Uganda

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UGANDA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS UGANDANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Republic of Uganda

CAPITAL: Kampala

FLAG: The national flag consists of six equal horizontal stripes of black, yellow, red, black, yellow, and red (from top to bottom); at the center, within a white circle, is a crested crane, the national bird of Uganda.

ANTHEM: Begins "O Uganda! May God uphold thee."

MONETARY UNIT: The new Uganda shilling (NUSh) was introduced in May 1987 with a value equal to 100 old Uganda shillings. NUSh1 = $0.00056 (or $1 = NUSh1,776.68) as of 2005. There are coins of 1, 2, and 5 shillings, and notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shillings.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is now in use.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Martyrs' Day, 3 June; Independence Day, 9 October; Christmas Day, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, 'Id al-Fitr, and 'Id al-'Adha'.

TIME: 3 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

A landlocked country in east-central Africa, situated north and northwest of Lake Victoria, Uganda has a total area of 236,040 sq km (91,136 sq mi), of which 36,330 sq km (14,027 mi) is inland water. Comparatively, the area occupied by Uganda is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. It extends 787 km (489 mi) nnessw and 486 km (302 mi) esewnw. Bounded on the n by Sudan, on the e by Kenya, on the s by Tanzania and Rwanda, and on the w by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). Uganda has a total boundary length of 2,698 km (1,676 mi).

TOPOGRAPHY

The greater part of Uganda consists of a plateau 800 to 2,000 m (2,6006,600 ft) in height. Along the western border, in the Ruwenzori Mountains, Margherita Peak reaches a height of 5,109 m (16,762 ft), while on the eastern frontier Mount Elgon rises to 4,321 m (14,178 ft). By contrast, the Western Rift Valley, which runs from north to south through the western half of the country, is below 910 m (3,000 ft) on the surface of Lake Edward and Lake George and 621 m (2,036 ft) on the surface of Lake Albert (L. Mobutu Sese Seko). The White Nile has its source in Lake Victoria; as the Victoria Nile, it runs northward through Lake Kyoga and then westward to Lake Albert, from which it emerges as the Albert Nile to resume its northward course to the Sudan. With 69 lakes, Uganda has the highest number of lakes in Africa.

CLIMATE

Although Uganda is on the equator, its climate is warm rather than hot, and temperatures vary little throughout the year. Most of the territory receives an annual rainfall of at least 100 cm (40 in). At Entebbe, mean annual rainfall is 162 cm (64 in); in the northeast, it is only 69 cm (27 in). Temperature generally varies by altitude; on Lake Albert, the mean annual maximum is 29°c (84°f) and the mean annual minimum 22°c (72°f). At Kabale in the southwest, 1,250 m (4,100 ft) higher, the mean annual maximum is 23°c (73°f), and the mean annual minimum 10°c (50°f). At Kampala, these extremes are 27°c (81°f) and 17°c (63°f).

FLORA AND FAUNA

In the southern half of Uganda, the natural vegetation has been largely replaced by cultivated plots, in which plantain is the most prominent. There are, however, scattered patches of thick forest or of elephant grass and mvuli trees, providing excellent timber.

The cooler western highlands contain a higher proportion of long grass and forest. In the extreme southwest, however, cultivation is intensive even on the high mountain slopes. In the drier northern region, short grasses appear, and there are areas of open woodland; thorn trees and borassus palms also grow.

Elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, cob, topi, and a variety of monkeys are all plentiful, while lion, giraffe, and rhinoceros also are seen. At least six mammal species are found only in Uganda.

The birds of Uganda include the crowned crane (the national emblem), bulbul, weaver, crow, shrike, heron, egret, ibis, guinea fowl, mouse bird, lourie, hornbill, pigeon, dove, bee-eater, hoopoe, darter, lily-trotter, marabou stork, kingfisher, fish eagle, and kite. As of 2002, there were at least 345 species of mammals, 243 species of birds, and over 4,900 species of plants throughout the country.

There are relatively few varieties of fish, but the lakes and rivers contain plentiful stocks of tilapia, Nile perch, catfish, lungfish, elephant snout fish, and other species. Crocodiles, too, are found in many areas and are particularly evident along the Nile between the Kabalega (Murchison) Falls and Lake Albert. There is a wide variety of snakes, but the more dangerous varieties are rarely observed.

ENVIRONMENT

Major environmental problems in Uganda include overgrazing, deforestation, and primitive agricultural methods, all of which lead to soil erosion. Attempts at controlling the propagation of tsetse flies have involved the use of hazardous chemicals. The nation's water supply is threatened by toxic industrial pollutants; mercury from mining activity is also found in the water supply.

Forests and woodlands were reduced by two-thirds between 1962 and 1977. By 1985, 193 square miles of forests were eliminated. Between 1990 and 2000, the annual rate of deforestation was about 2%. Wetlands have been drained for agricultural use. As of 2003, 24% of Uganda's total land area was protected, including two natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two Ramsar wetland sites.

In 1996, water hyacinth growth created a serious environmental and economic problem on Lake Victoria. By some estimates, the hyacinths covered 6,000 ha (14,820 acres) of water, still less than 0.1% of the lake. When the masses of hyacinths drifted into Uganda's ports and coves, they impaired the local fishing, trapped small boats in ports, and kept fish under the plants. The weed invasion had also been known to affect cargo boat and ferry transportation by fouling engines and propellers and making docking difficult. Environmentalists introduced different types of pests to control the weed growth, so that by 2001, much of the growth had diminished. Of more recent concern for Lake Victoria is the drop in water level that has occurred in from about 19952005. Some reports estimate that the water level had dropped by one meter in that decade.

According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 29 types of mammals, 15 species of birds, 6 species of amphibians, 27 species of fish, 10 types of mollusks, 9 species of other invertebrates, and 38 species of plants. Threatened species include the mountain gorilla, northern white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, and Nile crocodile. Poaching of protected animals is widespread.

POPULATION

The population of Uganda in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 26,907,000, which placed it at number 41 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 2% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 51% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 100 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 20052010 was expected to be 3.2%. In response to this rate, which the government viewed as too high, the government revised its Population Policy in an attempt to slow population growth. As of 2006 Uganda had one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. The projected population for the year 2025 was 55,810,000.

The overall population density was 112 per sq km (289 per sq mi). However, density varied from 673 per sq km (260 per sq mi) in Kabale to 36 per sq km (14 per sq mi) in the dry Karamoja plains. The northern, eastern, and western regions are less densely populated than the region along the north shore of Lake Victoria.

The UN estimated that 12% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 4.67%. The capital city, Kampala, had a population of 1,246,000 in that year. Other major cities and their estimated populations were Jinja, 106,000; Mbale, 70,437; and Masaka, 61,300.

MIGRATION

Expulsion of Asian noncitizens was decreed by the Amin government in 1972; almost all the nation's 74,000 Asians, both citizens and noncitizens, emigrated during the Amin regime. In 1982, the government enacted the Expropriated Properties Bill, which provided for the restoration of property to Asians expelled under Amin. About 6,000 Asians had returned by 1983.

After the fall of the Amin regime, as many as 240,000 people from Amin's West Nile district may have fled Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the Sudan. Many of them returned to Uganda in 1983; government campaigns against guerrillas, however, displaced thousands more, and at the end of 1986 there were an estimated 170,000 Ugandan refugees in Sudan and 23,000 in Zaire. The refugee population in Zaire remained steady, but the number in the Sudan had dropped to 3,800 by the end of 1992.

As of 2004, Uganda had 250,482 refugees, 1,809 asylum seekers, and 91 returned refugees. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), these refugees were primarily from Sudan (214,623), Rwanda (18,902), and the DROC (14,982), and other neighboring African nations. Asylum seekers were from Somalia, the DROC, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. In that same year some 16,000 Ugandans were refugees in the DROC and Sudan, and some 1,200 sought asylum in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Kenya. The net migration rate in 2005 was estimated as -1.49 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory. Worker remittances in 2002 were $365 million.

ETHNIC GROUPS

Uganda's ethnic groups are most broadly distinguished by language. In southern Uganda, most of the population speak Bantu languages. Sudanic speakers inhabit the northwest; Nilotic speakers, principally the Acholi and Langi, live in the north; and the Iteso and Karamajong in the northeast. The Baganda, who populate the northern shore of Lake Victoria, constitute the largest single ethnic group in Uganda, making up about 17% of the total population. The Ankole account for about 8%, Basogo 8%, Iteso 8%, Bakiga 7%, and the Langi 6%. Perhaps 6% of the population (not counting refugees) is of Rwandan descent, either Tutsi or Hutu. Most of them live in the south. Bagisu constitute 5%; Acholi account for 4%; Lugbara another 4%; Bunyoro 3%; and Batoro 3%. The Karamajong account for 2%. The Bakonjo, Jopodhola, and Rundi groups each account for 2% of the population as well. About 1% is comprised of non-Africans, including Europeans, Asians, and Arabs. Other groups make up the remaining 8%.

LANGUAGES

English is the official national language. It is taught in grade schools, used in courts of law, and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts. Bantu languages, particularly Luganda (the language of the Baganda), are widespread in the southern, western, and central areas. Luganda is the preferred language for native-language publications and may be taught in school. Nilotic languages are common in the north and northeast, and Central Sudani clusters exist in the northwest. Kiswahili (Swahili) and Arabic are also widely spoken.

RELIGIONS

Christianity is the majority religion, practiced by about 75% of the population, with about 90% of all Christians fairly evenly split in membership as Roman Catholics or Anglicans. Other denominations include Seventh-Day Adventist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, the Orthodox Church, the Unification Church, and Pentecostal churches. Muslims account for about 15% of the population; most are of the Sunni sect. Others practice traditional African religions, which are more common in the north and west of Uganda. There are also small numbers of Hindus, Baha'is, and Jews. Traditional beliefs and customs are often practiced in conjunction with other established faiths.

Though freedom of religion is provided for in the constitution, local governments have placed restrictions on some religious groups that are considered to be cults. This has been particularly true since 2000, when it was discovered that members of a cult group had killed over 1,000 citizens. Some organizations are banned from evening meetings for what local authorities claim to be a matter of public safety. All religious organizations must register with the government; failure do so brings the threat of criminal prosecution for those who practice any religious activities. Several religious alliances have formed in cooperation for peace within the country. These include the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, the Inter-Religious Council, Religious Efforts for Teso and Karamoja, and the Inter-Religious Program. Certain Muslim and Christian holidays are officially observed.

TRANSPORTATION

A landlocked country, Uganda depends on links with Tanzania and Kenya for access to the sea. The main rail line runs from Tororo in the east through Jinja and Kampala to the Kilembe copper mines near Kasese. The northwest line runs from Tororo to Pakwach. Eastward from Tororo, the line crosses into Kenya and runs to the port of Mombasa. As of 2004, the Ugandan railway system totaled 1,241 km (771 mi), all of it narrow gauge.

In 2002, there were 27,000 km (16,778 mi) of roads, 1,809 km (1,125 mi) of which were surfaced. In 2003, there were 51,010 passenger cars and 43,150 commercial vehicles registered in Uganda. However, many were not in service due to damage, shortages of fuel and spare parts, and closing of repair and maintenance facilities.

Steamships formerly carried cargo and passengers along the country's major lakes and navigable rivers, but there is no regular service on the Nile. Three Ugandan train ferries ply Lake Victoria, connecting at Kisumu, Kenya, and Mwanza, Tanzania. Important ports and harbors include Entebbe, Jinja, and Port Bell. As of 2004, Uganda had an estimated 300 km (187 mi) of navigable inland waterways. As of 2002, Uganda had a merchant fleet of three cargo ships totaling 5,091 GRT.

In 2004, airports numbered an estimated 29, only 4 of which had paved runways as of 2005. Uganda's international airport is at Entebbe. In 2003, about 40,000 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.

HISTORY

San-like peoples were among the Uganda region's earliest inhabitants. Over the centuries, however, they were overcome by waves of migrants, beginning with the Cushitic speakers, who probably penetrated the area around 1000 bc. In the first millennium ad, Bantu-speaking peoples moved into the highland areas of East Africa, where they cultivated the banana as a food crop. After ad 1000, two other migrations filtered through the area: Nilotic-speaking Sudanic people and Luo speakers.

In the region south and west of the Nile, a number of polities formed, most of them strongly centralized. North and east of the Nile, political organization tended to be decentralized. In the south, the kingdom of Bunyoro was the most powerful and extensive, but in the 18th century the neighboring kingdom of Buganda began to challenge its supremacy. The two states were engaged in a critical power struggle when the British explorers John Hanning Speke and J. A. Grant reached Buganda in 1862. They had been preceded some years earlier by Arab ivory and slave traders. Other foreigners soon followed. Sir Samuel Baker entered Uganda from the north shortly after Speke's departure. Baker described a body of water, which he named Lake Albert. Baker returned to Uganda in 187273 as a representative of the Egyptian government, which was pursuing a policy of expansion up the Nile. The first Christian missionaries, members of the Church Missionary Society of Great Britain, came to Buganda in 1877. They were followed in 1879 by the Roman Catholic White Fathers.

The missionaries were welcomed by the kabaka (ruler) of Buganda, Mutesa I, who hoped to gain their support or the support of their countrymen against the Egyptian threat from the north. When the missionaries displayed no interest in military matters and the Egyptian danger was removed by the Mahdist rising in the Sudan in the early 1880s, Mutesa became less amenable. His son, Mwanga, who succeeded Mutesa on the latter's death in 1884, was even more hostile, fearing the influence exerted over his subjects by both the missionaries and the Arab traders. The kabaka, therefore, began to persecute the Bagandan adherents of Christianity and Islam. Both sets of converts joined forces to drive the kabaka from his country in 1888. A few weeks later, the Christians were expelled by the Muslims. Mwanga then appealed to the Christians for help, and they finally succeeded in restoring him to power early in 1890.

In 1888, the Imperial British East African Co. was granted a charter and authorized to administer the British sphere of East Africa. The Anglo-German agreement of 1890 officially outlined imperial spheres of influence in East Africa. By that agreement, what is now Uganda and Kenya were to be considered British spheres and Tanganyika a German sphere. In 1890, Capt. F. D. Lugard was sent to Buganda to establish the company's influence there. Lugard obtained Mwanga's agreement to a treaty that placed Buganda under the company's protection. Shortly afterward, however, lack of funds compelled the company to withdraw its representatives from Buganda.

In 1894, the kingdom of Buganda became a British protectorate, which was extended in 1896 to cover Bunyoro and most of what is now Uganda. In 1897, Mwanga led a revolt against British encroachments; he was quickly defeated and deposed. His infant son, Daudi Chwa, succeeded him, and a regency was established to govern Buganda under British supervision. Under the Uganda Agreement of 1900, Buganda was ruled indirectly by the British, who in turn used the Baganda leadership as agents to extend British control indirectly throughout Uganda. The agreement confirmed the privileged position of Buganda in Uganda and of the traditional chiefs in Buganda. Subsequent treaties for indirect rule were concluded with the remaining kingdoms over a period of years.

Buganda's rebuff of British policies following World War II marked the beginning of a conflict over the place of Buganda within the future evolution of the territory. Kabaka Mutesa II was deposed in 1953 when he refused to force his chiefs to cooperate with the British. He was restored to power in 1955 under a compromise agreement.

It was only at the constitutional conference convened in London in October 1961 that a place was agreed for Buganda in a federal relationship to central government. It was also decided at this conference that Uganda should obtain independence on 9 October 1962. At a second constitutional conference in June 1962, Buganda agreed to scale down its demands over financial matters and ended its threats of secession from the central government. In August, a federal relationship with the kingdom of Ankole was agreed upon, and the agreement used as a model for dealing with the remaining two kingdoms, Bunyoro and Toro.

On 9 October 1963, an amendment to the constitution abolished the post of governor-general and replaced it with that of president. Sir Edward Mutesa (Kabaka Mutesa II of Buganda) became Uganda's first president. In February 1966, the 1962 constitution was suspended and the prime minister, Milton Obote, assumed all powers of government. parliament formally abrogated the 1962 constitution on 15 April 1966 and adopted a new constitution, which created the post of president and commander-in-chief; Obote was elected to fill this position on the same day. Obote declared a state of emergency in Buganda following a clash between the police and dissident Baganda protesting the new constitution. On 24 May, Ugandan troops took control of the kabaka's palace, and the kabaka fled the country.

Further revisions to the constitution enacted in June 1967 abolished the federal relationship of Buganda and the other kingdoms, making Uganda a unitary state. Uganda became a republic with an executive president, who would be concurrently head of state and government.

Following a failed assassination attempt on Obote in December 1969, parliament declared a state of emergency on 22 December. Ten opposition leaders were arrested and all opposition parties were banned.

Amin Seizes Power

On 25 January 1971, while Obote was out of the country, Maj. Gen. Idi Amin led a successful military coup. Obote was received by Tanzania as a political exile. The Second Republic of Uganda was proclaimed on 17 March 1971, with Amin as president. In September 1972, Ugandans who had followed Obote into exile in Tanzania staged an abortive invasion. They were immediately overpowered, but tensions between Uganda and Tanzania remained high.

The expulsion of Asian noncitizens from Uganda in August 1972 also caused international tension, especially with the United Kingdom. Expulsion of numerous British nationals in 1973 and the nationalization of UK-owned enterprises beginning in December 1972, further aggravated relations with the United Kingdom. An Israeli commando raid on Entebbe Airport on 34 July 1976, which freed 91 Israeli passengers and 12 crew members held captive by pro-Palestinian radicals in a hijacked aircraft, was a severe blow to the prestige of Amin, who was suspected of collusion with the hijackers (20 Ugandan troops were killed during the raid).

Under Amin, Uganda suffered a reign of terror that had claimed 50,000 to 300,000 lives by 1977, according to Amnesty International. The expulsion of the Asians took a heavy toll on trade and the economy. Agricultural and industrial production also fell, and educational and health facilities suffered from the loss of skilled personnel. The collapse in 1977, essentially because of political differences, of the 10-year-old East African Community (membersKenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) also dealt a blow to Uganda's economy.

In late October 1978, Ugandan forces invaded Tanzanian territory, but Tanzanian forces, supported by anti-Amin rebels, struck back and by January 1979 had entered Ugandan territory. Kampala was taken on 11 April 1979, and all of Uganda was cleared of Amin's forces by the end of May; Amin fled first to Libya and later to Saudi Arabia. Yusuf K. Lule, an educator, formed a provisional government but was ousted on 20 June in favor of Godfrey Binaisa. On 13 May 1980, a military takeover ousted Binaisa and installed Paulo Muwanga. parliamentary elections administered by Muwanga and other supporters of Obote, who returned from exile in Tanzania, were held on 10 December 1980. The election results, which opponents claimed were fraudulent, gave Obote's Uganda People's Congress (UPC) a clear majority, and he was sworn in as president on 15 December 1980. A period of reconstruction followed, and Tanzanian troops left in mid-1981. Security remained precarious, however. An undisciplined soldiery committed many outrages, and antigovernment guerrilla groups, especially the National Resistance Army (NRA), which was supported from abroad by Lule and Binaisa, remained active.

Obote's second term in office was marked by continued fighting between the army and guerrilla factions. As many as 100,000 people may have died as a result of massacres, starvation, and hindrance of relief operations. International groups denounced the regime for human rights abuses. On 27 July 1985, Obote was overthrown in a military coup and Lt. Gen. Tito Okello, commander of the armed forces, was installed as president.

The NRA continued fighting, however, and on 26 January 1986 it occupied Kampala. Three days later, NRA leader Yoweri Museveni assumed the presidency. By April the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government was in control of most of the country, but armed supporters of the Obote, Amin, and Okello regimes remained active in northern and northeastern Uganda, as well as opposition from Karamojong separatists and prophetic religious movements, most notably the Holy Spirit rebels of Alice Lakwena in 1987.

After 1990, except for tiny groups of bandits, rebel military action was almost eliminated. However, Museveni resisted introducing a multiparty constitution advocating "no-party government" instead. In late August 1992, parliament formalized the ban on party politics which officials of the UPC and Democratic Party, DP (both abolished by Museveni in 1986) rejected at a press conference. Nonetheless, parties became more active, despite the ban and police action.

Although lauded by western countries as a new breed of African leader, and Uganda as a role model for African development, there was growing criticism of Museveni for his lack of democratic credentials. In July1993, parliament enacted Constituent Assembly Statute No. 6, the basis for nonparty elections to choose a constituent assembly, which would consider the draft constitution released in December 1992 by an appointed commission. In a secret ballot election on 28 March 1994, Ugandans elected 214 delegates to the 288-member assembly. Also included were 10 delegates appointed by the president, 56 representing interest groups, and 8 representing 4 parties that had contested the 1980 election.

In addition, the government introduced constitutional changes allowing the Baganda to restore their monarchy purely for ceremonial purposes. Ronald Mutebi, son of the former king, was installed as Kabaka on 31 July 1993. The monarchies had been abolished in the 1967 constitution. A second king was restored and a third was rejected by government.

In October of 1995, the new constitution was finally enacted. It replaced the interim National Resistance Council with a permanent parliament, and made minor changes in executive power, but its most noticed element was the prohibition of political party activity for five years.

The first popular elections for president since independence were held on 9 May 1996. Museveni won with 74% of the vote, Paul Ssemogerere got 24%, and Muhammad Mayanja 2%. Nonparty parliamentary elections for the 276-member (214 elected, 62 nominated by special groups) house followed on 27 June 1999. The elections were peaceful and orderly, but election conditions, including restrictions on political party activities, resulted in flaws. Elections were held again in March 2001 with Museveni claiming victory with 69% of the vote to 28% for Kizza Besigye. The results were upheld despite objections by the opposition.

By June 2003, there was growing concern over the government's inability to build political consensus in the country and to maintain peace and security. In the north, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a cult-like Christian rebel group operated from bases in southern Sudan, and in western Uganda, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) stepped up rebel attacks from the DROC. Other rebel groups included Rwanda Hutu rebels, Uganda National Rescue Front-II, and the Uganda National Front/Army. Members of these rebel groups murdered, raped, kidnapped, tortured, and abducted children using them as combatants, sex and labor slaves. UNICEF estimated that the LRA and ADF abducted over 4,900 men, women and children since 1987, most of whom remained missing.

