Kaliro, Kalungu Kampala, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Katakwi, Kayunga, Kibale, Kiboga, Kibingo, Kibuku, Kiruhara, Kisoro, Kitgum, Kiryandongo, Koboko, Kole, Kotido, Kumi, Kwene, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Lamwo, Lira, Luuka, Luwero, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Manafwa, Maracha, Masaka, Masindi, Mayuge, Mbale, Mbarara, Mitooma, Mityana, Moroto, Moyo, Mpigi, Mubende, Mukono, Nakapiripirit, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namayingo, Namutumba, Napak Nebbi, Ngora, Nsika, Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Nwoyo, Nyadri, Otuke, Oyam, Pader, Pallisa, Patongo, Rakai, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, Sembabule, Sheema, Sironko, Soroti, Tororo, Wakiso, Yumbe, Zombo

9 October 1962 (from the UK)

National holiday:   
Independence Day, 9 October (1962)

8 October 1995; amended 2005
note: the amendments in 2005 removed presidential term limits and legalized a multiparty political system

Legal system:   
mixed legal system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation:   
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:   
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since seizing power on 26 January 1986); Vice President Edward SSEKANDI (since 24 May 2011) note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since seizing power on 26 January 1986); Prime Minister Amama MBABAZI (since 24 May 2011); note - the prime minister assists the president in the supervision of the cabinet
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among elected legislators
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 18 February 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI elected president; percent of vote - Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI 68.4%, Kizza BESIGYE 26.0%, other 5.6%

Legislative branch:   
unicameral National Assembly (375 seats; 238 members elected by popular vote, 112 women directly elected, 25 nominated by legally established special interest groups [army 10, disabled 5, youth 5, labor 5], additional ex-officio members may be nominated by the President; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 18 February 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NRM 279, FDC 34, DP 11, UPC 9, CP 1, JEEMA 1, independents 37

Judicial branch:   
Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature); High Court (judges are appointed by the president)

Economy Overview

Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Uganda has never conducted a national minerals survey. 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. Since 1990 economic reforms ushered in an era of solid economic growth based on continued investment in infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, lower inflation, better domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. Uganda has received about $2 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief. In 2007 Uganda received $10 million for a Millennium Challenge Account Threshold Program. The global economic downturn has hurt Uganda's exports; however, Uganda's GDP growth is still relatively strong due to past reforms and sound management of the downturn. Oil revenues and taxes will become a larger source of government funding as oil comes on line in the next few years. Rising food and fuel prices in 2011 led to protests. Instability in southern Sudan is a risk for the Ugandan economy in 2012 because Uganda's main export partner is Sudan, and Uganda is a key destination for Sudanese refugees.

Key Economic Indicators
GDP (purchasing power parity):   
$45.9 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
$43.15 billion (2010 est.)
$41 billion (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):   
$16 billion (2011 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:   
6.4% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
5.2% (2010 est.)
7.2% (2009 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):   
$1,300 (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
$1,300 (2010 est.)
$1,300 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:   
agriculture: 21.8%
industry: 26.1%
services: 52.1% (2011 est.)

Labor force:   
16.02 million (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38 

Labor force - by occupation:   
agriculture: 82%
industry: 5%
services: 13% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:   

Population below poverty line:   
35% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:   
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 36.1% (2009)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:   
44.3 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 44
45.7 (2002)

Investment (gross fixed):   
23.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71 

revenues: $2.393 billion
expenditures: $3.364 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:   
15% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187 

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):   
-6.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169 

Public debt:   
25% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
21.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):   
13.7% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate:   
14% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
9.65% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:   
20.5% (31 December 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
20.17% (31 December 2010 est.)
Exports - commodities:   
coffee, fish and fish products, tea, cotton, flowers, horticultural products; gold

Exports - partners:   
Sudan 15.3%, Kenya 10.2%, Rwanda 8.5%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.8%, UAE 7.7%, Netherlands 6.4%, Germany 5.4%, Belgium 4.1% (2010)

$4.771 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
$4.264 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities:   
capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies; cereals

Imports - partners:   
Kenya 17.1%, UAE 14.1%, China 8.5%, India 8.2%, South Africa 6.2%, Japan 5.9%, Germany 4.3% (2010)

Telephones - main lines in use:   
327,100 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 114 

Telephones - mobile cellular:   
12.828 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 56 

Telephone system:   
general assessment: mobile cellular service is increasing rapidly, but the number of main lines is still deficient; work underway on a national backbone information and communications technology infrastructure; international phone networks and Internet connectivity provided through satellite and VSAT applications
domestic: intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations, fixed and mobile-cellular systems for short-range traffic; mobile-cellular teledensity about 40 per 100 persons in 2010
international: country code - 256; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; analog links to Kenya and Tanzania

Broadcast media:   
public broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), operates radio and television networks; Uganda first began licensing privately-owned stations in the 1990s; by 2007 there were nearly 150 radio and 35 TV stations, mostly based in and around Kampala; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available in Kampala (2007)

Internet country code:   

Internet hosts:   
19,927 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 118 

Internet users:   
3.2 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 66

Source: CIA World Factbook