Museveni has tried both diplomatic and military means to end the fighting. He reluctantly accepted an Amnesty Bill in January 2000, which provided for pardon to any rebels who surrendered their arms within six months. Three months later, no rebels had complied. A highly publicized all-out offensive in 2002 also failed to achieve its goals, and independent observers accused government troops of killing innocent civilians including women and children.

In 2004, three oppositions groupsReform Agenda, the Parliamentary Advocacy Reform (PAFO), and the National Democratic Forum (NDF)merged to form the FDC, which became the main challenger to Museveni's NRM party. In 2005, the parliament approved two constitutional amendments that restored a multiparty system and removed the two-term limit for the president. The elimination of the two-term limit, which opposition groups and donors stridently opposed, was significant in that it allowed Museveni to run for another term. Uganda had operated under a no-party system since 1980. Subsequently, some 50 parties formed and began to campaign in the run-up to the 2006 elections. In August, the parliament also approved additional changes to the constitution that increased the power of the executive vis-à-vis the legislature.

The February 2006 polls marked the first multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections in 26 years. In the run-up, three people were killed as a result of violent clashes between security personnel and opposition supporters. Voting day itself was mostly peaceful though many irregularities such as unsealed ballot boxes, under-age voting, and military patrols in the vicinity of polling stations were reported. Thousands of domestic and international observers from the EU, AU, United States and Commonwealth nations observed the polling. Some 8090% of polling stations were monitored.

As the results were announced the following day, the FDC alleged voter-list tampering. International observer missions, though not uniform in their assessments, generally rated the exercise as short of free and fair. The main complaint by observers was that the playing field had been made extremely unlevel mostly because of the rape and treason charges leveled at Dr. Kizza Besigye, Museveni's opponent, by government agencies. In March 2006 the rape charges were dropped. However, the treason trial was due to begin on 15 March 2006. Ironically, Mr. Besigye, who had fled Uganda after losing the 2001 poll, had formerly been Museveni's personal doctor, and the two were allies in the guerrilla war. The official results gave Museveni the victory by a margin of 59.28% of the vote to Dr. Besigye's 37.36%. The FDC immediately challenged the results, but police surrounded FDC headquarters to prevent a mass protest. Voter turn-out was 68.6%.

In the 2006 parliamentary contest, the NRM ruling party took the majority of the seats with 202 to 40 for the FDC and 49 seats to other smaller opposition groups. This result assured the president's party of a two-thirds majority. In a hotly contested race in a district in southwest Uganda, the first lady, Janet Museveni, became a member of parliament by beating an FDC incumbent of ten years. Evidence that she used state resources during her campaign did not reverse the outcome. Although the FDC accused the NRM of having stolen the election, it vowed to pursue change through legal and constitutional means. A separate FDC tally showed Museveni winning 51% of the vote with enough votes to exceed a run-off by only 600,000which the FDC claimed it could prove was rigged.

Internationally, a cease-fire with President Joseph Kabila of DROC signed in 2003 was threatened by alleged evidence of rebel ADF bases in neighboring Ituri province. Additionally, though most Ugandan troops were withdrawn from Congolese territory in early 2003, the Ugandan government was likely to send troops back in if Rwanda were to do the same. Relations with Sudan continued to be unsettled because of unanswered questions following the crash of John Garang's helicopter in July 2005. Garang, former leader of the SPLA, had been a long-time friend of Museveni, but speculation that Uganda was connected to the crash chilled relations with the South Sudan government. For Uganda, this meant that insecurity in the north would likely continue, especially with the rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) able to operate from Sudanese territory.

GOVERNMENT

Following Gen. Amin's coup of 25 January 1971, provisions of the 1967 constitution dealing with the executive and legislature were suspended, and Amin ruled by decree. As commander-in-chief of the armed forces and president of the military government, he exercised virtually all power.

Following Amin's defeat, the Uganda High Court in 1980 declared a modified version of the 1967 constitution to be the law of the land. The constitution was amended in May 1985, but it was suspended with the fall of the Obote government in July, when the National Assembly was dissolved. A 270-person National Resistance Council was established in 1986 to act as the nation's legislative body pending the holding of elections. Nonpartisan elections for the NRC were held in February 1989. There were 382 members, 216 elected and 166 appointed by the president. An appointed cabinet (including members of the banned opposition parties) advised the president. He also sought advice from and consensus with key interest groups and institutions on important policy issues, especially from the National Resistance Army.

The new constitution was enacted in October 1995, replacing the NRC with an elected parliament while leaving the power and structure of the executive largely unchanged. It provided for a 276-member body, with ensured representation for special interest groups (including 39 seats for women, 10 for the Army, 5 for the disabled, 5 for youth, and 3 for trade unions). By 2003, the number and proportion of appointed seats had been altered. In 2005, parliament voted two significant changes to the constitution that restored multipartyism and revoked the two-term limit for presidents.

Parliamentary elections were first held on 27 June 1996 and again on 26 June 2001. The parliamentary term is five years. The current eighth legislative body numbers 309 members up from 304 seats in the seventh parliament. Presidential elections were held on 9 May 1996, on 12 March 2001, and most recently (along with parliamentary elections) on 23 February 2006the first multiparty elections in 26 years. Fresh elections were due in 2011. Suffrage is universal at age 18.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The Uganda People's Congress (UPC), founded in 1959, was the leading political party of the pre-Amin era. At the time of independence it formed a ruling coalition with the Kabaka Yekka (The King Only), which drew its support from the Baganda. The opposition party was the Democratic Party (DP), founded in 1953.

The marriage of convenience between the UPC and the Kabaka Yekka deteriorated, and in February 1966, Prime Minister Milton Obote, who had been the head of the UPC, suspended the constitution, deposed the president and vice president, and began a move to power, which culminated in the proclamation of the Republic of Uganda under a new constitution adopted in September 1967. The political situation under Obote continued to deteriorate, and after an attempt on his life, Obote's government banned the opposition parties and arrested 10 of their leaders. Uganda was subsequently declared a one-party state in 1969, the UPC remaining as the only legal party. After the military overthrow of the Obote government on 25 January 1971, Maj. Gen. Amin outlawed all political parties.

After the overthrow of Amin, four political parties took part in the parliamentary elections held in December 1980. The UPC was declared to have won 74 seats in the National Assembly; the DP, 51; the Uganda Patriotic Movement, 1; and the Conservative Party, 0. These parties, as well as Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Movement and the Uganda Freedom Movement, were represented in the cabinet appointed in 1986. The government ordered all parties to suspend active operations, however, and mandated that elections would not be held before 1989.

By 1991, however, party activity, although banned, began to increase. Top officials of the DP and UPC were arrested in January 1992. Museveni insisted that no party activity could precede the new constitution. In August, the DP and UPC held a joint press conference to denounce parliament's formalization of the ban. President Museveni declared that parties were not allowed to participate in either the presidential election or the parliamentary elections held in May and June of 1996, respectively. Nonetheless, 156 of the 276 members of the parliament elected in 1996 were considered to be supporters of General Museveni. The UPC, DP, and CP remained the most important opposition parties.

In June 2000, the no-party system was subjected to a national referendum. Despite accusations of vote rigging and manipulation by the opposition, Ugandans approved it. They also reelected Museveni to a second five-year term in March 2001. In the 303member National Assembly, 214 seats were directly elected by popular vote, and 81 were nominated by legally established special interest groups including women (56), army (10), disabled (5), youth (5), labor (5), and ex officio members (8). Campaigning by party was not allowed.

In May 2003, the National Executive Committee recommended that subject to another national referendum in 2004, parties be free to operate. Nonetheless, the United States was particularly concerned about the lack of political space and freedom of speech that Museveni's Movement has allowed other political forces. The United States also expressed its disapproval of any attempt by Museveni or his Movement to tamper with the constitution to legalize a run for a third term. Nevertheless, the February 2006 elections showed the grassroots strength of the reconstituted National Resistance Movement Organization (NRMO), which despite opposition (FDC) complaints, was confirmed in its victory by parallel vote tabulation. One deciding factor in the outcome, however, was a highly unlevel playing field characterized by the use of state resources, intimidation, and a smear campaign on FDC candidate, Dr. Besigye, launched by the ruling NRMO party.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Until the adoption of the 1967 constitution, local government in Buganda was conducted on behalf of the kabaka by six ministers, advised by the lukiko (Buganda council) and by a hierarchy of chiefs. With the abolition of the federal system of government in 1967, Buganda was divided into four districts, and the kabaka's government was dissolved. The federal status of the kingdoms of Ankole, Bunyoro, and Toro was also abolished. Under that constitution, Uganda was divided into 18 districts.

In 1973, President Amin instituted a new system of provincial government establishing 10 provinces subdivided into 26 districts. Later Kampala became Central Province. In 1980 the number of districts increased to 33, and in March 2000, to 39. By 2002, there were 45 districts and by 2006, the number rose to 56.

Since 1986, National Resistance Movement committees have played leading roles in local and district affairs. In early March 1992, local council elections were held nationwide. Political parties were not allowed to campaign, although many candidates could be identified as members of particular parties.

There was disappointment on the part of donors with logistical delays, irregularities in distribution of electoral material and voting, confusion over electoral laws, and electoral violence during the 2002 local elections.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

In 1995, the government restored the legal system to one based on English common law and customary law. At the lowest level are three classes of courts presided over by magistrates. Above these is the chief magistrate's court, which hears appeals from magistrates. The High Court hears appeals and has full criminal and civil jurisdiction. It consists of a chief justice and a number of puisne justices. The three-member Court of Appeal hears appeals from the High Court. A military court system handles offenses involving military personnel. Village resistance councils (RCs) mediate disputes involving land ownership and creditor claims. These councils have at times overstepped their authority in order to hear criminal cases including murder and rape. RC decisions are appealable to magistrate's courts, but ignorance of the right to appeal and the time and cost involved make such appeals rare. In practice, a large backlog of cases delays access to a speedy trial.

Although the president retains some control of appointments to the judiciary, the courts appear to engage in independent decision-making and the government normally complies with court decisions. Uganda accepts the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice with reservations.

ARMED FORCES

After Amin's regime was overthrown, a Commonwealth training force was sent to reorganize the army, which proved difficult. In 1987, the National Resistance Army (NRA) was established as the national army in the wake of another civil war. Thousands of defeated guerillas were given amnesty and integrated into the NRA, swelling its ranks to as many as 70,000100,000 men, armed with outdated US, UK, and Russian weapons.

The Ugandan People's Defense Force was estimated at 40,00045,000 in 2005, and consisted of five divisions, one armored and one artillery brigade. Equipment included 152 main battle tanks and 20 light tanks. There was an air wing with 15 combat capable aircraft that included 11 fighters, in addition to six attack helicopters. Paramilitary forces consisted of a border defense unit of around 600, some 400 marines, a police air wing of around 800, and local defense units numbering up to 10,000. In 2005, the defense budget totaled $196 million.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

On 25 October 1962, Uganda became the 110th member of the United Nations; it is a member of ECA and several nonregional specialized agencies, such as the World Bank, IAEA, the FAO, ILO, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, and the WHO. Uganda participated in the establishment of the African Development Bank. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the ACP Group, the WTO, the East African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), COMESA, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and G-77. Kampala was the headquarters of the African Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity) for the 1975 summit meeting, and then president Idi Amin was the OAU president for 197576.

Uganda generally supports peace efforts in neighboring countries. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan are sometimes tense, primarily due to unrest in those nations. Uganda fully supports the international war on terrorism. The country is part of the Nonaligned Movement. In environmental cooperation, Uganda is part of the Basel Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar, CITES, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Uganda's economy is agriculture based, with agriculture employing over 80% of the population and generating 90% of export earnings. Coffee is the main export crop, with tea and cotton other agricultural products. Uganda also has mineral deposits of copper and cobalt, which contributed 30% of export earnings during the 1960s, although the mining sector is now only a minor contributor to the economy.

The upheavals of the 1970s and the troubles of the 1980s left the economy in disarray. However, economic reforms begun in 1986 have resulted in important progress. The government made significant strides in liberalizing markets and releasing government influence during the 1990s, although some administrative controls remained in 2003. Monopolies were abolished in the coffee, cotton, power generation, and telecommunications sectors and restrictions on foreign exchange were removed. Reforms improved the economy and gained the confidence of international lending agencies.

The economy has posted growth rates in the GDP averaging 6.9% from 198898, and 5.8% from 20002005. Consequently, the economy has almost doubled. Still, Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world heavily dependent on foreign aid (approximately 55% of government spending in 1998). High growth rates are necessary to balance the population growth rate of over 3%. The government in 2003 was known for its sound fiscal management. World coffee prices recovered in 2003, which brought in revenue. New property developments have been fueled by an influx of foreign investment, which has provided testimony of confidence in Uganda's economy. Ugandan Asians, who had been expelled by Idi Amin in 1972, have had their property restored and have brought business back into the country. One of the first African nations hit by HIV/AIDS, Uganda had by 2005 witnessed a drop in infection rates over the previous decade. However, Uganda's continued involvement in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo compromised the progress Uganda has made on many other fronts.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Uganda's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $46.0 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $1,700. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 9%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 9.7%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 31.1% of GDP, industry 22.2%, and services 46.9%.

According to the World Bank, in 2003 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $295 million or about $12 per capita and accounted for approximately 4.7% of GDP. Foreign aid receipts amounted to $959 million or about $38 per capita and accounted for approximately 15.6% of the gross national income (GNI).

The World Bank reports that in 2003 household consumption in Uganda totaled $4.92 billion or about $195 per capita based on a GDP of $6.3 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 1990 to 2003 household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 6.0%. It was estimated that in 2001 about 35% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

Uganda's workforce in 2005 was estimated at 13.17 million. As of 2003, agriculture accounted for the majority of the country's workforce at 69.1%, followed by the services sector at 23.1%, industry at 7.6% and undefined occupations for the remainder. A 2003 survey of the Ugandan workforce gave an unemployment rate for that year of 3.2%.

The Uganda Trade Union Congress was dissolved in 1973 and replaced by the National Organization of Trade Unions, which remains the largest labor federation. NOTU is independent of the government but has little influence in the economy since it claims only about 5% of the workforce. Strikes are permitted by law but are greatly restricted by lengthy and complicated procedures.

The minimum working age is 18 but many children work out of economic necessity and because school fees are so high. A large percentage of under-18 children do not attend school. Most children work in the informal sector. In 2002, the legal minimum wage remained at a level set in the early 1960s, at $3.50 per month. Wage earners are an extremely small percentage of the workforce. In this sector, the workweek is set at 40 hours. Most workers supplement their income with second jobs and family farming. Occupational safety regulations have existed since 1954 but the government lacks the resources to implement them.

AGRICULTURE

Uganda's economy is predominantly agrarian; 32% of the GDP, 70% of the employed labor force, and 40% of export earnings are derived from the agricultural sector. A total of 7,350,000 hectares (18,162,000 acres), or 37% of the land area, is under cultivation. Subsistence production remains the pattern; 70% of the area under cultivation is used to produce locally consumed food crops. Women provide over half of agricultural labor, traditionally focusing on food rather than cash crop production. The monetary value of market crops is exceeded by the estimated value of subsistence agriculture. Plantains, cassava, sweet potatoes, and bananas are the major food crops. In 2004, food production estimates included plantains, 9.9 million tons; cassava, 5.5 million tons; sweet potatoes, 2.6 million tons; bananas, 615,000 tons; millet, 700,000 tons; corn, 1,350,000 tons; sorghum, 420,000 tons; beans, 545,000 tons; and potatoes, 573,000 tons.

Coffee is still an important export earner for Uganda, with receipts in 2004 at $124.2 million, 35% of agricultural exports. Production of robusta, which was cultivated by the Baganda before the arrival of the Arabs and British, and some arabica varieties of coffee provides the most important single source of income for more than one million Ugandan farmers and is the principal earner of foreign exchange. Export crop production reached a peak in 1969. Estimated production of major cash crops in 2004 included coffee, 186,000 tons; cotton (lint), 22,200 tons; tea, 36,000 tons; sugarcane, 1,600,000 tons; and tobacco, 33,000 tons. Roses and carnations are grown for export to Europe.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Uganda had an estimated 6.1 million head of cattle; 7.7 million goats; 1.15 million sheep; and 1.3 million hogs in 2005, as well as about 33 million chickens. Meat production in 2005 was an estimated 256,000 tons, 23% pork. The tsetse fly, which infests about 30% of Uganda, limits livestock production, and cattle rustling remains a problem. The livestock sector had been disrupted by armed rebels, but the United Nations, the EU, Denmark, and several international development banks are contributing to its revitalization.

FISHING

Many persons find employment in fishing and the marketing of fish, and many fishermen sell their catch to the main distribution centers. Most fish are caught from dugouts or hand-propelled canoes. Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga are the major commercial fishing areas; Nile perch and Nile tilapia are the most abundant species. In 2003, the total catch was estimated at 245,431 tons. The fishing industry has benefited from a large ice-making plant at Soroti.

FORESTRY

Forests cover 4,190,000 hectares (10,353,000 acres), or 21% of the land area. About half of the forested area is savanna woodland. In 2000, production of roundwood was estimated at 39.4 million cu m (139 billion cu ft). About 92% was used for fuel.

MINING

Mining and quarrying in fiscal year 2002/2003 accounted for 1% of Uganda's gross domestic product (GDP), which grew by 4.7% in 2002/2003 and 6.8% in 2002/2001. Gold accounted for 13% of Uganda's exports by value in 2002. In recent years, Uganda has been known to produce cobalt (95% of which was exported), limonite and other iron ore, niobium, steel, tantalum, tin, tungsten, apatite, gypsum, kaolin, brick clays and other clays, hydrated lime, quicklime, limestone, pozzolanic materials (used for pozzolanic cement), and salt (by evaporation of lakes and brine wells).

Mine gold output (metal content) in 2003 was estimated at 5 kg, up from 3 kg in 2002. Gold production began in 1992. Limestone output, in 2003 was estimated at 226,408 metric tons, up from 140,022 metric tons in 2002. Limestone resources at the largest depositsHima, Tororo Hill, and Bukiribototaled 46.1 million tons. Output of hydraulic cement in 2003 was estimated at 505,000 tons, down slightly from 505,959 metric tons in 2002; and columbite-tantalite ore and concentrate (gross weight) was estimated at 7,200 kg. In addition, Uganda presumably produced copper content of slag, corundum, garnet, gemstones, gravel, marble, ruby, sand, and vermiculite. No wolfram was produced in 2003. Extraction of copper was halted in 1980.

The Namekhela high-quality vermiculite deposit had resources of 5 million tons. Pyrochlore resources amounted to 6 million tons. Iron ore resources in Sukulu were 45.7 million tons at an average grade of 62% iron; the Muko deposit, worked by artisanal miners, contained 30 million tons at a grade 6167% iron; and there were additional resources at Kyanyamuzinda, Metuli, Mugabuzi, and Wambogwe. Inferred resources of wolframite were 20 million tons; gypsum deposits totaled 5.5 million tons; marble resources, 10 million tons; the Sukulu phosphate deposit had resources of 230 million tons; and there were occurrences of silica sand deposits. The abandoned Kilembe copper mine had proven reserves of 5 million tons, and its tailings contained 5.5 million tons. A pilot study in 1991 attempted to process the tailings for cobalt and copper, using a natural strain of bacteria to separate the cobalt metal.

The United Nations Security Council accused Ugandan government officials, military officers, and businessmen of illegally exploiting columbium, diamonds, gold, and tantalum from Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Ugandan government denied the accusations.

ENERGY AND POWER

Uganda has no known reserves of crude oil, natural gas or coal, nor any refining capacity.

Uganda must import all the petroleum products, natural gas or coal that it consumes. In 2002, demand and imports of refined petroleum products each averaged 9,920 barrels per day. There were no recorded imports of natural gas or coal, nor any demand for either in that year.

Uganda's electric power generating capacity is almost entirely hydroelectric. In 2002, electric generating capacity totaled 0.303 million kW, with conventional thermal capacity accounting for 0.003 million kW. Electric power output that year totaled 1.675 billion kWh, with 1.668 billion kWh from hydroelectric sources and 0.007 billion kWh from fossil fueled plants. Demand for electric power in 2002 totaled 1.413 billion kWh. Only an estimated 35% of the population has access to electricity. Fuel wood and charcoal supply 95% of required energy.

INDUSTRY

Production of most industrial products declined in 1973, largely because of the expulsion of skilled Asian personnel. A precipitous decline followed, with output in 1985 little more than a third of the postindependence peak levels of 197072. As of 2002, however, growth over the past decade had occurred in manufacturing and construction, among other sectors, and the size of the Ugandan economy had doubled. Industrial contribution to GDP was 21% in 2004. The agricultural industry produces cotton, coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, edible oils, and dairy products. Ugandan industrial production also includes grain milling, brewing, vehicle assembly, textiles, steel, metal products, cement, soap, shoes, animal feed, fertilizers, paint, and matches.

The textile industry suffers from a lack of skilled labor but is being encouraged by funds from the EU and the Arab Development Bank. General Motors is assembling vehicles in Uganda, and Lonrho has returned to manage its previously owned brewery, to build an oil pipeline, and to join in agricultural marketing efforts. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Schweppes are producing soft drinks. A tannery will make Uganda self-sufficient in leather products. Batteries, canned foods, pharmaceuticals, and salt are among the other products being produced in Uganda's industrial sector.

In 2002, the country planned to build from one to three hydroelectric projects along the Nile River, and this and other infrastructure projects fueled the construction industry.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Uganda has a medical association, a child malnutrition unit, an agriculture research institute, a forestry research center, and a cotton research station in Kampala. An animal health research center and the Geological Survey and Mines Department are in Entebbe. Makerere University (founded originally in 1922 as a technical school at Kampala) has faculties of science, agriculture and forestry, technology, medicine, and veterinary science. Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (founded in 1954 at Kampala) has 1,000 students. Mbarara University of Science and Technology (founded in 1989) has faculties of medicine and science education.

In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 17% of college and university enrollments. In 2001 expenditures on research and development (R&D) totaled $259.438 million, or 0.82% of GDP. In 2000 (the latest year for which data was available), foreign sources accounted for the overwhelming majority of R&D spending at 90.3%, followed by government sources at 6.6%, the domestic business sector at 2.2%, higher education at 0.6%, and private nonprofit organizations at 0.3%. As of 2001, there were 25 researchers and 15 technicians engaged in R&D per million people. High technology exports in 2002 totaled $4 million, accounting for 12% of the country's manufactured exports.

DOMESTIC TRADE

Most retail trade is accomplished through small shops supplied by small distributors. Consumer products are priced based on what the market will bear. Kampala is Uganda's main commercial center, but many concerns have their headquarters or regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya. Bootlegging of cassettes and videos is common. The market for smuggled goods, including fuel, clothing, electronics and other consumer goods, is rather large. English is the business language, although Swahili is often spoken as well. Products are marketed through radio and television advertising.

Business hours are from 8 or 8:15 am to 12:30 pm and from 2 to 5 pm. Shops close on Sundays. Banking hours are 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, MondayFriday.

FOREIGN TRADE

Principal imports in 2005 included machinery equipment, iron, steel, vehicles and accessories, chemical and related products, medical supplies, petroleum and related products, vegetable products, animal fats and oil. Traditionally, coffee accounted for nearly a third (31%) of Uganda's export commodities. For example in 2005 the big four exports were coffee (41%), fish (34%), cotton (13%), and tea (12%). Other exports include gold and tobacco.

Uganda exports most of its goods to Belgium, Netherlands, the United States, Germany and Spain while most of its imports come

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 164.6 1,375.1 -1,210.5
Switzerland-Liechtenstein 30.9 7.1 23.8
Kenya 17.7 357.3 -339.6
Netherlands 15.3 25.0 -9.7
United Kingdom 12.7 86.4 -73.7
Germany 7.4 39.2 -31.8
Belgium 7.1 23.1 -16.0
United Arab Emirates 6.6 80.4 -73.8
Congo (DROC) 6.3 6.3
France-Monaco 5.5 15.7 -10.2
Rwanda 5.2 5.2
() data not available or not significant.

from Kenya, the United Kingdom, China and Japan. Principal trading partners for exports in 2004 as a percent of total exports were as follows: Netherlands (15.8%), Belgium (10.2%), the United States, (9.0%), Germany (7.8%), and Spain (6.6%). Principal trading partners for imports in 2004 as a percent of total imports were as follows: Kenya (44.6%), South Africa (6.6%), India (5.6%), the United Kingdom (5.3%), and China (4.5%).

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

Uganda had a favorable balance of payments in the 1930s and throughout the postwar yearsan unusual feature in an underdeveloped country. The favorable balance with the rest of the world, however, was diminished by deficits in trade with Kenya and Tanzania following independence. Uganda's payments position declined during the 1960s, and during the 1970s, years of deficit out-numbered

Current Account -377.4
   Balance on goods 692.9
   Imports -1,255.9
   Exports 563.0
   Balance on services -214.3
   Balance on income -175.5
   Current transfers 705.3
Capital Account
Financial Account 421.4
   Direct investment abroad
   Direct investment in Uganda 194.2
   Portfolio investment assets
   Portfolio investment liabilities 20.8
   Financial derivatives
   Other investment assets -39.7
   Other investment liabilities 246.0
Net Errors and Omissions -10.4
Reserves and Related Items -33.6
() data not available or not significant.

those of surplus; moreover, the deficits were larger than the surpluses. Poor trade performances and mounting debt service led to a loss of reserves in the 1980s. From 1986 to 1990, merchandise exports fell by 56% (due largely to plummeting coffee prices), while merchandise imports increased by 30%, so that the trade deficit widened rapidly from $69 million to $440 million in just a few years. Trade deficits continued through the 1990s. Low levels of foreign investment, coupled with weak coffee exports, led to a decline in foreign exchange reserves and a deteriorating balance of payments position in the early 2000s.

The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that in 2005 the purchasing power parity of Uganda's exports was $791.1 million while imports totaled $1.608 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $816.9 million.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

The Bank of Uganda was established on 16 May 1966 as the bank of issue, undertaking the function previously served by the East African Currency Board in Nairobi. The government-owned Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB) provided a full commercial banking service, complementary to and in competition with other commercial banks in the country. Uganda was rocked by a banking scandal in 1989. Lack of public confidence in the system was compounded by a prolonged period of high inflation, which caused rapid erosion in the value of money, and by the liquidity and insolvency problems of some banks. These problems remained unresolved through the 1990s.

In 1998, the financial sector included the Bank of Uganda together with 18 commercial banks and 2 development banks. In addition to the UCB, major commercial banks included Crane Bank Limited, Stanbic, Bank of Baroda, Standard Chartered Bank, Nile Bank, and Barclays Bank. The Uganda Development Bank is a government bank that channels long-term loans from foreign sources to Ugandan businesses. The East African Development Bank, the last remnant of the defunct East African Community, obtains funds from abroad for Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $517.6 million. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $938.8 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 9%.

The government supported the establishment of a stock exchange in Kampala, and it inaugurated the Capital Markets Authority in 1995/96. The initial stage of capital market development concentrated on the interbank market and the sale of treasury bills, which the Bank of Uganda started selling in 1992 at weekly auctions. The exchange was officially opened in 1997, but in 1999, had not been active since inception.

INSURANCE

As of 1997, the government-owned National Insurance Corp. of Uganda, the Uganda American Insurance Co., and the East Africa General Insurance Co. were doing business in Uganda. Some 27 insurance companies were operating in Uganda in 1998.

Revenue and Grants 2,014.8 100.0%
   Tax revenue 1,212.3 60.2%
   Social contributions
   Grants 761 37.8%
   Other revenue 41.4 2.1%
Expenditures 2,483.2 100.0%
   General public services
   Defense
   Public order and safety
   Economic affairs
   Environmental protection
   Housing and community amenities
   Health
   Recreational, culture, and religion
   Education
   Social protection
() data not available or not significant.

PUBLIC FINANCE

The fiscal year runs from 1 July to 30 June. The main sources of government revenue are the export duties on coffee and cotton, import duties, income and profit taxes, excise taxes, and sales taxes. Deficits are chronic. Over half of public monies comes from foreign aid.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Uganda's central government took in revenues of approximately $1.8 billion and had expenditures of $1.9 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$59 million. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 62.8% of GDP. Total external debt was $4.949 billion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 2002, the most recent year for which it had data, budgetary central government revenues were NUSh2,014.8 billion and expenditures were NUSh2,483.2 billion. The value of revenues in US dollars was us$1.12 million and expenditures us$1.38 million, based on a principal exchange rate for 2002 of us$1 = NUSh1,797.6 as reported by the IMF.

TAXATION

Individual income is taxed progressively at rates ranging from 415% for residents, and 1520% for nonresidents. For the year ending 30 June 2005, corporate income was taxed at 30%, while mining companies were subject to a tax rate ranging from 2545%, based on the level of profits. Capital gains are taxed at the corporate rate and are applied only to business assets. Generally, dividends, interest income, royalties and management fees are subject to a 15% withholding tax. Social security taxes are paid by both employers and employees.

A value-added tax (VAT) is set at 17%. The tax holiday for foreign investments was eliminated in 1997, replaced with accelerated appreciation schedules.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

All imports and exports require licenses. As a party to the Lomé Convention, Uganda benefits from EU tariff preferences for its goods. Import duties are levied at 15%. Excise surcharges are set at 10%. Reductions were planned for 1999 to 2000.

Items that cannot be exported without permission from Uganda include scrap iron, wood charcoal, timber, coffee husks, fresh fish, and game trophies. Other restrictions exist when importing medications, firearms, live animals, endangered species, secondhand clothing, explosives, and plants; and when exporting minerals, fruit, and hides and skins. Prohibited imports include pornographic materials and used tires.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

A large number of Asian Ugandan companies were expropriated in 1972. A 1982 law provided for restoration of expropriated property to Asians who returned and for compensation to those who did not; a number of large Asian-owned enterprises resumed operations in 1986 as joint ventures, in which the government held 51% ownership. The United Kingdom group Mitchell Cotts also regained its nationalized property by participating in a similar joint venture. Further measures were taken in 1991 to recompense Asian Ugandans, and a new investment code designed to protect foreigners was issued in 1990. Ugandan law still allows for expropriation for public purposes, but investors are guaranteed compensation within 12 months. The Ugandan government has made attracting foreign investment a central part of its policy, and the Uganda Investment Authority has reported that the country has moved from 161 to 82 on a world ranking of average FDI per capita in the period 1990 to 2000. Most FDI inflows have come from expatriate Asians investing in repatriated property. Other investors are deterred by pervasive corruption. On Transparency International's 2002 listing of countries according to its Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Uganda was ninth from the bottom of 102 countries, scoring 2.1 on the 10-point index. Corruption infected the privatization process, which had greatly slowed in 2002 due to a lack of transparency, rampant asset stripping, and the failures of a number of negotiations.

From 1998 to 2001, the average annual inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) held rather steady at approximately $229 million a year, peaking in 2000 at $275 million. From 20002004 FDI averaged $231 million with the year 2004 registering $237 million.

Foreign investors include those from the United Kingdom, India, Kenya and South Africa. Foreign companies operating in Uganda in 2005 included Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Caltex, Sheraton, Starcom, Citibank, Xerox, Cargill, AES, Colgate Palmolive, Swift Global, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, GM, Ford, Ernst and Young, Price-Waterhouse-Coopers, Deloitte and Touche, and Caterpillar.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Uganda's economic development policy for the early 1990s was outlined in the Economic Recovery Program for 198892. State investment was lowered by 42% from the previous plan and the export sector was to be revived, particularly the nontraditional export sector. The investment budget was divided equally among the transport and communications sector, social infrastructure, agriculture, and the industry and tourism sector.

Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in mid-1992, was under 5% for 1998. This was further reduced to -0.3% in 2002 but was estimated to have risen to 9.7% in 2005. Nevertheless, a slowdown in privatization, low interest in foreign investment, and sustained but limited growth dimmed the prospects for economic development.

In 2000, Uganda became eligible for $1.3 billion in debt service relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. In 2002, the IMF approved a three-year $17.8 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement for Uganda, which was due to expire in September 2005. Political instability and poor economic management have stinted economic development, although gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at 5.5% in 2005. The government was implementing a Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) in 2003, with the goal of reducing the incidence of poverty to less than 10% of the population by 2017. The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that the latest IMF review in 2005 of Uganda's poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF) was broadly positive. The government has published a new poverty eradication and action plan (PEAP). There were, however, a number of weaknesses in the PEAP, such as how high levels of donor inflows could be better managed.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

A social security system was introduced in 1967 and amended in 1985. This program provides old-age and disability pensions for employees of firms with five or more workers. Voluntary coverage is available. Retirement benefits amount to total employee and employer contributions plus interest, payable in a lump sum. Work injury benefits are provided for all workers and is funded by the employer.

Women are accorded equal rights by law, but tradition limits their exercise of them. Under customary law, women may not own or inherit property and are not entitled to custody of their children after divorce. The children of Ugandan women married to foreigners are not entitled to Ugandan citizenship. This stipulation does not apply to Ugandan men married to foreigners. Domestic abuse and violence against women is common. According to a 2003 study, one in three women were victims of domestic abuse. There are still reports of abduction and rape to obtain wives, and in 2004, thousands of women were raped by rebel forces. Female genital mutilation is practiced by several ethnic groups. Child labor is common.

The human rights situation in Uganda has improved in a few areas, but serious violations persisted, including excessive force by security forces, incommunicado detention, and prolonged pretrial detention. Prison conditions are very poor.

HEALTH

Although medical treatment in government hospitals and dispensaries is free, facilities deteriorated greatly under Amin's rule. Following the 197879 war of liberation, many hospitals were left without medicine or beds. A new government health care policy in 1993 outlined goals for restoration of a cohesive network of health care services. As of 2000, however, Uganda's health indicators were still poor, even in comparison with those of other African countries. Containment of serious diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, typhus, and leprosy, has been made difficult by poor sanitation and unclean water. Other barriers to health care access for the rural poor were distance from providers, cost of services, and inadequate quality of health care. Less than half the population lives within 5 km (3 mi) of a health care facility. An estimated 71% of the population had access to health care services. The most serious obstacle to health has arisen from nutritional deficiencies, particularly among children. The goiter rate was 75 per 100 school-age children. Approximately 50% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 75% had adequate sanitation. As of 2004, it was estimated that there were fewer than 5 physicians per 100,000 people. There were fewer than 6 nurses per 100,000 population, and even fewer midwives. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 5.9% of GDP.

Planned health care projects in the 1990s included: rehabilitation of buildings, equipment, fittings, and services; institutional support and training; designs for five district hospitals and 10 rural centers; and a mental health rehabilitation study. Malaria remains the country's most serious health threat, even more so than AIDS. Venereal disease continues to be a problem in the adult population and AIDS became a severe problem in the 1980s, with an estimated 800,000 Ugandans HIV-positive in 1989. The country plans to focus on health care awareness and educationin particular, family planning and AIDS. Prevention strategies that change high-risk sexual behavior have had a direct impact on HIV infection rates in Uganda. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 4.10 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 530,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 78,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

The life expectancy was only 51.59 years in 2005. The infant mortality rate that year was 67.83 per 1,000 live births. Only 15% of married women ages 1544 used any form of contraception. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 47.2 and 17.5 per 1,000 people. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were high: tuberculosis, 84%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 58%; polio, 59%; and measles, 60%. Commonly reported diseases were guinea worm, measles, and tuberculosis.

HOUSING

Most of the inhabitants live in thatched huts with mud and wattle walls, but styles of building vary from group to group. Even in rural areas, however, corrugated iron is used extensively as a roofing material. In urban centers, sun-baked mud bricks, concrete blocks, and even fired bricks were encouraged by the government, which was responsible for a number of housing schemes prior to the Amin era. In that period, housing was neglected and there was considerable damage to the nation's housing stock during the 197879 war.

The National Housing and Construction Corp., a government agency founded in 1964, builds residential housing and has sponsored a number of developments in recent years. One of its newest projects is called the Growing House. The Growing House is a basic, one-bedroom detached house that is ready for immediate occupation but is designed for easy expansion by the owner, as their own financial situation allows.

For 198088, the total number of housing units was 3.1 million with 5.1 people per dwelling. At the 2002 census, there were 5,126,558 housing units nationwide. At least 71% of all units were considered to be temporary structures. Another 11% were semi-permanent structures. About 78% of all housing was owner occupied. Only 11% of all houses had access to piped drinking water. Only 5.7% had a water source on the premises; 21.9% of the population relied on water sources that are 1 km (0.62 miles) or further from their home. Only 1.7% of all dwellings had flush toilets; 63.6% of all households used pit latrines. The average household had 4.7 members.

EDUCATION

The school system generally comprises a seven-year primary course, a four-year junior secondary course, and a two-year senior secondary course for those who qualify. Those who do not choose to attend general secondary schools may attend technical schools for three years. Agricultural studies are compulsory in all secondary programs. Many of the senior schools are boarding establishments, and bursaries are available from local authorities and various groups for qualified candidates unable to pay the fees. Primary schools are financed from central government grants, local government funds, and fees from pupils. In 1997, the government eliminated fees for education and introduced universal primary education made possible by IMF debt relief. All senior secondary schools, technical schools, and training colleges receive direct grants-in-aid. The academic year runs from October to July.

In 2001, about 4% of children between the ages of four and five were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 1995 was estimated at about 87% of age-eligible students. In 2003, secondary school enrollment was about 16% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 63.4% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 59:1 in 2000; the ratio for secondary school was about 18:1.

The University College of East Africa (founded 1921), became Makerere University in 1970. Situated on the outskirts of Kampala, it prepares students for degrees in the arts, sciences, and agriculture and for advanced diplomas in medicine, education, engineering, law, and veterinary science. Other universities include Mbale Islamic University and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology. There are also a number of religious colleges, 5 commercial colleges, 52 technical schools, and 71 colleges for teachers. In 2003, it was estimated that about 3% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in tertiary education programs. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 68.9%, with 78.8% for men and 59.2% for women.

As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 2.5% of GDP.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

Makerere University has the largest and most comprehensive library in East Africa. It consists of a central library with over 566,000 volumes, which functions as the National Reference Library, and the Albert Cook Library of Medicine with over 55,000 volumes, which functions as the National Library of Medicine. The university also has specialized libraries in the fields of technology, education, social sciences, and farm management. The Public Libraries Board, founded in 1964, administers the Uganda Library Service, with 20 branches and 160,000 volumes.

The Uganda Museum, founded in 1908 on the outskirts of Kampala, contains an excellent anthropological collection. The museum conducts a regular education service in collaboration with the Uganda Society. It has a fine collection of East African musical instruments and a growing collection of archaeological specimens. The Zoological Museum at Makerere University has a collection of rock fossils, birds, and mammals indigenous to Uganda, and the university's geology department has natural history collections. Entebbe has botanical gardens, a zoo, an aquarium, and a game and fisheries museum. There are also two fine arts museums in Kampala, regional folk museums at Kabale, Mbarara, and Soroti, a variety of agricultural and forestry collections, and three national park museums.

MEDIA

In 2003, there were an estimated two mainline telephones for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were approximately 30 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

Radio Uganda, founded in 1954, controls the only national radio broadcasting station in the country, broadcasting daily in 22 languages, including English, French, Swahili, and local languages. In 2004, there were about 60 local and regional radio stations that were privately owned. Uganda television sponsors a public broadcasting station with programming in English, Swahili, and Luganda. In 2001, there were about eight television stations. In 2003, there were an estimated 122 radios and 18 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were four personal computers for every 1,000 people and five of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. There were two secure Internet servers in the country in 2004.

The government-operated New Vision, with a 2002 circulation of 40,000 is published in English in Kampala. Two other major dailies published in Kampala are The Monitor (in English, 34,000) and Munno (in Luganda, 15,000).

The constitution provides for free speech and a free press; however, the government is said at times to restrict these rights in practice. The occasional use of sedition laws and imprisonment of some members of the media lead to the general practice of self-censorship.

ORGANIZATIONS

There is a National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an employers' federation. The cooperative movement is extensive. The Uganda Manufacturers Association sponsors an annual international trade fair in Kampala held in early October.

The Uganda Society is the oldest and most prominent cultural organization. The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology was established in 1990 to promote interest, education, and research in various branches of science. There are several professional organizations that also promote education and research in specialized fields of science and technology, such as the Uganda Medical Association.

There are a number of women's rights groups, including the Committee for the Advancement of Women of the Bahai's of Uganda, the National Association of Women Organizations of Uganda, the Uganda Association of University Women, and the multinational African Women's Leadership Institute. National youth organizations include Boy's Brigade of Uganda, the Uganda Scouts Association, Uganda Girl Guides, Junior Chamber, and YMCA/YWCA. The Mukono Multi-Purpose Youth Organization promotes programs for the health and well-being of youth, particularly those in rural areas. The National Council of Sports is active in promoting amateur athletics programs.

The African Medical and Research Foundation is dedicated to public health issues. The Minsaki Katende Foundation, founded in 2003, serves as a national HIV/AIDS support organization and provides programs for orphans and the disabled. There are national chapters of the Red Cross Society, UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity, and Caritas.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Wildlife, the major tourist attraction, includes the endangered mountain gorilla as well as many other animal species. There are 10 national parks that spread across Uganda and both sides of the equator, all rich in biodiversity. Tourism facilities are adequate in Kampala but limited in other areas. Hiking in the Virunga Mountains is popular along with white-water rafting, and mountain biking. Tourists require a passport and visa. A vaccination against yellow fever is required to enter Uganda.

In 2003, about 305,000 tourists visited Uganda, the vast majority from African countries. That same year, tourism expenditure receipts totaled $221 million. There were 19,385 hotel rooms in 2002, with 29,295 beds.

According to 2004 US Department of State estimates, the daily cost of staying in Kampala was $293; in Entebbe, $164; and in other areas, considerably lower.

FAMOUS UGANDANS

Kabaka Mutesa I (r.185684) contributed to Uganda's modern development. Sir Apollo Kagwa, chief minister (18901926) to Kabaka Mwanga and his successor, Kabaka Daudi Chwa, was one of the dominant figures in Uganda's history. Mukama Kabarega of Bunyoro (r.189699) led his people against British and Buganda forces until captured and exiled in 1899; he died in exile in 1923. Apollo Milton Obote (19242005), founder of the UPC and prime minister from 1962 to 1966, overthrew the first president, Sir Edward Frederick Mutesa (Kabaka Mutesa II of Buganda, 192469), and was himself president of Uganda from 1966 to 1971 and from 1980 to 1985. Maj. Gen. Idi Amin Dada (19252003) overthrew Obote in 1971 and led a military government until he was ousted in 1979 by Tanzanian forces and Ugandan rebels. Yoweri Museveni (b.1944), leader of the National Resistance Movement, became president in 1986 with the help of about 2,000 guerrillas recruited among Tutsi refugee families who had fled Rwanda.

DEPENDENCIES

Uganda has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Apter, David Ernest. The Political Kingdom in Uganda: A Study of Bureaucratic Nationalism. Portland, Ore.: Frank Cass, 1997.

Bigsten, Arne and Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa. Crisis, Adjustment and Growth in Uganda: A Study of Adaptation in an African Economy. New York: St. Martin's, 1999.

Byrnes, Rita M. (ed.). Uganda: A Country Study. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1992.

Chrétien, Jean-Pierre. The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History. New York: Zone Books, 2003.

Guest, Emma. Children of AIDS: Africa's Orphan Crisis. Sterling, Va.: Pluto Press, 2001.

Hansen, Holger Bernt, and Michael Twaddle (eds.). Developing Uganda. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998.

Kaberuka, Will. The Political Economy of Uganda, 18901979: A Case Study of Colonialism and Underdevelopment. New York: Vantage Press, 1990.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Ofcansky, Thomas P. Uganda: Tarnished Pearl of Africa. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996.

Pirouet, Louise. Historical Dictionary of Uganda. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1995.

Twaddle, Michael. Kakungulu and the Creation of Uganda, 18681928. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1993.

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Uganda

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Republic of Uganda
Region: Africa
Population: 23,317,560
Language(s): English, Ganda, Luganda, Swahili, Arabic
Literacy Rate: 61.8%
Number of Primary Schools: 10,000
Compulsory Schooling: 6 years
Public Expenditure on Education: 2.6%
Libraries: 17
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 2,912,473
  Secondary: 292,321
  Higher: 34,773
Educational Enrollment Rate: Primary: 74%
  Secondary: 12%
  Higher: 2%
Teachers: Primary: 82,745
  Higher: 2,606
Student-Teacher Ratio: Primary: 35:1
  Secondary: 18:1
Female Enrollment Rate: Primary: 68%
  Secondary: 9%
  Higher: 1%

History & Background

Located in the heart of Africa, Uganda is a land-locked nation that straddles the equator. It shares a northern border with the Sudan, to its east it borders Kenya, to its south it borders both Tanzania and Rwanda, and to its west it borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Slightly smaller than Oregon, Uganda covers 91,076 square miles in area. Its capital, Kampala, has 954,000 residents. Other major cities include Jinja, Mbale, Masaka, Gulu, Soroti, and Mbarara. Uganda's population is 21,000,000 people and it is growing at a rate of 2.14 percent (Ramsey 1999), which represents a dramatic decline from the 4.6 percent growth rate that was normal during the 1960s. Tutsi refugees fleeing genocide in Rwanda partly accounted for the high growth rates of the 1960s. Uganda provides homes for hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Almost 87 percent of Ugandans are rural residents, while 13 percent are urban dwellers. During the 1990s, reverse migration of Tutsis from Uganda to their tragic homeland, Rwanda, caused growth rates to slow, as did the return home of many members of other ethnic groups to the Sudan and elsewhere. Diseases, such as AIDS, also dramatically cut population growth rates.

The infant mortality rate is 98.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. The average Ugandan woman gives birth to seven children, but many die before reaching their fifth birthday. By 1988 Uganda had 980 health clinics, 81 hospitals and 20,136 hospital beds. There is one doctor per 20,700 Ugandans and only 38 percent of Ugandans have access to safe drinking water. Ugandans consume 83 percent of the recommended daily average caloric intake. Life expectancy is 38 years for males and 40 for females due to AIDS and war. Debate is open and, when President Museveni recognized that over 30 percent of Ugandans were infected with the HIV virus, he made every department of government take the epidemic seriously and the incidence of HIV was reduced to 15 percent between 1986 and 1996 (Museveni 1993a).

Christians comprise 66 percent of Uganda's population, 16 percent are Muslims and the remaining 18 percent of Ugandans follow indigenous religions. Uganda has 40 ethnic groups, most of whom speak Bantu, Nilotic, or Sudanic languages. The principal languages spoken include English (the official language) and Swahili, but several Bantu and Nilotic languages are widely spoken as well, such as Luganda. The adult literacy rate is 48 percent.

Uganda sits atop a huge plateau almost 4,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by a rim of mountains to the east, north, and west, with Lake Victoria defining most its southern border. Swamplands are common along the lakeshore. Arable soil is common and suitable for farming. Perennial crops are grown throughout Uganda. Coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava, potatoes, corn, millet, pulses, and livestock grow in abundance throughout Uganda. Sugar, copper alcohol, cobalt, limestone, and salt are among Uganda's main exports. Uganda's economy is growing at an impressive 7.1 percent per year. Vast expanses of savanna grasslands mixed with trees cover much of the center of the country. Thick natural forests are found in the west. The climate is tropical and rainy in the south and semiarid and dry in the northeast (Karamoja) near the Sudan. Uganda has two rainy seasons, March through May and September through November. Average annual rainfall varies between 46 and 64 inches per year.

Nilotic-speaking Luo groups migrated from the Sudan into Uganda in the 1400s and 1500s, while the Portuguese were discovering how to circumnavigate the continent of Africa and Columbus was discovering the Americas (Tidy 1980). Luo groups founded several major kingdoms in Uganda, the most notable being the Buganda kingdom, organized by Luos who referred to themselves as the Baganda. When British colonial officers visited Uganda they were surprised to discover well organized kingdoms like the Buganda. The Baganda people had a king, whom they called the Kabaka, and a prime minister or Katikiro, and a parliament or Lukiko, composed of heads of each Baganda clan (Gibbs 1988). This well-organized, wealthy African kingdom had a large standing army and a navy that routinely patrolled and raided other kingdoms along the vast expanse of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest inland, freshwater lake.

Officially Uganda, from 1894 to 1961, was a British Protectorate much like Zanzibar. Britain never colonized the Baganda, rather they agreed to collaborate with them to dominate the traditional rivals of the Baganda, such as the Bunyoro (Beattie 1960). Bunyoro was a kingdom as powerful, well organized, and rich as the Baganda. For this reason they usually fought to a draw or tie. The Baganda used their alliance with Britain to tip the scales against their old enemies. Then they demanded tribute, which they divided with their British allies.

Lord Lugard perfected his system of "indirect rule" through his collaboration with the Baganda (Tidy 1980). Using foot soldiers imported from the Sudan who neither knew nor had sympathy for Ugandans, Lord Lugard and the Kabaka (king) defeated many African groups that opposed them. Swahili was the language of their joint army and consequently became despised by many Ugandan tribes as the language of the oppressor.

Swahili was also spoken in a previous era by slave raiders, thus it already carried a very negative association for most Ugandans (Mazrui 1984). This explains why many Ugandans prefer to speak English even though they know Swahili well, and why it is not the medium of instruction in schools. Swahili is associated with uneducated, rough individuals in Ugandan culture. Conversely, English became associated with missionary schools and, later, government schools, learning, sophistication, and power. The Baganda collaborated with the English because they also had monarchs and the English saw in the Baganda a people similar to themselves in many ways, as both had monarchs, parliaments, armies, and navies. Together they created what is today known as Uganda; the territorial boundaries that they established form the borders of modern Uganda.

Throughout the British Protectorate era Uganda was considered the "pearl of East Africa" by Britain (Tidy 1980). The soil was so fertile that British officials said that if you placed your fingernail clippings in the soil they would grow. Ugandan farmers often harvested three crops per year because of the combination of ideal climate, sunshine, rain, and fertile soil, combined with an industrious and enterprising African peasantry. The first British colonial university in East Africa during the colonial period was Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda's capital. Many future African elites from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were educated at Makerere. A few would go for further studies in Britain at Oxford or Cambridge University.

Informal education, or what anthropologist call enculturation, was offered by each ethnic group to train young men and women how to become acceptable and responsible adults in the eyes of their own group (Gibbs 1988). In 1886, formal Western education was introduced in Uganda by the Church Mission Society of London. Between 1886 and 1918 formal education was developed by religious organizations. They set the syllabi, wrote the curriculums, wrote and graded examinations, set standards of accomplishment for each grade, built and administered the schools, and trained the teachers who staffed them. Missionaries sought to win souls as much as to cultivate minds. Their method was to educate an elite cadre who would demonstrate the advantages of Christianity and thereby attract additional converts.

The British Colonial Office initially feared that training Africans might create unfulfillable aspirations (i.e., make Africans believe that they were equal to Europeans in a system based on the assumption of inequality). Educated Africans were often said to be "tragic Africans," because they thought themselves entitled to the same things that Europeans possessed. The colonial system was determined to deny them access to equality. As a result, the British Colonial Office did not begin building and controlling schools in Uganda until 1927.

Ownership of most schools remained in the hands of missionaries until independence, despite creation of a Ministry of Education in 1957 (De Bunsen 1953). Following independence, Africans felt that every place was potentially their place so they educated their children to fill every available position in the country in mass numbers. Lack of education would no longer be an excuse to hold them back or hold them down. Acquisition of education would open doors of power, influence, and scientific discovery previously locked. Education became the key to self-reliance and self-actualization throughout Uganda.

Apolo Milton Obote led Uganda to internal self-government within the British Commonwealth in 1961. Obote headed the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and he became prime minister of an independent Uganda on 9 October 1962 (Mazrui 1984). Obote was an antimonarchist who sought to destroy the Kabakaship and the kings of the Bunyoro, Ankole, and other Ugandan monarchies. Obote was from northern Uganda, where few tribes had kings and most considered everyone equal. Equality was a foreign concept to the hierarchically organized tribes of the south, many of whom had powerful kings (Jorgensen 1981).

At independence Uganda was divided into four provinces, one of which was Buganda, with King Mutesa II serving as Kabaka. Mutesa II was also the first president. His reputation as a playboy and high stakes gambler while in England alienated him from Obote. Obote saw Mutesa II as a symbol of all that was backward, wasteful, and antimodern and Obote tried to undermine him.

In February 1966 Colonel Idi Amin, under orders from Obote, led the army to overrun Mutesa II's palace, and the Kabaka fled to London. Obote then suspended the Uganda Constitution of 1962. From 1966 until 1992 Uganda functioned without a constitution. During this period anarchy and chaos prevailed. Personal power prevailed above the "rule of law." This began more than 16 years of chaos and struggle between northern Ugandans and southern Ugandans over power. Inability to work out viable power sharing would prove tragic. Hundreds of thousands of Ugandans would die, several ethnic groupsincluding East Asianswould be forced to flee, and the country would descend into economic ruin. Its educational system, once the pride of East Africa, would suffer a precipitous decline in quality.

To appeal to non-Baganda, Obote returned land conquered by the Kabaka and the British to its Bunyoro original owners. Buganda's federal status and autonomy were abolished and the Baganda rebelled only to be crushed by the Ugandan army under Idi Amin. Amin was a soldier with a third grade formal education who rose through the ranks of the British army by personally killing hundreds of Kikuyu freedom fighters when he helped quell the Mau Mau rebellion during the 1950s. Using psychological warfare, he purportedly cut off the right hand of each Kikuyu whom he killed and wore them in battle.

In 1970 Obote tried to implement a socialist agenda known as the "Common Man's Charter" (Mazrui 1984). Before attending a Commonwealth conference in Singapore in September of 1971, Obote stripped Amin of most of his powers. However in July of 1971, General Idi Amin overthrew Obote before he could implement his socialist plan.

Amin developed a reputation as a brutal dictator. He suspended political activity and declared himself "head of state." He declared an "economic war," which amounted to little more than ousting the wealthy East Indians in 1972 who dominated Uganda's economy. Once they left, he distributed their property to his supporters, who promptly dissipated this wealth without generating new wealth. The result was economic implosion and collapse. The international community condemned Amin for the mass expulsion of East Asians, since many were Ugandan citizens.

Amin often ruthlessly eliminated opponents, and he feared educated Ugandans who he thought despised him for being uneducated so he had many professors, lawyers, doctors, and engineers killed. Those people who could escape the carnage became refugees in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania. Some fled to England, Canada, and the United States. Under Amin, massacres and atrocities were common and human rights violations were daily headlines. To distract Ugandans Amin claimed large regions of Kenya and Tanzania. In 1978 Amin annexed the Kagera Salient of Tanzania, igniting a war, which Uganda lost.

In 1979 a Tanzanian invasion force (Tanzanian Peoples Defense Force, TPDF), together with the Ugandan National Liberation Army (UNLA), formed of Ugandan exiles, defeated Amin's forces. Amin fled to Libya, and in 1980 took up permanent residence in Saudi Arabia. A series of seven, short-lived, unstable regimes were headed by Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Binaisa, Milton Obote, and Basilio Okello. General elections held in 1980 returned Obote to power, but because they were suspected to be rigged, Museveni and 26 supporters started a war of resistance against Obote.

Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) came to power in 1985 and introduced stability. Political parties were banned, as was political activity. He established a "no party" system of government with resistance committees at the local and district level who were responsible for maintaining security and eliminating corruption. Museveni fired 80 percent of the police because they were suspected of massive human rights violations and corruption (Museveni 1993a.) Members of resistance movements who did not accept offers to integrate into the new system were arrested and tried for treason.

The strain of integrating returning refugees and addressing the threat of internal resistance slowed Uganda's economic recovery and the rebuilding of its educational system. Late 1992 saw Uganda introduce a new Constitution for the first time since Obote suspended the 1962 Constitution. Rule of law was restored. In 2001 Museveni allowed political parties to form and to compete for all offices in national elections, including the race for president. Amid fears that Museveni would lose in a free and fair election, he defeated his opponent by winning 69 percent of the popular vote. These elections were certified free and fair by international monitors.

Museveni officially invited all expelled Asians to return and promised to restore expropriated property confiscated by Idi Amin. Prince Ronald Muwenda Mutebi was enthroned as Kabaka (king) in a ceremony attended by Museveni. He also attended the coronation of the king of Toro, Patrick Olimi Kaboyo, who became Uganda's ambassador to Cuba. Kings of Ankole, Busoga, and Bunyoro have also been installed since Museveni came to power. These coronations did a lot to restore the confidence of Southern Ugandan cultures in Museveni, since these groups have great affection for their monarchs. Museveni and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan head of state, are old comrades-in-arms. They appear to get along well and support one another. Museveni also has excellent relations with Tanzania's head of state, Benjamin Mkapa. Decades of torturous turmoil, death, and destruction have badly battered Uganda's educational system. Since 1985, Museveni has made significant strides toward rebuilding what was once an educational system that was the "pride of East Africa."

Constitutional & Legal Foundations


Laws Affecting Education: Seven legal statues create the framework for education in Uganda. These statues begin with the Education Ordinance of 1927 mandating government control of schools, and extend to the Education Ordinances of 1942 and 1969. As important were the Makerere Ordinance of 1938, the Makerere College Act of 1949, the Kampala Act of 1970which chartered Makerere Universityand the Education Act of 1970 (Seers 1979). Under the Kampala Act of 1970, the president of Uganda serves as chancellor of the university. The chancellor appoints the vice chancellor and a deputy vice chancellor, who serves as provost and chief academic officer. To foster self-governance by the faculty, a University Council is mandated to control and administer the institution and a university faculty senate regulates admissions, academic standards, and all appointments.


Educational Philosophy: Colonial education policy was geared toward training low and middle level workers for government and missionary service. Africans learned more about London and New York than about Kampala and Jinja and became alienated from their own culture, traditions, and practices. Some Africans even became hostile toward their own culture, seeing it as "backward." From independence until the present two goals have taken priority in education:

  1. making primary education universally available and equipping every Ugandan with the basic minimum skills needed to survive in a modern economy, while also appreciating and valuing their own and others cultures
  2. providing for the manpower needs of Uganda and its expanding economy. (Obote 1969)

Education is designed to foster self-actualization, undersanding of the local community, as well as the nation of Uganda, of Africa and of the world, and textbooks reflect these new goals.


Educational SystemOverview


Compulsory Education: In January 1997 Uganda launched its Universal Primary Education Program, which provides free primary school education for up to four children from each Ugandan family. While not compulsory, the goal is to enroll and ultimately provide a primary education for every Ugandan child. As a result of this program, primary school enrollment doubled in a period of two years to 5.4 million enrolled children in primary schools (Xinhua News Agency 2001).


Age Limits: Few urban children attend preprimary schools, but most Ugandan children begin their education at age six and most finish elementary school by age 13. As of the early 2000s, over 80 percent of primary school age children were enrolled in school. Normally, primary school extends from Grade I to Grade VII in Uganda. Better primary schools, whether public or private, tend to be attended by elite children from privileged backgrounds. Educated or influential parents use their knowledge and connections to enroll their children in the best schools, enhancing their children's advantages for future success. Museveni's government builds an additional 15,000 primary school classrooms each year to accommodate additional students. Surging enrollment have increased student to teacher ratios and diluted the quality of primary education.


Enrollment: Of primary school graduates, less than 25 percent go on to enroll in secondary school. They spend their first four years completing "O" level (ordinary school) courses or technical school courses. In 1979 there were 66,730 students enrolled in secondary schools; 320 students in vocational schools; and approximately 14,000 students enrolled in technical schools, technical institutes, teacher training institutes, and commercial colleges.

Immediately after Museveni came to power in 1985, he restored peace and began national reconstruction. Between 1985 and 1989 the number of secondary schools increased fourfold and enrollment increased 227 percent. By 1995, continued impressive secondary school enrollment growth increased this number to 292,321 students (UNESCO 2000). Remarkably, the teaching force grew by 260 percent during this period and the official teacher-student ratio decreased modestly from 23:1 to 21:1, but in rural areas the teacher-student ratio was higher, at 28:1. Museveni's government is making great strides toward reducing teacher-student ratios and improving the quality of education. Roughly 20 percent of "O" level grades advance to "A" levels, or two years of advanced level studies, more or less like junior college. No enrollment figures were available for this level.

Public and private primary schools compete for good students with few behavioral problems and excellent reading and math scores. In 1979 Uganda had 4,294 primary schools, and they enrolled 1.2 million students. By 1990 there were 2.5 million primary school students enrolled and this number climbed to 2.8 million students by 1994. Moreover, by 1995, enrollment figures reached 2.9 million (UNESCO 2000). As stated previously, this number doubled in a mere two years when President Museveni stressed the need for universal primary education, reaching 5.4 million students by 1999. Such growth is phenomenal. UNESCO figures for university level education suggest that Makerere University, the Islamic University, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology together enrolled 17,578 students in 1990. By 1995 this number had risen to 34,773 (UNESCO 2000).

Female Enrollment: Ugandan females are classified as a "disadvantaged" group, along with orphans, migrants, poor students, and the disabled (Fleuret 1992). Drop out rates for girls are high and increase as they reach higher levels. Girls' persistence in primary school is less than boys. Girls are 46 percent of first grade classes but only 39 percent of secondary school classes (Fleuret 1992). This percentage reflects higher representation than in the past. Makerere University has a deliberate policy of giving 1.5 points to each female applicant who qualifies for entrance to increase their competitiveness in the entry process. This policy has raised the number of women on campus. Ugandan communities often think that boys will make more significant economic contributions in the future, thus need more training. Some ethnic groups believe that a "girl's place is in the home" and her primary goal in life must be marrying and raising a family not seeking a career. Girls often marry and start families early in life, which limits access to education, especially in rural Uganda. Cultural attitudes about girl's roles are strong and resist rapid change. Many ethnic groups do not favor educating girls because they feel that they will just marry outside of the group and the value of their education will not benefit their family. There are signs of change however, including the fact that as average levels of bride-wealth paid for educated wives rises, parents put higher values on educating girls. Also, some Ugandans are beginning to believe that if a daughter has a steady income, she will care for aged parents, while boys might spend their money on their wives. These new cultural beliefs work to the advantage of girls.

President Yoweri Museveni also plays a role in the increase in female enrollment since he favors sex equity in education. Many female soldiers fought with him when liberating Uganda from Idi Amin's dictatorial control. Museveni, therefore, probably feels obligated to be fair to women.


Minority Education: East Indians, known as "Asians" in Uganda, built their own schools for Indian and Pakistani children. The Agha Khan, for example, built excellent schools for the Islamic sect known as Ismaliis. Sunni and Shite Muslims also built schools, and there were Hindu temple schools. Europeans also built special high-quality, expensive international schools for their children. In 1971 Idi Amin expelled "Asians" from Uganda, but the closure of their schools had little impact on Uganda's educational system since very few Africans attended these schools. The European and Asian populations were less than 1 percent of Uganda's population, even though they were the wealthiest element and exercised influence over Uganda's economy. A few Europeans and Asians stayed on throughout Amin's xenophobic years.

Museveni has invited Asians and Europeans to return, claim their property, rebuild their schools, and help the economy prosper. Asians and Europeans continue to be privileged populations with higher than average standards of living and excellent schools for their children. British teachers are a common sight in the European schools.


Academic Year: Throughout all three East African countries (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania), the school year begins in January and ends in December. Climate and tradition have established this pattern (Seers 1979).


Language of Instruction: It has long been customary to use English as the language of instruction throughout Uganda, beginning in the first grade and continuing throughout the entire educational system. Shortages of qualified English teachers, however, means that sometimes English language instruction cannot begin until fourth grade or later.

Swahili is the language of the military and police, thus, it is used in some training academies, but, due to its association with slavery, it has a negative association with oppression and mistreatment in the minds of many Ugandans (Mazrui 1975). This is a cultural and linguistic bias which reinforces Ugandans preference for English.

In the south central region of Uganda, Luganda is often the medium of instruction. The Baganda still take great pride in their language and culture, but other tribes view it as a language of a hegemonic, imperialistic people and avoid learning it for political reasons. In various regions of Uganda, the selective use of the following languages is common in the first four years of primary school: Karimojong, Teso, Lugbara, Luo, Runyankole, and Runyoro. In all cases, English remains the official language of Uganda's schools.


Examinations: As in England, national examinations determine advancement from one educational level to the next. The Uganda National Examinations Council (UNEB) assumes the role of an examining board. The first examination, the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE), is administered at the end of primary education. Only students who have relatively high passing scores are admitted into "O" level secondary schools. In 1981, over 150,000 students took the PLE and 30,000 passed, yet a mere 25,000 matriculated in secondary schools the following academic year.

At the end of their four year "O" or ordinary level education, students take a certification examination. This is known as the Uganda Certificate of Education. Results of this examination are used by schools to admit students to "A" level institutions, government training institutes, technical colleges, and grade three teacher-training colleges. Those with "high pass" are assured places in "A" or advanced level schools. Upon successful completion of two years of "A" level education, students attempt the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education. Those with "high pass" are the lucky few who are admitted to universities and other postsecondary institutions for additional education or training for professions and careers (Evans 1991). Thus, selection of students for universities, national teachers colleges, technical colleges, and government employment agencies is determined by the Uganda Advanced Certificate examination.

Uganda's educational system is a pyramid with a broad base but very narrow funnel that admits only a few to its top levels. Within each level of this pyramid students take class tests and the results of these internal tests decide who gets promoted to the next class. Pressure and competition cause many students to drop out.


Grading System: In general, students study subjects all year in preparation for one major end of the year examination. Such examinations are usually in essay format.


Religious Schools: Christian Missionaries traditionally used the lure of free education and hospital care to attract converts. The Anglican Church of Uganda operates over 969 primary schools, the Roman Catholic Church runs more than 1,146 primary schools, and there are approximately 200 Muslim schools. The Ismali community operates several Aga Khan schools, and there are also Hindu schools. The Islamic University, three Roman Catholic seminaries, the Bishop Tucker Theological College (Anglican), Bugema Seventh Day Adventist College, and the Anglican College of Tertiary Studies illustrate the range of institutions of higher education that are faith-based. These schools promote moral and ethical values, as well as patriotism, self-reliance, and reading, writing, and arithmetic.


Instructional Technology (Computers): The internet and computer technology are making their way into Uganda. There are more than 6,000 privately owed computers and the numbers are growing rapidly. Makerere University and other institutions of higher education have computer programming and engineering divisions. This technology will eventually find its way into primary and secondary schools alongside slide projectors, overhead projectors, 16-millimeter film projectors, and other technology now becoming common in schools.


Curriculum Development: Textbook and course syllabi development have been the responsibility of the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) since it was founded in 1973. Mainly charged with primary school curriculum development, the center also serves secondary schools and universities. The textbook mandate calls for development of books that acquaint students with Uganda, Africa, the world, and themselves. In the past they learned a lot about England and little or nothing about their own country.


Foreign Influences on the Educational System: England has had a profound influence upon education in Uganda and all major examinations were at one time written at Cambridge University and graded by external examiners in England. This was true for Kenya and Tanzania also until independence when they, along with Uganda, began developing mechanisms for internally certifying students. The structure of the system and philosophy of education are still essentially English. As a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Uganda still receives many teachers annually to man its classrooms from within the Commonwealth and still follows the English model.

Uganda receives external aid from the United States, Great Britain, Denmark, and Norway. The U.S. aid includes donations from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for Education. Educational assistance is used to help build additional schools, maintain existing schools, and fund educational research.


Role of Education in Development: Government provides the bulk of educational resources and funding. Poor performance of the economy due to internal conflict for decades adversely affected financing of education. Despite quantitative expansion of the system, severe constraints limit quality. Recurrent expenditure on teacher salaries is a major issue and early development budgets in the 1960s devoted 25 percent of the national budget to education. By the 1970s, Idi Amin was in power. Amin never went further than grade three of primary school. He did not place importance on education and consequently education dropped to 10 percent of Uganda's budget. During the turmoil of the 1980s, education's share of the national budget dropped by a ratio of 2:1. This was a gloomy time for educators in Uganda until Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1985. Museveni holds a degree in economics from Dar es Salaam University in Tanzania and he appears to value education for national development. By 1992 recurrent expenses for education jumped up to 18 percent of Uganda's national budget and continue to climb.

The effect of years of war on Uganda's economy are devastating. Despite this, Museveni grew the economy by 7 percent per year. An expanding economic base has permitted Uganda to devote 23 percent of its budget to education or more than double the amount Amin devoted. Uganda plans to increase funding further to improve teacher salaries and classroom expansion to accommodate the push for expanded enrollment of students at all levels. For Museveni, an educated population is the master key which will unlock Uganda's potential for modernizing its economy and achieving rapid economic and social development.

Parents pitch in by raising money to supplement low teacher salaries and to fund many school operating expenses that government can not afford. Economically disadvantaged regions lag behind wealthy urban districts and this widens the inequality gap. Through cost-sharing and the expansion of private education through fees, Uganda's elite try to insure that their children will be prepared for leadership roles regardless of war, famine, earthquakes, or economic downturn.


Preprimary & Primary Education


General Survey: Preprimary children can begin school at age three. Most urban areas have fine preschool facilities. Preschool is very commercial, and the private sector dominates such schools. The government is concerned about the lack of regulation at this level. Fees are often seen as excessive and exclusionary. The quality of education is very uneven, as are teaching methods, facilities, and alleged violations of sound pedagogical principles of child psychology and development. The problem with the better schools is competition, which is so high for the few positions available that parents must literally enroll the child at birth to assure that the child will find a place in these preschools.

The main problem facing primary educators in Uganda is budgetary. Beyond this there is a great disparity between the education available in cities and in remote rural areas. This attracts Ugandans to cities like a magnet and is the source of many urban problems when unsuccessful students drop out and take to crime or other self-help activities to support themselves. More vocational training is being introduced into primary school curriculums in an attempt to address this problem.


Urban & Rural Schools: The distribution of education at the primary level is reasonably well balanced throughout Uganda, with the exception of Karamoja in the north, where the people and climate are more Sudanese in character than Ugandan. The Karamojong and other ethnic groups little respect national boundaries and migrate freely between Uganda and the Sudan in search of grazing pastures for their livestock and water. The highly mobile lifestyle of this population makes it difficult to meet their educational needs. Special educational grants are supplied to schools in Karamoja to address this problem. Enrollment ratios in each province are within 15 percent of the national average, except for Karamoja (Helleiner 1979), where only 17.5 percent of eligible children are enrolled. Given the chronic fighting, drought, migrations, and other problems that torture this population, even this number is remarkable.

The introduction by the government of Sudan in Khartoum of slavery as a weapon of war against Africans in the south of the Sudan encourages large flows of migrants into Uganda, which further complicates educational planning in northern Uganda. Despite its problems, Uganda has never, in recent years, subjected its populations to the horrors of slavery. The same cannot be said for the Sudan and Mauritania.


Curriculum: Primary students study arithmetic, natural science, farming, health, reading, writing, music, English, religion, and physical education in grades one and two. Grades two through seven add art, crafts, language, history, geography (often of England and the United States), and cooking and domestic science for young girls. Curriculums are established by the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC). Panels of teachers and members of examination boards, university professors, and educational inspectors review all curricula. The NCDC examines syllabi and textbooks, as well as teachers guides. They even write textbooks or recommend revisions. The Ministry of Education implements the recommendations of the NCDC. Many primary schools have libraries to encourage the habit of reading as a lifelong activity. Radio lessons are provided for in-service teacher training and personnel development, as well as for English language instruction. Radios are common even in the remotest parts of Karamoja, so this is an effective means of reaching many isolated populations that might otherwise not be served.


Teachers: Primary school teachers are very mobile, and there is a persistent shortage of such teachers. In 1979, some 16.2 percent of approved teaching positions were unfilled. In 1980 there were 38,422 primary school teachers in almost 4,500 schools. The teacher-pupil ratio was about 1:34. Most were trained in grade three teacher training colleges. This means that these teachers have at least finished secondary school before being admitted to grade two teacher training. In the past they could teach primary school if they had finished grade seven. A few unqualified teachers from the old system are still teaching but they are being phased out.


Repeaters & Dropouts: High drop out rates are a major problem in Uganda. In 1981, approximately 23 percent of primary school aged children were enrolled in school. By grade seven only 10 percent of the children who entered grade one were still in school. Approximately 10 percent of students in government schools are repeating a grade. The highest incidence of grade repeating is in grades one through six.

Secondary Education


General Survey: Since many students come from great distances to attend secondary schools, most are boarding schools. It is also true that to prevent unwanted pregnancies, most secondary schools cater to a single sex. English is the principal language of instruction. Less than 20 percent of students who complete "O" levels continue to "A" level instruction. Close to 40 percent of these students were females in 1995, up from 33 percent in 1988 (UNESCO 2000). These students were enrolled in over 600 schools whose total enrollment in 1995 reached 292,321 students. Beyond this, there were 73 government-aided secondary schools and more than 170 private secondary schools.

Ugandans consider secondary education a "rich man's harvest." Parents have to pay large fees and buy school uniforms. These fees are prohibitive for many rural families and competition is fierce. The government pays for the buildings, equipment, teacher and administrator salaries, and maintenance. Most secondary teachers graduated from National Teachers Colleges or universities. Primary school graduates who do not go on to academic secondary schools may enter grade two teacher training programs or vocational alternatives. Over half of students who finish "O" levels and enter the job market do not find employment that is a good fit for their education, which fuels some of Uganda's political discontent and turmoil.


Curriculum: The curriculum includes mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, English, French, history, geography, religious studies, political education, literature, and commerce. Additional languages offered may include German, Swahili, Urdu, Gujarati, and/or Luganda. All schools have extracurricular activities such as soccer and other sports, games, and cultural activities such as school plays and concerts. Home economics, art, agriculture, wood and metal fabrication, and other practical subjects have been introduced in many schools to meet the demands of a labor market that must absorb over half of all Form IV graduates who do not advance to "A" levels. Secondary school curriculums do not have to be identical. General education courses are taken during the first two years and in the third year students begin to specialize. Second languages phase in during the third year in most schools.


Examinations & Diplomas: Admission to secondary schools depends upon passage of the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) with high scores. Students who do so may choose to enter a grade two teacher training college or a technical college rather than pursue an academic secondary school education. Upon successful completion of four years of "O" level secondary education, students take the Uganda Certificate of Education examination. Only 20 percent of "O" level graduates earn scores high enough for admission to "A" level secondary schools for advanced training in their area of specialization. Advanced secondary education last for two additional years. Upon completion of "A" level education students face another hurdle known as the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education examination. This examination determines selection for university education, national teachers colleges, and government employment.


Teachers: In 1991, about 48 percent of all secondary school teaching positions were not filled. Rapid expansion of the secondary school system in part explains the shortages. The majority of teaching faculty in secondary schools are graduates and more than 60 percent are professionally trained. Graduates of "O" level institutions are eligible to enter grade three teacher training colleges; however, Makerere University's Department of Education bears primary responsibility for training qualified secondary school teachers, in cooperation with national teachers colleges. Students who attend national teachers colleges receive their diplomas through Makerere University's School of Education. In-service teacher education is encouraged, but no established required programs are in place. The Uganda Technical Colleges and the Uganda College of Commerce train cadres of technicians, secretaries, stenographers, accountants, and craftsmen respectively.

Technical colleges and universities face chronic shortages of teachers and have difficulty recruiting and maintaining faculty. One problem brought on by very rapid expansion of secondary schools is the recruitment of unqualified teachers to staff classrooms. Teaching staffs have more than doubled, but in 1980 untrained teachers were 38 percent of the teaching force and this number rose to 48 percent by 1989. Upgrading such faculty will present a major challenge for Uganda.

Officially the secondary school teacher-student ratio is 1: 21 but this masks wide regional disparities. It is often 1:8 in remote districts like Karamoja and closer to 1:70 in crowded urban schools. The 1:21 ratio is merely a national average which is not accurate enough to tell World Bank officials where more teachers are needed most or what it takes to retain them after recruiting them.


Repeaters & Dropouts: Roughly 75 percent of primary school graduates drop out and never go on to secondary school. Add to this the fact that about one fourth of first year students drop out, and, by the fourth year of secondary school, only a small percentage of the entering class graduate. High dropout rates are typical at every level of Uganda's educational system, which may force the government to commission studies to determine the reasons so that they can combat this problem.

Vocational Education: High dropout rates at every level necessitate greater emphasis on vocational education to train school-leavers' for available jobs within Uganda's economy. Moreover, Uganda's industrial sector is small, compounding problems of absorption of dropouts. The Ministry of Education recognizes this problem and has revamped secondary school curriculums to reflect the need for more training in arts and crafts and vocational subjects such as woodworking and agriculture. The Nakawa Vocational Institute in Kampala offers full-time courses in auto mechanics, electrical installation and fitting, and industrial engineering. A 16 year old secondary school dropout who has completed at least two years of secondary school can take six month training courses in metal working, sheet metalwork, welding, and flame cutting. Both theory and practice are taught.

There are YMCAs and YWCAs throughout Uganda which offer vocational training programs in handicrafts, cooking, health education, dressmaking, typing, business correspondence, bookkeeping, carpentry and joining, masonry, plumbing, and driving. Makerere University's Continuing Education Center also offers vocational training courses by "taking the university to the people." These are one-year full-time residence courses leading to university certificates in adult studies. It also offers courses for clerks, teachers, chiefs, artisans, and agricultural extension workers. There are 10 rural technical schools offering three year courses and five two-year technical training institutes. The Uganda Technical College and the Uganda College of Commerce also offer vocational training. In 1962 technical and commercial training accounted for 3.9 percent of the national education budget and by 1981 it had climbed to 7 percent, but it fell back to 4 percent by 1985.


Higher Education


Types of Public & Private: In Uganda postsecondary or higher education refers to education that is post-"A" level. Only students who have successfully completed "A" levels and passed their Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education are eligible to enter postsecondary institutions of higher education. Publicly supported institutions are of three types; autonomous universities, institutions run by the Ministry of Education, and institutes administered by the Public Service Commission. Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology are autonomous universities. The Institute of Teacher Education, the Uganda Polytechnic, the National College of Business, four technical colleges, five colleges of commerce, and 10 national teachers colleges are administered by the Ministry of Education. The Institute of Public Administration, the Uganda Law Development Center, the School of Radiography, the School of Medical Laboratory Technology, the School of Psyciotheraphy, four agricultural colleges, the Fisheries Training Institute, two veterinary training institutes, Kigumba Cooperative College, the Soroti Flying School and 10 paramedical schools are all administered by the Public Service Commission. These are all considered postsecondary institutions of higher education in Uganda.

Makere University is the oldest university in East Africa. It was founded by the British Colonial Office in 1922 to train "talented natives" for subordinate jobs in the colonial civil service. Until 1950 Makerere was the only publicly funded university in all of East Africa. It achieved full university status in 1970.

Uganda's private institutions of higher education include the Islamic University at Mbale, the Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Bishop Tucker Theological College (Anglican), Bugema Adventist College, the College of Tertiary Studies (Anglican), Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nkumba College of Commerce, and the Catholic National Seminaries (three). These institutions have separate charters and often receive substantial external funding.


Admission Procedures: Admission to Uganda's universities and institutions of higher education is based upon passing the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education. "High pass" is the ideal. A student who is over 25 years of age may apply for admission based upon "mature entry admissions." Such students must have completed "A" levels. Students who have completed diploma and certificate courses are also eligible for admission. If a student has completed four years of teacher training then they can apply for admission to Makerere's School of Education or its Institute of Education. The same general admissions qualifications apply for other institutions of higher education but admissions standards are less rigorous.


Administration: In 1970 an act of Parliament established Makeree as Uganda's first university. The head of Makerere University and Mbarara University is known as the chancellor, who is also the de facto head of state, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The executive head of universities is known as the vice chancellor, who administers the institution on a daily basis. The chancellor is the ceremonial head and usually is only seen on campus at graduation when he awards degrees. Many private institutions are headed by rectors, including the Islamic University and the Catholic National Seminaries. Each faculty within a university is headed by a dean, while departments have either heads who are appointed by deans or directors who are elected by their faculty. Faculty boards or councils are the highest governing bodies in the administration of schools, institutes, or faculty. The boards set standards for teaching, research, curriculum development, and student admissions. Nonuniversity institutions are headed by principals or directors who manage their institutions in accordance with policy guidelines formulated by their board of governors.

In most universities and institutes committees are popular methods of self-governance. They are democratic and insure that work is completed efficiently. Along with staff associations, workers committees, student unions, and faculty senates, they help run such institutions.


Enrollment: In 1965 Uganda had 888 students enrolled in Makerere University and about 1,000 students enrolled in other institutions of higher education. This number climbed to 2,581 students at Makerere by 1970 and well over 1,000 at other institutions. By 1980 Makerere had 4,045 students enrolled and other institutions of higher learning had enrollments in excess of 3,000. Impressive gains occurred in 1991 when Uganda enrolled 17,578 students in postsecondary institutions of higher education. An estimated 28 percent of these students were females. As late as 1998, Uganda's enrollment in universities and institutions of higher education had doubled to 34,773 (UNESCO 2000). Female enrollment had moved up to 33 percent of total student enrollment.


Finance: Students who are nationals pay nothing, government covers all of their costs and meets their pocket money requirements and transportation costs as well as boarding expenses. Since the Ministry of Education covers administrator salaries, staff salaries, and faculty salaries as well as building and maintenance costs, each university must submit an annual budget estimate to the Ministry of Finance. In 1991, estimated unit costs per student were 80,000 Uganda shillings ($US 500) per year at Makerere University. Makerere's recurrent expenditures for 1991 were $US 12 million. The library's budget accounted for 3 percent of this and 5 percent was devoted to research. Foreign students account for 1 percent of total student enrollment and are charged $US 6,000 per year. Most are refugees whose expenses are paid by the United Nations. For foreign Ph.D. candidates it cost between $US 5,000 and $US 7,000 per year. This total does not cover the costs of research or equipment, travel, accommodation, or related expenses, which could easily double these figures.

Courses, Semesters, & Diplomas: It normally takes three years to earn a bachelors degree at any East African university, Makerere University and Mbarara University are no exceptions. Degrees in medicine and veterinary science take five years to complete, and engineering requires four years. Academic years begin October 1 and end on June 30, or August 30 for four term courses. During the first year of study each student must take and pass three subjects before being allowed to advance to their second year of coursework. Lectures, discussions, and laboratories are supplemented with tutorials and library studies, research, and practical training. Undergraduate students have facilities for relaxation, sports facilities, chaplaincies, health care, and opportunities to participate in student government and social clubs. First degrees are offered in fields such as medicine, law, dentistry, veterinary science, agriculture, engineering, commerce, statistics, social work, forestry, philosophy, political science, anthropology, sociology, geography, literature, public administration, economics, music, dance, drama, fine art, physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, environmental studies, mathematics, and computer science, as well as languages (English, French, German, Russian, Swahili, Luganda, and Lingala).

Students can earn either a degree, such as a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D., or a diploma or certificate. Certificate courses include adult education and library science, which take one year to complete. Two-year diploma courses are available in library science, music, dance, and drama. The Islamic University offers bachelor's degrees in Islamic studies, education, and medicine. Mbarara University of Science and Technology awards degrees in development studies, education, medicine, and applied science. The Institute of Teacher Education at Kyambogo awards diplomas in education to teachers who complete a two-year course. Uganda's many institutes award either certificates or diplomas depending upon the duration of coursework.


Postgraduate & Professional Training: Most master's degree candidates must meet residency requirements, take required courses, and write a master's thesis based upon original research. Doctoral degree programs also have residency and minimum coursework requirements, as well as a dissertation based upon original research. Students must satisfy their internal review committees and external examiners that they have mastered their subject. The M.D. and/or Ch.M. degree is awarded after completing one year of study beyond the bachelor's of science degree, and the doctorate of literature (D. Lit.) and D.Sc. are awarded after publication of work. For Ugandans, fees for tuition, research, and accommodations are free. Foreign students are required to pay annual tuition and fees, plus pay for research and dissertation, as well as accommodation costs separately.

Foreign Students: The Islamic University's charter mandates that 50 percent of its students must be foreign, principally from English-speaking African states. Foreign students accounted for 1 percent of all students enrolled in institutions of higher education in 1999. Most foreign students attended Makerere University and many were sponsored by their home governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or the Inter-University Student Exchange Program.


Students Abroad: Many Ugandan students attend universities in the United States and England. Most years approximately 1,000 students study abroad. India, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Canada offer Ugandan students opportunities to complete university degrees in growing numbers. In the past, Russia, China, and Japan have also helped educate Ugandans for higher level occupations. Neighboring nations such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, as well as Libya and Egypt, also train Ugandans.


Libraries: Uganda has plans for library expansion. In 1993 there were five libraries in Uganda with 10 service points (UNESCO 1999). They contained 734 microfilmed documents and had a base of 35,000 users annually. While the number of users per year has declined since 1980, when 156,891 people used these libraries, the number of books available to read significantly increased, to 1.1 million of books, up from 73,000 books in 1980. Libraries buy 9,200 new books annually and loan out 904,000 books each year. Uganda has 178 librarians, 26 of whom hold university degrees in library science, and an additional 35 librarians who were trained on the job (UNESCO 1999). The School of Librarianship offers a two-year diploma course.


Administration, Finance, & Educational Research


Government Educational Agencies: The minister of education and his permanent secretary control the administration, financing, and research agenda for education in Uganda. Teacher salaries, building construction, and maintenance are subsidized by the government. A number of semi-autonomous institutions exist, including the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), which advises the president on educational issues such as appointments, confirmations, promotions, and discipline. The Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) conducts major examinations, and the Uganda Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) plans national curriculums for schools. Historically, the Ministry of Education has played a strong central role but "de facto" decentralization is occurring. Primary schools are administered by local district councils and education committees at each school. The minister of education has representatives on each committee, but their influence is minimal. The headmaster of each school is the real power.

At the secondary school level, the board of governors formulates policy and implements it. The inspector of education sets standards for schools. Lack of funding for transportation and training mean that standards are not rigidly enforced. The ministry's planning unit is responsible for gathering statistical data on education, preparing budgets, and, based upon enrollment, planning for expansion. In 1990 Uganda's total expenditure on education was 1.5 percent of its GNP, which increased to 2.6 percent of its GNP by 1995. This represents an increase from 11.5 percent of total government expenditure to 21.4 percent respectively in the same time frame. Government spending on education accounts for 95.5 percent of all educational expenditure. Clearly, the private sector plays only a minor role in funding education in Uganda (UNESCO 2000). In general, Uganda is moving quickly toward decentralization of schools down to the grassroots level to give power back to local communities.


Nonformal Education


Adult Education: Uganda promotes adult education with a goal of improving quality of life. Basic education in reading, writing, and arthmetic is provided by churches, local literacy asociations, and the Ministry of Local Government. In 1964 an adult literacy campaign proved a disaster, so little formal effort has been put into campaigns since. The YMCA and YWCA, trade unions, and the NRM government all offer programs. The Nakawa Vocational Institute, in Kampala, offers three month courses in auto mechanics, electrical fitting and installation, and industrial engineering. School-leavers 16 years old and older can enroll in two-year courses. Despite all these efforts, Uganda had 3.6 million illiterate individuals in 2000. Of these illiterates, 1.2 million were male and 2.4 million were female (UNESCO 2000). As of the early 2000s, 32.7 percent of Ugandans were illiterate, down from 54.4 percent in 1980. Uganda is gradually winning its war against illiteracy. Radio programs support this by broadcasting more than 13 adult education courses. The Center for Continuing Education at Makerere University offers correspondence and residential courses. The university's mature entrance program allows individuals 25 years of age and older who meet entrance requirements to be admitted to Makerere. The ministries of health, labor, and agriculture all have adult training programs. Private organizations, such as the African Adult Education Association, disseminate information and support public policy that promotes adult education. They also sponsor conferences and publish newsletters.


Teaching Profession


Training & Qualifications: Rapid expansion of education insures a chronic teacher shortage. Teachers are Uganda's largest professional and educated group. Teacher education is a top priority. In 1970 Uganda had 2,755 schools staffed by 21,471 teachers. By 1995 Uganda had 10,000 schools staffed by 82,745 teachers (UNESCO 1999). Of these, 50 percent were female at the primary school level and 21 percent at the secondary school level (IMF 2000). Secondary schools had 14,447 teachers in 1995, with 1,022 teachers in training institutions preparing to enter the secondary system and 766 teachers in training for vocational institutions. Universities employ professors with appropriate terminal degrees, such as Ph.D.'s, in their academic disciplines. Employment is normally permanent, though visiting and temporary appointments are available as assistant lecturer, lecturer, senior lecturer, reader, and professor.


Summary


General Assessment: Political struggles between southern hierarchical societies and northern egalitarian societies have created constant instability in Uganda since its independence. Infrequent lulls in fighting provide some relief. Museveni's NRM has provided much needed stability since 1985, which has permitted education to make significant strides forward. The educational system has more than doubled since 1985 and is striving to once again become the envy of all East Africa. Much work remains, but this is a welcome change from the horrors and backwardness of the Amin era.


Need for Change: Uganda is committed to closing the educational gap between regions, ethnic groups, and social classes; it is committed to expanding "equal opportunities for education" for all Ugandans. Evidence of this can be seen in the frantic pace of school construction, teacher training, and the general expansion of education. It continues to make progress in its war against ignorance as seen in declining rates of illiteracy, but high dropout rates at every level are an ongoing problem. Restructuring the curriculum to include more agricultural and technical training is seen as a step in the right direction in combating dropout rates. Providing jobs for the growing population of school graduates is important to help prevent resentment and unrest. The shortage of qualified teachers needs urgent attention, as does upgrading of unqualified teachers who are trying to fill the void. Expansion of teacher education to increase the supply of qualified teachers is a primary goal. Priority has also been given to technical and vocational training. Cooperation among the educational institutions of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania is promoted by Museveni. Efforts to revive the East African community may help to rationalize educational opportunities throughout the region.


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Dallas L. Browne

views updated

UGANDA

Republic of Uganda

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

A landlocked state in Eastern Africa, west of Kenya and east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire), Uganda has an area of 236,040 square kilometers (146,675 square miles) and a total land boundary of 2,698 kilometers (1,676 miles). Comparatively, the area occupied by Uganda is slightly smaller than the size of Oregon. Uganda's capital city, Kampala, is located in the country's southeast on the shore of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake and the source of the river Nile. Lake Victoria is also bordered by Kenya and Tanzania.

POPULATION.

The population of Uganda was estimated at 22,459,000 in 2000 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, an annual average increase of 2.5 percent from the 1995 population of 19,689,000. In 2000 the birth rate stood at 48.04 per 1,000 while the death rate was at 18.44 per 1,000. With similar annual growth rate, the population is likely to stand at 34,762,000 in 2015 and 66,305,000 by 2050. Although population per square kilometer was only 241 in 1999 (93 per square mile), the above projected population growth could create a future crisis of land and resources.

The Ugandan population is primarily of African descent, consisting of thirteen principal ethnic groups, although there are actually 49 such groups in total. The rest of the population is made up of Asians and Europeans (around 1 percent) and a fluctuation of refugees escaping from crises in neighboring countriesmost recently from Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is important to note that Uganda had a large number of Asian citizens at independence in 1962; however, the majority of them were forcibly expelled under the regime of General Idi Amin (1971-78) in a racist attempt to "Africanize" the country.

Uganda's population is very young, with 51 percent below age 14 and just 2 percent of the population at 65 or older. A majority of Ugandans86 percentlived in rural areas in 2000. The urban population was 7 percent of the total population in 1965, rising to 14 percent in 2000 (5 percent of the population is centered in and around Kampala). It should be noted that it is difficult to be precise about population distributions because of frequent fluctuation between urban and rural areas as workers move to find seasonally-based employment.

Uganda is commonly conceived to be the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; in fact HIV/AIDS in Uganda is commonly accepted to be a pandemic (the occurrence of a disease over a whole country). It is estimated that 110,000 Ugandans died from AIDS in 1999, and it has been the most common form of death of young adults since the late 1980s. It is important to understand that these deaths resonate beyond their own profound significance due to the socio-economic effects of HIV/AIDS. For example, the drawn-out nature of death from AIDS requires a large amount of care and attention. Therefore, large numbers of, predominantly, women who could be productively employed are spending their time caring for the dying. In addition, by 1999 the cumulative number of orphans created due to AIDS since the pandemic began reached 1,700,000. This raises the problem of the development and guidance of Uganda's children. However, the Ugandan government was one of the first in Africa to promote public education programs and openness about HIV/AIDS. As a result of this proactive policy, Uganda is one of Africa's success stories for reducing HIV/AIDS; for example, 10,235 AIDS cases were reported in 1990 but only 1,406 in 1998.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

Uganda's economy is dominated by the production of agricultural goods, which employs some 82 percent of the workforce. These goods range from crops grown mainly for subsistence purposes such as plantains, maize, beans, and potatoes, and exported cash crops such as coffee, tea, and tobacco. The reliance of the national economy on cash crops for foreign exchange is a legacy of Uganda's colonial period when it was made a British protectorate (1894-1962) during the "scramble for Africa" by the imperialist European powers. In other words, the country's productive structure remains dominated by what the British colonial administration had forcefully demanded Ugandans produce.

At independence in 1962 Uganda was one of Africa's most economically promising states and was widely cited as the "Pearl of Africa." It was self-sufficient in food, its manufacturing sector produced basic inputs and consumer goods , and its transportation infrastructure was one of the best in the continent. Its key exportscoffee and cottonwere in global demand as the world economy was registering substantial growth built on the import demands of the United States, Western Europe, and parts of Northeast Asia. Health services were among the best in Africa, and schools, although in limited supply, were of a generally high quality.

However, from the beginning of President Idi Amin's regime in 1971 to the National Resistance Movement's (NRM) adoption of free market reforms in 1987, the official economy fell deeper and deeper into crisis under the strain of spasmodic civil wars and shortsighted economic programs such as the nationalization of certain industries and the expulsion of the Asian population. In 1960 cotton provided 40 percent of Uganda's export revenue (because cotton is a less volatile crop than coffee, its production had acted as a good counterbalance to foreign exchange reserves earned through exports). However, the harvesting of goods such as cotton and sugar declined considerably during the period 1971-1987 so that even in 2000 they were a minimal part of Uganda's agricultural production. The instability of the economy and the Uganda shilling between 1971-1987 led to the rise of the informal sector . The NRM had inherited an economy that had had the worst growth rate of all African countries between 1962-1987. The country's reliance on coffee production has left the economy highly vulnerable to the continual flux of international coffee prices.

Under the influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the NRM embraced free market reforms in 1987; these included the privatization of industry and services, the devaluation of the Uganda shilling (USh), and the liberalization of the exchange rate system. Since then Uganda has become one of the most economically liberal countries in the world. Due to a combination of free market reform, the large amount of post-conflict national reconstruction required, and the relative degree of security maintained by the NRM, the economy has enjoyed consistently high rates of GDP growth since the late 1980s. By the late 1990s external donors such as the IMF and European Union (EU) promoted Uganda as one of the key success stories of free market reform in Africa. For instance, evidence suggests that the stabilization of the Uganda shilling has created an economic environment suitable for the growth of the country's manufacturing sector and, more broadly, the diversification of export production into "non-traditional goods" such as fish products and cut flowers.

The reduction of the drain on state revenue since the banking sector was partially denationalized has contributed to the successful balancing of the national current account. The privatization of parastatals and the reduction of state spending by means of downsizing social services and the public sector have, similarly, lessened government spending. Because of the social stability throughout most of Uganda in the 1990s the incidence of tourism is increasing very quickly after having been heavily reduced by the violence permeating the country from 1971 to 1986.

Yet Uganda still suffers from considerable economic difficulties. The economy is dependent on the continued flow of aid from external donors. Total external debt has risen from US$0.689 billion in 1980 to US$3.708 billion in 1997, and the country remains entirely dominated by the unpredictability of the production and international prices of coffee. During the Amin period and the economy's decline, corruption within the government and society as a whole became very common in order to satisfy greed amongst the rich and survival for the poor. In 2000 corruption still saturated the government and the private sector despite efforts to curtail its influence. Similarly, by 2000 the informal sector remained of considerable size. However, the liberalization of the exchange rate system and the subsequent evening out of informal and official prices have sent the informal sector into decline.

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

Like most African countries, the territory known as Uganda was an arbitrary creation of the European colonial powers. The borders cut across and brought together a whole range of ethnic and linguistic groups. Since gaining independence from Britain in 1962, the history of Uganda's politics and government falls into 4 broad periods.

The first period was opened at the country's independence with multi-party elections which brought the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) to power, led by Prime Minister Milton Obote. However, the Obote regime soon opted for a more authoritarian leadership. By using its base of support in the north of the country and the military to discard Uganda's traditional kingdoms and check its historical rivals in the south (who had been the country's elite during the colonial administration), Obote became the self-appointed executive president.

The second period began in 1971 when Obote was ousted from government by one of his key pillars of support, the military, led by Idi Amin. This was a major turning point for Uganda as Amin's 8 years of rule (1971-1979) saw the economy and political process collapse. Amin's regime used fear and racism as central instruments of policy and social control; over 300,000 people were murdered by the regime, and the vast majority of the country's 88,000 Asians were forcibly expelled and their land and other assets divided amongst Amin's followers. Economically, this was a disaster. After this policy had been enacted, the redistributed assets were placed in the hands of people who were inexperienced and lacked established business networks; this led to the decline of the productivity and efficiency of Uganda's business sector. Moreover, as Uganda's citizens became less confident in the stability of the formal economy due to Amin's unpredictable rule, they increasingly began to turn to the informal sector, thereby bypassing the state and its revenue-collecting authorities. In sum, the economy became less productive and more reliant upon the informal sector, both drastically reducing state taxation revenue. As state revenue was so depleted, the government began borrowing from international lenders at such a rate that Uganda became heavily indebted. These factors, in combination with the deteriorating terms of trade for Uganda's products on international markets after the decline of world economy in the 1970s, explain why the Ugandan economy was in dire crisis by the end of Amin's regime.

The third broad period of Uganda's political history began when Amin was finally overthrown in 1979 by a coalition of domestic forces under the banner of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) and the neighboring Tanzanian army. This led to an 8-year period of crisis and uncertain rule that plagued the country. After Amin's defeat, a string of 3 limited and short-term governments followed, led by the UNLF, President Binaisa, and President Lule, respectively. This period was one in which the economy was devastated further by continued widespread disruption, huge military expenditures, and the effects of the international rise of oil prices in 1979. This quick succession of regimes culminated in the corrupt and widely disputed multiparty elections of 1980 that reinstated Obote as president. Commonly known as Obote II, this period was characterized by 2 central dynamics. First, Obote attempted to address the country's considerable economic woes by approaching the IMF and the World Bank for financial aid. This aid was dependent upon Uganda liberalizing the economy with the hope that free market forces would make it more competitive in the world economy. Second, the social effects of this reform were negative, which in combination with the corrupt and heavy-handed rule of Obote II, culminated in growing popular support for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) led by Yoweri Museveni that was waging a guerrilla war from its support-base in Uganda's south.

The fourth key period of Uganda's political history began when the NRM took state power in 1986; the NRM remained in power in early 2001. With Museveni as president the NRM had seized power on the back of a set of left-progressive, anti-imperialist policies. However, because of the legacy left by Amin and his successors, the country was in a state of severe social, economic, and institutional crisis. Consequently, by 1987 the NRM was forced to go back on its initial left-progressive developmental policies simply because there was insufficient revenue to pursue such an approach. In fact, like Obote II, the NRM applied to the IMF and World Bank for aid that was conditional upon adopting free market reform.

Although Uganda's economy is claimed by many to have been in a relatively good state of health since the opening to free market forces from 1987 onwards, the political situation is somewhat more ambiguous. The country remains a "no party democracy." Museveni stresses that the NRM is not a political party but a national "movement" of a broad coalition of societal and political forces. As a result, while Uganda maintains a high level of press freedom (especially in comparison with most other African countries), political parties are illegal. A referendum in July 2000 saw 90 percent of voters favoring the continuation of the "no party system" which seems to have justified the NRM's political stance.

However, a level of contention remains about this system's legitimacy as the 2 most prominent opposition parties, Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP), boycotted the referendum. Furthermore, the U.S.-based human rights group Human Rights Watch claimed in a 1999 report that, due to the illegal nature of organized opposition, the country has "a restricted political climate." Contemporary indications of discontent in Uganda are clearly illustrated by a series of violent insurgencies by dissident groups such as Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in the north and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the southwest. In order to counter these rebellions, the army now has permanent barracks in these volatile areas.

Presidential elections were held at the beginning of March 2001. Museveni won an easy victory with 69.3 percent of the votes compared to the 27.8 percent of his closest competitor, the politically progressive former army colonel, Dr. Kizza Besigye. Although Museveni's victory was tainted by accusations of intimidation, fraud, and violence (an estimated 5-15 percent of votes cast could have been compromised), this margin of potential electoral corruption still gave Museveni a sufficient mandate to hold onto the presidency.

Since 1998 Uganda has been at war in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to depose the Kabila regime first led by Laurent Kabila (who was assassinated in January 2001) and then by his son Joseph. This is a very complex war involving Rwanda, which supports a separate but similar anti-Kabila faction, and Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, which all support the DRC government. The war is a considerable drain on the government's already sparse revenue; the Ministry of Defence received 33 percent of all ministerial allocations in the 1999-2000 budget. Yet by March 2001, Uganda was beginning to withdraw some troops from the DRC; however, this conflict has subsided and re-ignited before.

A key reform promoted by the IMF and World Bank was the restructuring of Uganda's taxation regime. One of the intentions was to lower the dependence on trade taxes, which reduced incentives for production, and to rely instead on indirect taxes on goods and services. Indirect taxes provided an average of 79.8 percent of total revenue between 1990-1998. Taxes on income and profits have steadily increased from 9.8 percent of total revenue in 1989 to 15.2 percent in 1998. Yet, of total taxes, about 50 percent still emanates from indirect taxes on only 4 productspetroleum, cigarettes, beer, and soft drinks. In fact, Uganda's tax revenue to GDP ratio is fifty percent below the African average.

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) was established to address the priority of improving government tax-collecting abilities. However, it is claimed that almost immediately after the creation of the URA its officials were involved in the major embezzlement of the funds it was set up to collect. In addition, throughout the government departments in 1997-98, US$120 million in tax revenue and government spending was unaccounted for. Due to these high levels of ingrained corruption, low levels of household income, and a small proportion of waged (thus taxable) labor, the majority source of government revenue still emanates from external donors. Of the government's estimated total financial requirement for 2000, US$1.467 billion was expected to come from domestic resources, whereas US$2.255 billion was required in external aid. It is due to regular deficits such as this that Uganda's external debt as a percentage of GNP has risen from 35.5 percent in 1985 to 58.2 percent by 1998.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Uganda is a landlocked country served by a network of 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles) of roads, although only 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) are paved and 4,800 kilometers (2,900 miles) of the remainder are suitable for all-weather purposes. This road network supplied Uganda's total 25,900 passenger cars and 42,300 commercial

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Uganda 2 128 27 N/A 1 0.1 1.5 0.06 25
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3 375 135 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0.00 1
Kenya 9 104 21 N/A 0 N/A 2.5 0.19 35
aData are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
bData are from the Internet Software Consortium (http://www.isc.org) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

vehicles in 1995. With funding from a range of external donors, Uganda launched an ongoing road rehabilitation project in 1987 with the principal aims of providing improved access of agricultural products to markets within the country and a regional network to link Rwanda, the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda with the port of Mombasa in Kenya. A 22-kilometer (13-mile) road linking Uganda to Rwanda was opened in 2000.

The nation's rail system had lacked sufficient investment since decolonization, but the state-owned Uganda Railways Corporation's (URC) 1,241 kilometers (770 miles) of railroad has benefitted from a rejuvenation project since 1995. This includes plans by the government to partially privatize the operation of the network. The URC has US$350 million in assets and a US$20 million annual turnover , and, due to the trebling of freight traffic between 1989 and 1995, the URC network has the potential of becoming highly profitable.

The Entebbe International Airport is Uganda's major airport, which is situated 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Kampala. Although there are another 28 airports throughout the country, the vast majority are unpaved. Uganda's landlocked status makes it dependent upon the port services of neighboring countries, such as Mombasa in Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. Rail links to the port of Durban in South Africa are growing in importance. The country's situation in the "Great Lakes" region means that it boasts 5 large lakes and 2 major rivers that are frequently used for transportation purposes. The use of waterways has benefitted from an extensive program of government investment and external aid.

The vast and varied waterways in Uganda are also highly beneficial for the production of hydroelectricity. A parastatal, Uganda Electricity Board (UEB), utilizes this natural resource to produce enough power to satisfy the country's needs and also to export 115 million kWh of electricity in 1998. UEB commands assets worth over US$600 million and has an annual turnover in the region of US$70 million. The government intends to grant concessions to the private sector for the operation of parts of UEB upon its disintegration into separate operators maintaining the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

In 2000 there were 2 national telecommunications operations in the country, Uganda Telecomm Limited (UTL) and Mobile Telephone Network Uganda (MTN). A third operator, Celtel Uganda, supplies additional mobile telephone services. Although as many as 12 Internet service providers had been licensed to provide both Internet e-mail and Internet services by early 2001, only 4 are actually in operation.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

Uganda's economic sectors reflect the legacy of colonial structures, the country's position as a land-locked territory, its politically tumultuous past, and the widespread lack of foreign investment in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Uganda is highly dependent on agricultural exports in order to provide much-needed foreign currency, and its underdeveloped industry and services necessitate an increasing level of imports. Consequently, in 1997 the government was in 5.7 percent deficit as a percentage of GDP (excluding external aid). In addition, Uganda lacks a significant internal market for domestically produced goods because of low household incomes. In light of these factors it is unlikely that the economy will reduce its primary dependence on the export-based growth strategy of producing goods such as coffee in the medium-term future; nonetheless, it does remain a leader in international coffee markets.

In order to address these geographical, historical, and material problems, the Ugandan government is attempting to diversify its economic sectors to produce more manufactured goods for domestic, regional, and international consumption to reduce the dependence of the economy on foreign aid and imports. With the continued financial support of the IMF, World Bank, EU, and United States for Uganda's free market reforms there is a genuine possibility that the economy's present diversification will contribute to its current growth rateone of the fastest in the world. Uganda had an average GDP annual growth rate of 7.2 percent over 1990-99, which constitutes a growth rate of agriculture of 3.7 percent, of services at 8.1 percent and industry at 12.7 percent. This consistent growth of various sectors suggests a dynamic economy.

AGRICULTURE

The agricultural sector is dominant in Uganda's economy. Whilst this sector grew at an annual average of only 3.7 percent over 1990-99 compared to the far more impressive growth of the industrial and service sectors, the importance of agriculture in Uganda's economy outweighs all other sectors put together. The agricultural sector employs 82 percent of the workforce, accounts for 90 percent of export earnings, and provided 44 percent of GDP in 1999. Moreover, the farmers in Uganda's 2.5 million smallholdings and scattered large commercial farms provide the majority of their own and the rest of the country's staple food requirements. Uganda is able to rely on agriculture due to the country's excellent access to waterways, fertile soils, and, (relative to many other African nations) its regular rainfall, although it does still suffer from intermittent droughts such as in 1993-94.

Uganda's key agricultural products can be divided into cash crops, food crops, and horticultural produce. The most important cash crops are coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, and cocoa. Uganda is second only to Kenya as Africa's largest producer of tea, exporting US$17.06 million of tea in 1996 and $39 million by 1998. Unmanufactured tobacco exports provided US$9.5 million in 1998, over 25 percent more than in 1996. The export of cocoa beans hit a recent high in 1996 with US$1.07 million in export receipts, but this had declined to $0.87 million in 1998. The primary food crops, mainly for domestic consumption, include plantains, cassava, maize, millet, and sorghum. Total cereal production was 1.76 million metric tons in 1998, which provided US$17.82 million of exports in 1998. This gain was in part negated as imports of cereals were $30.9 million in the same year. The more recent development of cultivating horticultural produce includes fresh flowers, chilies, vanilla, asparagus, and medicinal plants. At the beginning of 2001 it is unclear how well horticultural production will prosper but it does indicate the economy's potential diversity. The fact that vanilla production is the third largest in Africa, providing US$930,000 in export receipts in 1998, is a success in itself.

The economy of northeast Uganda is dominated by pastoralism (cattle farming). Although agricultural production is apparent in some areas, this is normally a mixture known as "agro-pastoralism" (integrated cattle and crop farming). It should be noted that pastoralism is in decline due to the constant cattle raids by guerrilla groups such as the Lord's Resistance Army based in southern Sudan, as well as government and aid agency intervention which encourages the fencing off of land to discourage the traditional free-roaming of cattle.

COFFEE.

Coffee is by far the most important factor in the nation's entire economy. Uganda is one of the largest producers of coffee in sub-Saharan Africa and exported 197,200 metric tons in 1998, second only to Côte d'Ivoire. This provided US$314 million in export earnings. Although this was a drop in earnings from the 1996 level of $396.2 million, the 1996 harvest had provided 81,511 metric tons more than in 1998. The country's high altitude, relatively high rainfall, and mild climate are suited to the growing of coffee. Robusta coffee is grown in areas near Lake Victoria and in some Western districts. Arabica coffee is grown in the volcanic regions in Mbale and Kapchorwa where the cooler, higher altitude provides the increased rainfall necessary for the growth of this more profitable crop. The dual process of the devaluation of the Ugandan Shilling and its flotation was intended to provide an incentive to producers to take advantage of more competitive exports and thus expand their production of exportable goods. On face value this process was a success as producer prices dramatically increased. For example, coffee farmers received a 182 percent rise in the price paid for their product, and there was an annual average growth of coffee exports of 6.5 percent between 1990-1997.

However, the apparent growth of Uganda's coffee exports does not take account of smuggling into the country from neighboring countries such as the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo whose farmers often do not receive as good a price for their crops as those in Uganda. Furthermore, increased productivity was based upon an increase in the area cultivated rather than on higher yields. When there is a rise in available cultivated land it acts as an increased drain on the country's environmental resources. The 50 percent projected rise of the population by 2015 more than likely will increase competition, and perhaps conflict, over ever-decreasing land plots.

Regarding improvements to the agricultural sector, farmers simply lack the access to capital ( see Services rubric below) in order to mechanize production and increase agricultural productivity. Productivity per agricultural worker was an average of US$345 per annum over 1996-1998. In consequence, farmers are unable to take full advantage of increased returns for the export of coffee when they do arise, for instance, during the coffee boom of 1994-95 where the price in U.S. cents to a pound of coffee was 126.83. This failure to improve production is based upon a lack of investment and an assumption of the continuation of the usually relatively low levels paid by the volatile world market for primary commodities . For example, in 1999 the price in U.S. cents to a pound of coffee was only 67.65. Considering the long-term maturity of coffee plants, the instability of international markets does not provide much of an incentive for improved efficiency of production. It should also be noted that export crops such as coffee are very susceptible to natural disasters, which further reduces their economic viability. For instance, a hurricane in 2000 pushed Uganda's national harvest back a year.

INDUSTRY

Industry is very limited in Uganda. The most important sectors are the processing of agricultural products (such as coffee curing), the manufacture of light consumer goods and textiles, and the production of beverages, electricity, and cement. The production of beer in Uganda has increased dramatically in recent years, rising from 215,000 hectoliters in 1988 to 896,000 in 1997. Similarly, cement production has expanded from a low of 15,000 metric tons in 1988 to 290,000 in 1997. Of lesser importance is the production of sawn wood, remaining stable at 83,000 cubic meters from 1994 onwards. However, there is little evidence of the sufficient replanting of trees, which may not only affect this level of production but could have adverse environmental effects such as soil erosion and increased landslides. A key block to the development of Uganda's industrial and commercial sector is corruption. Bribes are commonly demanded to acquire even the most basic services such as an electricity supply and telephones.

Due to increased domestic security, market reform, and tax breaks, Uganda's manufacturing sector is growing. Merchandise exports have expanded from US$147 million in 1990 to US$501 million in 1998. However, merchandise imports have also expanded but at an even greater rate, from US$213 million in 1990 to US$1,414 million in 1998. This imbalance indicates a serious problem with Uganda's economy because, in order to continue the present rate of import of manufactured goods, the government is obliged to borrow ever greater amounts of money from foreign donors which makes the country increasingly indebted.

The privatization of industry is a central dynamic in Uganda's contemporary national economy. This is of central importance considering that government subsidies to parastatals were equal to that spent on much needed education between 1994-1998. The Privatization Unit of the Ministry of Finance has plans to open a number of industries to the private sector. For example, the largest dairy processor in the country, the government-owned Dairy Corporation, which has an annual turnover of US$12 million, is undergoing full privatization. Copper mining used to be a mainstay of the economy in the 1960s to mid-1970s with an output of up to 18,000 metric tons per annum. Due to the country's civil unrest and the decline of copper prices on international markets, the 90 percent government-owned Kilembe Mines Ltd. mining activity has been inactive since 1982. The planned privatization of this enterprise should end government subsidies to this company and is hoped to lead to the rein-vigoration of Uganda's copper production.

SERVICES

The export of Uganda's commercial services has grown dramatically from US$21 million in 1990 to US$165 million in 1998. Yet at the same time the import of commercial services has grown from US$195 million in 1990 to US$693 million in 1998. This imbalance, similar to that of manufactured goods, contributes to the deficit of Uganda's balance of payments . Therefore, in order to maintain this level of imports, Uganda is forced to borrow more money from external donors, thus leading to the deepening of the country's public debt and the consequent drain of debt interest payments upon an already limited government revenue.

TOURISM.

Due to the severe insecurity permeating Uganda through the 1970s and most of the 1980s, tourism was a very limited sector. Today, the majority of Uganda is entirely safe for tourists and the country has a lot to offer, such as a number of beautiful reserves and national parks, vast lakes, rare and endangered wildlife, relatively untouched rural communities, and safe cities. By 1995, 159,899 tourists provided receipts of US$188 million; by 1997 receipts from tourism rose to US$227 million. However, it should be noted that internal tourism expenditures drew out almost as much money as was brought in to the country, with US$137 million being spent by Ugandans abroad in 1997.

FINANCIAL SERVICES.

Uganda's banking system had been in disarray throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in part due to an almost full government monopoly of this sector. The 2 most important national banks, the state-owned Bank of Uganda (BOU) and the Cooperative Bank, had received automatic liquidity support from the Uganda Central bank (UCB) up until the early 1990sthat is, the UCB would supply banks with money to prevent their financial collapse even if they had been making irresponsible and irretrievable loans, often to allies of the various political regimes. As a result, the UCB's non-performing loans accounted for 75 percent of its total loan portfolio. Uganda's most important financial mechanism was bankrupted.

In order to make the UCB less of a drain on state revenue, the IMF and World Bank encouraged its privatization, a 48 percent cut in personnel, and a reduction of branches from 190 to 85. The improved stability of the banking sector has encouraged people to save, and a 1995 IMF report claimed that bank deposits grew from 4 percent of GDP in 1989-90 to 5.8 percent in 1993-94. However, due to the economy's severe underdevelopment, low incomes, and low opportunities for lending, there is limited incentive for private-sector banks to operate. Even though the economy has been substantially liberalized, foreign banks have failed to reinvest or to re-establish themselves, or to innovate their practices in Uganda, in part due to the fact that more than half of commercial banks made losses in 1994.

The privatization of the banking system has reduced the availability of basic banking services, in particular for rural farmers. In 1972 there was one branch per 34,000 people; by the mid-1990s this figure was 164,000. This means that the most important sector of the economy, namely agriculture, receives insufficient investment to improve productivity. Primarily due to fraudulent practice by employees, 3 of Uganda's national banks collapsed in 1999, namely the Cooperative Bank, International Credit Bank, and Greenland Bank. This has given foreign-owned banks such as Stanbic, Barclays, Standard Chartered, and Trans Africa Bank increased footing in those areas they deem commercially viable, thus providing greater competition against the remaining national banks.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Uganda is becoming increasingly dependent on the import of capital through loans and grants, the import of services, and of manufactured goods. The value of imports was consistently double the value of exports throughout the 1990s, and in 1999 the ratio of imports to exports came close to being 3 times in size. Apart from cash-crops such as tea and coffee ( see Agriculture rubric above), Uganda's principal exports in 1998 were US$39.9 million of fish and fish products, US$47.4 million of iron and steel, and US$47.2 million worth of electrical machinery and supplies. It should be noted that the EU banned the import of fish from Uganda between 1999 and mid-2000 as some supplies were poisonous; although this ban has now been lifted this event seems likely to effect future sales. The main recipient of these exports in 1998 was the EU, which received 50.9 percent of the total; broken down individually, the key countries were the Netherlands, which imported 6.3 percent, Switzerland (6.2 percent), Germany (5 percent), and Belgium (3.7 percent). Other key export-partners are the United States which regularly receives around 25 percent, and Kenya which received 4.6 percent in 1998.

Uganda's imports in 1998 consisted of US$130.3 million of road vehicles, US$111.6 million of petroleum,

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Uganda
Exports Imports
1975 .026 .200
1980 .345 .293
1985 .387 .327
1990 .147 .213
1995 .461 1.058
1998 .512 1.409
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

US$72.4 million in cereals, and US$53.65 million of medical goods and pharmaceuticals. These imports were predominantly sourced from the EU, which supplied 17.3 percent (the United Kingdom being the main partner, providing 5.6 percent), neighboring Kenya supplied 12.3 percent, Japan 4.5 percent, and India 4.1 percent. The countries of East Africa have been trying to create a meaningful intra-regional trade organization since the 1960s. The signing of the East African Cooperation (EAC) treaty between Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya in 1999 was a continuation of this historic aim; however, in practice little has been done to reduce tariffs . Uganda is also a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which in 1996 introduced an 80 percent tariff reduction on trade within COMESA countries; by 2001 Uganda was one of the only members to implement this reduction in full.

MONEY

Uganda's monetary and financial sector has gone through dramatic change since the government adapted free market reform from 1987 onwards. Two of the most important reforms were the devaluation of the Uganda shilling (USh) and the liberalization of the exchange rate system. In order to make national exports cheaper and more competitive on world markets the USh was devalued by 77 percent in 1987; after subsequent minor de-valuations, it was again substantially reduced by 41.2 percent in 1989. The liberalization of the exchange rate system was undertaken in a number of stages, culminating in the establishment of a unified inter-bank market for foreign exchange and the commercialization of all foreign exchange transactions, which were to be undertaken by commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaus.

By 1994 the government accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, which maintained a commitment to a free and open exchange system. The Uganda shilling had become a competitive monetary unit, open to the speculation of international currency markets. This resulted in its depreciation from USh100 per U.S. dollar in 1987, to

Exchange rates: Uganda
Uganda shillings (USh) per US$1
Feb 2001 1,700
2000 1,644.5
1999 1,454.8
1998 1,240.2
1997 1,083.0
1996 1,046.1
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

USh965 in 1994. Although these policies had initial inflationary consequences (as late as 1991-92 annual average inflation was 42 percent), by 1994-95 the USh had stabilized at only 5 percent; considering that inflation had hit 1,000 percent during the Amin era, this is a considerable government success. Uganda's capital markets are based on 2 main organizations: the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), and its regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). In June 1997 the USE was licensed to operate as an approved stock exchange and began formal trading operations in January 1998. In 2001 there were only 4 listed securities trading on the exchange: 2 corporate bonds and 2 companies, Uganda Clays Limited and British American Tobacco, Uganda.

POVERTY AND WEALTH

With an average GDP per capita of US$332 in 1998, Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. The vast majority of Ugandans are farmers on small plots of land which are used for subsistence agriculture or for the cultivation of cash crops such as coffee and tea. However, most of this land is owned by landlords such as chiefs or government functionaries who seldom reinvest in the productive capacity of the village as they can simply rely on rents. This disparity of the ownership of the means of production is reflected by vast inequalities in the distribution of income. The poorest 20 percent of the country controls only 6.6 percent of the wealth, whereas the richest 20 percent benefit from 46.1 percent. In fact, 69 percent of the population lives on less than US$1 a day and the majority of this limited income (63 percent) is spent on food. As a result, in a country whose government spends only 1.9 percent of its GDP on health, the majority of Ugandan citizens struggle to acquire even the most basic health care. There are only 4 doctors and 28 nurses per 100,000 people. Nonetheless, the government has helped to reduce the infant mortality rate from 110 deaths per 1,000 births in 1970 to 84 by 1998.

Most Ugandans have to work 2 or 3 jobs simply to survive, often even to secure a standard of living below the poverty threshold. Moreover, one or more of these jobs are often within the informal sector which draws taxation

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Uganda N/A N/A 227 251 332
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
Kenya 301 337 320 355 334
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.
Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Uganda
Lowest 10% 2.6
Lowest 20% 6.6
Second 20% 10.9
Third 20% 15.2
Fourth 20% 21.3
Highest 20% 46.1
Highest 10% 31.2
Survey year: 1992-93
Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.
SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].

revenue away from the government. With the increased unemployment levels associated with the privatization and reduction of employment opportunities in the public service, the army, and former parastatals, workers have become an increasingly flexible and less expensive factor of production. Consequently, trends after 1991 have been in the direction of increased inequality, both between rural and urban areas but also in intra-urban terms, as wages did not increase anywhere near as fast as the rise of profits.

The labor surplus and the desperate need for employment has meant that employers can offer almost whatever they want for wages as they know that they will fill their vacancies. As Susan Dicklitch observes in her book, The Elusive Promise of NGOs in Africa, even the middle class, the traditional bastion of democracy and agitator for change, like the working class are "often too busy trying to eke out a living" to fulfil their historic political role. However, if Uganda's GDP continues its 7 percent annual growth of recent years, if President Museveni's anti-poverty strategy promoted in March 2000 is effective, and if the country continues to benefit from the proposed US$2.3 to US$2.5 billion in external aid, then there is hope that the standard of living for the majority may improve.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Uganda's labor force is the sixth largest in sub-Saharan Africa, totaling 8.4 million workers in 1993. Yet, as 51 percent of the population is below the age of 14, it is difficult for a government with such limited revenue to provide sufficient education and vocational training for the mass of Uganda's youth. The majority of the nation's workforce is thus unskilled. However, in part by increasing public expenditure on education from 1.5 percent of GDP in 1990 to 2.6 percent in 1997, the government has been successful in attacking illiteracy. The 49 percent of the population over 15 years of age who were illiterate in 1985 had been reduced to 36 percent by 19979 percent better than the African average. The problem of an unskilled workforce has been accentuated by the AIDS pandemic. Because it is likely that a trained teacher or doctor will contract HIV, it is necessary to train 2 or even 3 people to ensure the supply of even one skilled employee.

Labor migration is very common in Uganda. Areas of high unemployment (in districts such as Kabale) were forcibly created by the British colonial administration in order to facilitate the movement of cheap labor from these districts to "industrial" districts such as Buganda and Ankole to work in mines, towns, factories, and plantations. While migratory labor had been relatively well paid before 1986 (people could save part of their wages to buy products such as bicycles and other "luxuries"), due to high inflation and the liberalization of the Uganda shilling imports are far more expensive and workers struggle to even feed their families. Workers are unable to return to their respective districts with basic tools to improve or buy their own land. Hence, there is a growing landless peasantry that is subject to a cycle of laboring simply in order to buy food and basic essentials.

Uganda's trade unions were given legal recognition by the British colonial administration in 1952. In 1993 the unionization of public services was legally permitted, which brought the number of trade unions in Uganda to 17. All unions are legally obliged to affiliate with the highly centralized National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) which is part of a tripartite negotiating structure involving the Federation of Ugandan Employers (FUE) and the Minister of Labor. Although the government supports workers' rights conventions promoted by the International Labor Organization (ILO), trade unions are ineffective in Uganda. This is in part due to a lack of unity amongst workers as they work 2 or 3 jobs, and are subject to ethnic, regional, and gender divides. Also, trade unions and other workers' movements have had their powers reduced by the government, and individual workers are often tied to large commercial farms by the provision of normally very poor accommodation, a small plot of land for subsistence, and low wages. Though meager, without these limited resources the worker is lost, hence the space for challenging employers is limited. In light of this situation, although the power of trade unions has been historically low in Uganda, it is no surprise that they are now a virtually non-existent lobby group.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

c. 1850. Arab traders make first non-African contact within the territory of Uganda and promote Islam.

1862. Explorer John Hanning Speke is the first European to enter Uganda.

1885. Uganda is designated as a British sphere of influence at the Treaty of Berlin.

1890. A small British military force arrives in Uganda.

1894. Britain declares Uganda a protectorate.

1962. Uganda achieves independence from Britain, and Milton Obote becomes prime minister in multi-party elections.

1971. General Idi Amin forcibly seizes power.

1972. The country's Asian population is expelled, and British companies are taken under government control.

1979. Tanzanian army with Ugandan dissidents under the banner of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) oust Idi Amin.

1980. Corrupt multi-party elections reinstate Milton Obote as president.

1986. National Resistance Army enters Kampala and forms a government as the National Resistance Movement (NRM), led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

1987. The NRM government adapts free market reform and starts to receive aid from the IMF and World Bank.

1998. Uganda starts its involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2000. A flawed national referendum maintains the "no-party" political system.

2001. Presidential elections held in March.

FUTURE TRENDS

At the outset of 2001, Uganda has the potential to diversify its economy, and there are signs that alternatives to the present substantial reliance on the export of coffee are arising. But in the face of continually falling coffee prices on international markets, in order to prosper in the 21st century diversification of the economy is essential. Unless there is a serious unforeseeable crisis Yoweri Museveni will remain as president at least until 2006, and Uganda will continue on its path of free market reform. This reform will continue to be backed-up by substantial aid from the World Bank, the IMF, the EU and other donors.

There will be an intensification of the privatization of parastatals. The revenue freed-up from previously subsidizing parastatals may allow the government to spend a greater proportion of GDP on essential public services such as education and health. Without investment in these areas an unhealthy and poorly educated workforce will constrain improved social and economic development. GDP growth for 1999-2000 was 5.4 percent, a considerable decline from the highs of 7 percent in 1995 and 1996. This is some indication of the economy's growth beginning to stabilize after the essential reconstruction work undertaken from 1987 onwards. In light of this evidence, it is likely that annual GDP growth will remain at around 5 percent or less for the next 5 years. A continued drain on government resources is Uganda's involvement in the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). At the beginning of 2001 Museveni was faced with a dilemma between withdrawing and allowing the potential for increased destabilizing attacks upon Uganda by forces based in the DRC or to remain involved in an unpopular and expensive war.

DEPENDENCIES

Uganda has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ahikire, J. "Worker Struggles, the Labor Process, and Control inUnited Garments Industry Limited." In Uganda: Studies in Living Conditions, Popular Movements, and Constitutionalism, edited by M. Mamdani and J. Oloka-Onyango. Vienna: JEP, 1994.

Bank of Uganda. <http://www.bou.or.ug>. Accessed February 2001.

Belshaw, D., and P. Lawrence. "Agricultural Tradables and Economic Recovery in Uganda: The Limitations of Structural Adjustment in Practice." World Development. Vol. 27, No. 4, 1999.

Brownbridge, M. Financial Repression and Financial Reform in Uganda. Sussex: Institute of Development Studies, 1996.

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. <http://www.comesa.int>. Accessed March 2001.

Dicklitch, S. The Elusive Promise of NGOs in Africa: Lessons from Uganda. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998.

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Report: Uganda, 1999. London: EIU, 1999.

Food and Agriculture Organization. FAO Yearbook: Trade 1998. Rome: FAO, 1999.

Human Rights Watch. "Uganda Silences Political Parties withHarassment and Oppression." Press Release. Kampala: HRW, 12 October 1999. Reprinted online at <http://www.hrw.org>. Accessed February 2001.

International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2000. Washington DC: IMF, 2000.

Isegawa, M. Abyssinian Chronicles. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,2000.

Jamal, V. "Changing Poverty Patterns in Uganda." In Developing Uganda, edited by M. Twaddle and H. B. Hansen. Oxford: James Currey, 1998.

Lamont, T. "Economic Planning and Policy Formulation inUganda." In Uganda: Landmarks in Rebuilding a Nation, edited by P. Langseth, J. Katorobo, E. Brett, and J. Munene. Kampala: Fountain, 1995.

Mamdani, M. "Analysing the Agrarian Question: The Case of aBuganda Village." In Uganda: Studies in Labor, edited by M. Mamdani. Dakar, Senegal: CODESRIA, 1996.

Mehran, H., P. Ugolini, J. Briffaux, G. Iden, T. Lybek, S.Swaray, and P. Hayward. "Financial Sector Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries." IMF Occasional Article 169. Washington DC: IMF, 1998.

Mitchell, B.R. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania 1750-1993, third edition. London: Macmillan, 1998.

The Monitor. <http://www.monitor.co.ug>. Accessed March 2001.

Munene, J. C. "Organisational Pathology and Accountability inHealth and Education in Rural Uganda." In Uganda: Landmarks in Rebuilding a Nation, edited by P. Langseth, J. Katorobo, E. Brett, and J. Munene. Kampala: Fountain, 1995.

Museveni, Y. K. Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda. London: Macmillan, 1997.

Nadzam, B., ed. Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2001. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group 2001.

Ocan, C. "Pastoral Crisis and Social Change in Karamoja." In Uganda: Studies in Living Conditions, Popular Movements, and Constitutionalism, edited by M. Mamdani and J. Oloka-Onyango. Vienna: JEP, 1994.

Rutanga, M. "A Historical Analysis of the Labor Question inKigezi District." In Uganda: Studies in Labor, edited by M. Mamdani. Dakar, Senegal: CODESRIA, 1996.

Sharer, R. L., H. R. De Zoysa, and C. A. McDonald. Uganda: Adjustment with Growth, 1987-94. Washington DC: IMF, March 1995.

Tukahebwa, G. B. "Privatization as a Development Policy." In Developing Uganda, edited by M. Twaddle and H. B. Hansen. Oxford: James Currey, 1998.

Uganda Home Pages Ltd. <http://www.uganda.co.ug>. AccessedFebruary-March 2001.

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World Bank. African Development Indicators 2000. Washington DC: World Bank, 2000.

. Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth. Washington DC: World Bank, 1989.

. Uganda: The Challenge of Growth and Poverty. Washington DC: World Bank, 1996.

. World Development Indicators 2000. Washington DC:World Bank, 2000.

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. World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty. New York: Oxford University Press 2000.

Liam Campling

CAPITAL:

Kampala

MONETARY UNIT:

Uganda Shilling (USh). The largest Ugandan note in circulation is USh10,000 and the smallest is USh50. Recently introduced coins come in denominations of 50, 100, 200, and 500. There are plans to discontinue all notes in these denominations.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Coffee, cotton, tobacco, tea.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Petroleum products, machinery, textiles, metals, transportation equipment.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$24.2 billion (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$471 million (f.o.b., 1999). Imports: US$1.1 billion (f.o.b., 1999).

views updated

Uganda

PROFILE
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
DEFENSE
U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the January 2008 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Republic of Uganda

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 241,040 sq. km. (93,070 sq. mi.); about the size of Oregon.

Cities: Capital—Kampala (2002 pop. 1.2 million). Other cities—Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara.

Terrain: 18% inland water and swamp; 12% national parks, forest, and game reserves; 70% forest, woodland, grassland.

Climate: In the northeast, semiarid—rainfall less than 50 cm. (20 in.); in southwest, rainfall 130 cm. (50 in.) or more. Two dry seasons: Dec.-Feb. and June-July.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Ugandan(s).

Population: (2007) 30.9 million.

Annual growth rate: (2004 est.) 4.0%.

Ethnic groups: African 99%, European, Asian, Arab 1%.

Religions: (2007) Christian 85%, Muslim 12%, other 2%.

Languages: English (official); Luganda and Swahili widely used; other Bantu and Nilotic languages.

Education: Attendance (2000; primary school enrollment, public and private)—89%. Literacy (2003)— 70%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—86/ 1,000. Life expectancy—45.3 yrs.

Government

Type: Republic.

Constitution: Ratified July 12, 1995; promulgated October 8, 1995.

Independence: October 9, 1962.

Government branches: Executive—president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—parliament. Judicial—Magistrate's Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.

Political subdivisions: 80 districts.

Political parties: In 2006, approximately 33 parties were allowed to function, including political parties that existed in 1986, when the National Resistance Movement assumed power.

Suffrage: Universal adult.

National holidays: Independence Day, October 9.

Economy

GDP: (nominal, 2006/2007) $10.8 billion.

Inflation rate: (annual headline or CPI, 2006/2007) 7.6%.

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, limestone, phosphate, oil.

Agriculture: Cash crops—coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cut flowers, vanilla. Food crops—bananas, corn, cassava, potatoes, millet, pulses. Livestock and fisheries—beef, goat meat, milk, Nile perch, tilapia.

Industry: Processing of agricultural products (cotton ginning, coffee curing), cement production, light consumer goods, textiles.

Trade: Exports (2006/2007)—$1.5 billion: coffee, fish and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products, vanilla, cut flowers, remittances from abroad. Major markets—EU, Kenya, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2006/2007)—$2.5 billion: capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies, chemical, cereals. Major suppliers—OPEC countries, Kenya, EU, India, South Africa, China, U.S.

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic—constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group. Individual ethnic groups in the southwest include the Ban-yankole and Bahima, 10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, include the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamo-jong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. The Basoga, 8% and the Bagisu, 5% are among ethnic groups in the East. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.

Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its population density highest in the southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned and now number around 30,000. Other nonin-digenous people in Uganda include Arabs, Western missionaries, nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers, diplomats, and business people.

When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British “sphere of interest” in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.

Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership. A second round of elections in April 1962 elected members to a new National Assembly. Milton Obote, leader of the majority coalition in the National Assembly, became prime minister and led Uganda to formal independence on October 9, 1962.

In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the ceremonial president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.

Idi Amin's 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. The Acholi and Langi ethnic groups were particular objects of Amin's political persecution because they had supported Obote and made up a large part of the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.

In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.

After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.

Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of ethnic Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with Museveni's insurgent forces and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry, and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA's support.

Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president and dominated by the political grouping called the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the “Movement”). A referendum was held in March 2000 on whether Uganda should retain the Movement system, with limited operation of political parties, or adopt multi-party politics. Although 70% of voters endorsed retention of the Movement system, the referendum was widely criticized for low voter turnout and unfair restrictions on Movement opponents. Museveni was reelected to a second five-year term in March 2001. Parliamentary elections were held in June 2001, and more than 50% of contested seats were won by newcomers. Movement supporters nevertheless remained in firm control of the legislative branch.

Observers believed that the 2001 presidential and parliamentary elections generally reflected the will of the electorate; however, both were marred by serious irregularities, particularly in the period leading up to the elections, such as restrictions on political party activities, incidents of violence, voter intimidation, and fraud. A Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) issued a report proposing comprehensive constitutional change in December 2003. The government, however, took issue with many CRC recommendations and made counter-proposals in September 2004. A July 2005 national referendum resulted in the adoption of a multiparty system of government and the subsequent inclusion of opposition parties in elections and government.

In February 2006, the country held its first multiparty general elections since President Museveni came to power in 1986. The election generally reflected the will of the people, although serious irregularities occurred. Ruling NRM candidate President Museveni was declared the winner with 59.26% of the vote, giving him a third term in office following the passage of a controversial amendment in June 2005 to eliminate presidential term limits. Opposition FDC leader Kizza Besigye captured 37.39% of the vote, while the remaining contestants received less than 2% of the vote each, according to official figures from the Electoral Commission.

GOVERNMENT

The 1995 constitution established Uganda as a republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected in 1996 and reelected in 2001 and 2006. Legislative responsibility is vested in the parliament; legislative elections were last held February 2006. There are currently 99 women representatives in the 332-member parliament. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of governmen and consists of magistrate's courts, high courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court. Parliament and the judiciary have significant amounts of independence and wield significant power.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Pres.: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI

Vice Pres.: Gilbert Balibaseka BUKENYA, Dr.

Prime Min.: Apollo NSIBAMBI

First Dep. Prime Min.: Eriya KATEGAYA

Second Dep. Prime Min.: Henry KAJURA

Third Dep. Prime Min.: Kirunda KIVEJINJA

Min. for Agriculture, Animal Industry, & Fisheries: Hillary ONEK

Min. for Communication & Information Communication Technology: Hamu MULIIRA

Min. for Defense: Crispus KIYONGA

Min. in Charge of East African Affairs: Eriya KATEGAYA

Min. for Education & Sports: Namirembe BITAMAZIRE

Min. for Energy & Minerals: Daudi MIGEREKO

Min. for Finance, Planning, & Economic Development: Ezra SURUMA

Min. for Foreign Affairs: Sam KUTESA

Min. for Gender, Labor, & Social Affairs: Syda BUMBA

Min. for General Duties, Office of the Prime Min.: Adolf MWESIGE

Min. for Health: Stephen MALLINGA, Dr.

Min. for Information & National Guidance: Kirunda KIVEJINJA

Min. for Internal Affairs: Ruhakana RUGUNDA

Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Khiddu MAKUBUYA

Min. for Lands, Housing, & Urban Development: Omara ATUBO

Min. for Local Govt.: Kahinda OTAFIIRE, Maj. Gen.

Min. for the Presidency: Beatrice WABUDEYA

Min. for Public Service: Henry KAJURA

Min. for Relief & Disaster Preparedness: Tarsis KABWEGYERE

Min. for Security: Amama MBABAZI

Min. for Trade & Industry: Janat MUKWAYA

Min. for Water & Environment: Maria MUTAGAMBA

Min. for Works: John NASASIRA

Min. of State for Agriculture: Kibirige SSEBUNYA

Min. of State for Animal Industry: Bright RWAMIRAMA, Maj .

Min. of State for Defense: Ruth NANKABIRWA

Min. of State for Disabilities: Sulaiman MADADA

Min. of State for Energy: Simon D’UJANGA

Min. of State for Environment: Jessica ERIYO

Min. of State for Finance (General Duties): Fred OMACH

Min. of State for Fisheries: Fred MUKISA

Min. of State for Foreign Affairs (Intl. Affairs): Okello ORYEM

Min. of State for Gender (Women) Rukia ISANGA

Min. of State for Health (General): Richard NDUHURA

Min. of State for Higher Education: Gabriel OPIO

Min. of State for Housing: Werikhe KAFABUSA

Min. of State for Industry: Ephraim KAMUNTU

Min. of State for Information Communication Technology: Nsambu BALINTUMA

Min. of State for Internal Affairs: Matia KASAIJA

Min. of State for Investment: Ssemakula KIWANUKA

Min. of State for Justice: Fred RUHINDI

Min. of State for Labor: Mwesigwa RUKUTANA

Min. of State for Lands: Atwoki KASIRIVU

Min. of State for Local Govt.: Hope MWESIGYE

Min. of State for Microfinance: Salim SALEH

Min. of State for Minerals: Kamanda BATARINGAYA

Min. of State for Planning:

Min. of State for Primary Education: Peter LOKERIS

Min. of State for Primary Health Care: Otaala EMMANUEL, Dr.

Min. of State for Privatization:Chekamondo RUKIA

Min. of State for Public Service: Sezi MBAGUTA

Min. of State for Regional Affairs: Isaac MUSUMBA

Min. of State for Sports: Charles BAKABULINDI

Min. of State for Tourism: Serapio RUKUNDO

Min. of State for Trade, Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Wambuzi GAGAWALA

Min. of State for Transport: Simon EJUA

Min. of State for Urban Development: Urbane TIBAMANYA

Min. of State for Water: Jenipher NAMUYANGU

Min. of State for Works: John BYABAGAMBI

Min. of State for Youth: James KINOBE

Min. of State for Karamoja, Office of the Prime Min.: Tom BUTIME

Min. of State for Luwero Triangle, Office of the Prime Min.: Nyombi THEMBO

Min. of State for Northern Uganda, Office of the Prime Min.: David WAKIKONA

Min. of State for Relief & Disaster Preparedness, Office of the Prime Min.: Musa ECWERU

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Pres.: James BABA

Min. of State for Economic Monitoring, Office of the Vice Pres.: Kagimu KIWANUKA

Min. of State for Ethics, Office of the Vice Pres.: Nsabo BUTURO

Min. Without Portfolio: Dorothy HYUHA

Chief Whip: Kabakumba MASIKO

Attorney Gen.: Khiddu MAKUBUYA

Dep. Attorney Gen.: Adolf MWESIGYE

Governor, Bank of Uganda: Emmanuel TUMUSIIME-MUTEBILE

Ambassador to the US: Perezi Karukubiro KAMUNANWIRE

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Francis K. BUTAGIRA

Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5909 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since assuming power, Museveni and his government have largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.

The vicious and cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which seeks to overthrow the Ugandan Government, has murdered and kidnapped civilians in the north and east since 1986. Although the LRA does not threaten the stability of the government, LRA violence at one time displaced up to 1.7 million people, creating a humanitarian catastrophe, particularly when they were forced into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps for their own protection. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) launched “Operation Iron Fist” against LRA rebels in northern Uganda in 2002 and conducted operations against LRA sanctuaries in southern Sudan with the permission of the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government had previously supported the LRA.

There have been significant new developments in this conflict since January 2006. With the signing of the Sudanese “Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) was created. To protect this fragile peace from LRA incursions in southern Sudan, Riek Machar, a GOSS Vice President, launched efforts to broker a peace agreement between the Government of Uganda and the LRA in July 2006. Those talks are ongoing and represent the first time there has been meaningful progress in ending this conflict. As a result, many northern Ugandans are leaving the IDP camps and returning to their villages.

In 1998, Uganda deployed a sizable military force to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), ostensibly to prevent attacks from Ugandan rebel groups operating there. There were widespread allegations that Ugandan military and civilian officials were involved in the illegal exploitation of D.R.C. natural resources. After much international pressure, Uganda withdrew its troops from D.R.C. in June 2003. Relations with the D.R.C., however, continue to be frosty. When the LRA left southern Sudan and relocated to eastern Congo in September 2005, Museveni threatened to enter D.R.C. and go after the LRA if neither Congo nor the UN peacekeepers in the region would take action. The recent peace talks have taken a lot of steam out of those threats, however, and Uganda seems focused on seeing the talks to conclusion.

ECONOMY

Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.

Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure—notably its transportation and communications systems that were destroyed by war and neglect—is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy frame-work paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector.

Uganda's macroeconomic policies are sound and contributed to a 7% growth rate in fiscal year 2006-2007, compared to 5.1% in FY 2005-2006. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 5.1% in 2003, but bounced up to 7.7% in 2007, well above the government's annual target average of 5%, as food prices rose.

Investment as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 24% in 2006/2007 compared to 15.7% in 2002/2003. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 20% of GDP in 2006/ 2007. In the same year, gross national savings as a percentage of GDP fell to an estimated 12%, from 13% the previous fiscal year. The Ugandan Government has worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country's external debts.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings, with coffee (of which Uganda is Africa's second leading producer) accounting for about 19% and fish 15.5% of the country's exports in 2002. Exports of non-traditional products, including apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, while traditional exports such as cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.

Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.

Uganda has about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 mi.), of roads, of which 10,000 (6,213 miles) kilometers are main roads and 35,000 kilometers (21,747 miles) are feeder roads. Only 3,000 kilometers (1,864 mi.) are paved, and most roads radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines, but most of it is not currently in use. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Pakwach. Uganda's important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors-Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Congo and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. President Museveni has been active in attempts implement a peace agreement Burundi and has supported peace initiatives in Sudan and Somalia.

In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda's relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda's has strained relations with Sudan because of past Sudanese support for the LRA. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder. In 2002 Uganda and Sudan reestablished diplomatic ties and signed a protocol permitting the UPDF to enter southern Sudan and engage the LRA. The protocol must be renewed periodically.

Another rebel group operating in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area. It has largely been defeated by the UPDF and the affected areas of western Uganda have been secured. Remnants of the ADF remain in eastern Congo.

DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)—previously the National Resistance Army—constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Prior to 2000, U.S. military forces participated with the UPDF in training activities under the African Crisis Response Initiative. U.S. military assistance was terminated in 2000 as a result of the Ugandan incursion into the D.R.C. Following the June 2003 UPDF withdrawal of troops from the D.R.C., the U.S. restarted limited nonlethal military assistance.

U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation.

Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism. The United States is helping Uganda achieve export-led economic growth through the African Growth and Opportunity Act and provides a significant amount of development assistance. At the same time, the United States is concerned about continuing human rights problems and the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism.

U.S. development assistance in Uganda has the overall goal of reducing mass poverty. Most U.S. program assistance is focused in the areas of health, education and agriculture. Both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have major programs to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other programs promote trade and investment, curb environmental degradation, encourage the peaceful resolution of local and international conflicts, and promote honest and open government. The United States also provides large amounts of humanitarian assistance to populations without access to adequate food supplies because of conflict, drought and other factors. U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers are active in primary teacher training and HIV/AIDS programs. The Department of State carries out cultural exchange programs, brings Fulbright lecturers and researchers to Uganda, and sponsors U.S. study and tour programs for a wide variety of officials from government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through Ambassador's Self-Help Fund, local groups in poor areas receive assistance for small projects with a high level of community involvement. U.S.-Ugandan relations also benefit from significant contributions to health care, nutrition, education, and park systems from U.S. missionaries, non-governmental organizations, private universities, HIV/AIDS researchers, and wildlife organizations. Expatriate Ugandans living in the U.S. also promote stronger links between the two countries.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

KAMPALA (M) 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda, 256-414-259791/ 2/3/5, 423-4142, Fax 256-414-259794, Workweek: 7:30-4:45 M-Th; 7:30-12:30 Friday, Website: http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Debra P. Tous
AMB OMS:Georgeanne F. Ranzino
CDC:Jordan Tappero
ECO:Sarah Debbink
FM:Rodney Scott
HRO:Sandra Acevedo-Koosha
MGT:Ronald D. Acuff
POL ECO:Kathleen A. Fitzgibbon
AMB:Steven A. Browning
PO:Post One
CON:Nathan D. Flook
DCM:Andrew G. Chritton
PAO:Lisa M. Heilbronn
GSO:Kimberly A. Murphy
RSO:Daniel Cronin
AFSA:Matthew E. McDowell
AID:Margot Ellis
CLO:Robyn Cronin
DAO:MAJ Gregory Joachim
EEO:Kimberly A. Murphy
FMO:Vacant
ICASS:Chair McGrath Jean Thomas
IMO:Francisco Tous
IPO:Matthew E. McDowell
ISO:Francisco Tous
ISSO:Francisco Tous
State ICASS:Tbd

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

October 25, 2007

Country Description: Uganda is a landlocked, developing country in central eastern Africa. Infrastructure is adequate in Kampala, the capital, but is limited in other areas.

Entry Requirements: A passport valid for three months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. Visas are available at Entebbe Airport upon arrival or may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda. The current fee for a three month tourist visa obtained upon arrival at Entebbe Airport is $50.00. Airline companies may also require travelers to have a visa before boarding. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda at 5911 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100; Internet site: http://www.ugandaem-bassy.com; e-mail: [email protected] Travelers may also contact the Ugandan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, telephone (212) 949-0110. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate.

Safety and Security: U.S. citizens living in or planning to visit Uganda should be aware of threats to their safety from insurgent groups, particularly in the northern region near the border with Sudan, along the western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning.

American citizens traveling to northern Uganda, especially in those districts bordering southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are advised to exercise caution due to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. A 2006 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed between the parties remains in place, and peace negotiations are still ongoing. However, absent a comprehensive peace agreement, the potential for conflict remains. Most LRA insurgents have fled Uganda, but it is believed that isolated elements of the LRA remain within some northern districts and continue to pose a threat to safety and security. LRA road ambushes and other attacks in northern Uganda and southern Sudan killed both foreign nationals and Ugandan citizens in 2005 and early 2006.

One attack that killed a foreign national in November 2005 took place within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park, a popular tourist destination. Following the 2005 attack within Murchison Falls National Park, the Ugandan Government strengthened its security presence within the park environs. Tourists continue to visit the park, but American citizens are advised to restrict all activity on the northern bank of the Victoria Nile River to the game viewing area west of Paraa Safari Lodge known as the “Buligi Circuit” or the “Delta Circuit Area.” In March 2004, two Americans were murdered in northwestern Uganda in Yumbe District. The motives for the attacks remain unclear.

American citizens traveling to northern Uganda are advised to ensure that they have made appropriate travel, lodging, and communication arrangements with their sponsoring organization before visiting the region. Local officials in northern Uganda have expressed concern for the safety and security of foreigners visiting Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, and have also expressed concern about foreign nationals traveling to the region apparently to assist with relief efforts, but without any specific arrangements with a sponsoring organization. Foreign citizens who travel to the region without a sponsoring organization may not find secure lodging or safe transport, and may become more susceptible to crime. They may also find that local officials are unable to provide assistance in the event of an emergency.

Armed banditry and attacks on vehicles are also very common in the Kar-amoja region of northeastern Uganda, and the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) continues to implement a program to disarm Kar-amojong warriors. Incidents during the past two years have included ambushes of UPDF troops, and attacks on vehicles, residences, and towns that resulted in multiple deaths. Most of the violence occurred in the districts of Kaabong, Kotido, and Abim, although some violent incidents also occurred in Moroto and Nakapiripirit Districts. American citizens are advised to avoid travel to the Karamoja region given the frequent insecurity.

The Government of Uganda has taken steps to improve security in national parks in recent years. Security personnel accompany tourists on gorilla-trekking visits in southwestern Uganda and have significantly increased their presence in the parks. The Ugandan Government reopened Rwenzori National Park, on the western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2001 in response to decreased rebel activity on the eastern slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and environs. However, continuing instability in the Congo and parts of northern Rwanda make parks in the western border area of Uganda potentially vulnerable to incursion by rebel and criminal groups operating out of the Congo and Rwanda. The U.S. Embassy recommends that visitors seek up-to-date security information from park authorities before entering Mgahinga National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, both in the southwestern corner of Uganda, due to sporadic rebel activity across the Congolese/Rwandan border. Rwandan rebel factions with anti-Western and anti-American ideologies are known to operate in areas of the Congo that border Uganda.

On August 8, 2007, a group of armed assailants entered Uganda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and raided Butogota, a town in Kanungu District. Three Ugandans were killed and many others assaulted during the raid. Ugandan officials believe that the perpetrators of the attack were members of one of the various militia groups operating in the southwestern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or possibly remnants of the “Interaha-mwe,” a group that participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and also responsible for the 1999 attack on Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The 1999 Bwindi attack killed four Ugandans, and eight foreign tourists. The 2007 raid on Butogota is in a district transited by tourists traveling to Bwindi, a popular gorilla trekking destination.

In 2006 and 2007, the UPDF intercepted and engaged elements of another insurgent group that had entered Uganda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In September 2006, the UPDF killed six members of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel group in two separate incidents. On March 27, 2007, the UPDF engaged a group of suspected ADF rebels in Bundibugyo District, killing 34 and capturing five others. On April 13, 2007, the UPDF intercepted another group of suspected ADF rebels, engaging in an intense firefight approximately two kilometers from the Semliki Safari Lodge. Ugandan military activity against the ADF continues, but no further incidents have been reported since the spring 2007 ADF incursion into Uganda.

There have also been several incidents on Lake Albert, a lake in western Uganda intersected by the international border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On August 2, 2007, a British citizen employed by an oil exploration company was killed during a firefight that occurred between a UPDF boat and an armed Congolese group that had approached an oil exploration vessel. On September 24, 2007, another incident occurred on the lake between UPDF and Congolese military forces that resulted in multiple fatalities.

Due to security concerns from potential insurgent activity or armed banditry, U.S. Government employees must have permission from the U.S. Chief of Mission in Uganda to visit the following districts: Abim, Adju-mani, Amolatar, Amuria, Apac, Arua, Bundibugyo, Dokolo, Gulu, Kaabong, Kabale, Kaberamaido, Kanungu, Katakwi, Kilak (Kilak District includes the segment of Murchison Falls National Park that is north of the Victoria Nile River), Kisoro, Kit-gum, Koboko, Kotido, Lira, Maracha, Moroto, Moyo, Nakapiripirit, Nebbi, Oyam, Pader, and Yumbe. Note: Prior authorization is not required by employees to travel to the cities of Lira and Gulu by road during daylight hours, and when activities are restricted to the city limits of Lira and Gulu. Similarly, air travel to the cities of Lira, Gulu, Pader, and Kit-gum does not require prior authorization provided the employee does not conduct any activity outside of the city.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: Crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from hotels and parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. The Embassy receives frequent reports of theft of items from locked vehicles, even when the stolen items were secured out of sight and the vehicle was parked in an area patrolled by uniformed security personnel. Pick pocketing and the theft of purses and bags is also common on public transportation. Armed robberies of pedestrians also occur, sometimes during daylight hours and in public places. Although infrequent, the Embassy also receives reports of armed carjackings and highway robbery. In May 2007, two American citizens reported an attempted robbery when they were traveling near the town of Bugiri in eastern Uganda. The Americans reported that a second vehicle with at least one armed assailant tried to stop their vehicle by forcing it off the road. This incident occurred during daylight hours. On June 27, 2007, two American citizens were robbed and held at gunpoint when the vehicle transporting them to Entebbe Airport was stopped by group of armed men. This incident occurred during the early morning hours on Entebbe Road. Although some of these attacks are violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. U.S. Embassy employees are advised against using roads at night, especially in areas outside the limits of cities and large towns. Women traveling alone are particularly susceptible to crime. Home burglaries do occur and sometimes turn violent. It is not uncommon for armed groups to invade homes.

American citizens visiting Uganda are advised not to accept food or drink offered from a stranger, even a child, because such food may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery. In 2006, there were a number of reports of such incidents in the city of Kampala. Victims included the patrons of bars or entertainment centers. Similar crimes occurred on passenger buses. In 2006, an American citizen traveling by bus from Kenya to Uganda was incapacitated and robbed on the bus when the passenger accepted a sealed beverage from a fellow passenger. Expatriates traveling by bus to the popular tourist destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest in southwest Uganda were also robbed under similar circumstances.

There has been a recent, marked increase in financial crime, including fraud involving wire transfers, credit cards, checks, and advance fee fraud perpetrated via email. The U.S. Embassy recommends using money orders for all fund transfers and protecting all bank account information.

An increasing number of U.S. exporters (primarily vendors of expensive consumer goods such as computers, stereo equipment, and electronics) have been targeted by a sophisticated check fraud scheme. A fictitious company in Uganda locates a vendor on the Internet, makes e-mail contact to order goods, and pays with a third-party check. The checks, written on U.S. accounts and made out to entities in Uganda for small amounts, are intercepted, washed and presented for payment of the goods with the U.S. vendor as payee and an altered amount. If the goods are shipped before the check clears, the U.S. shipper will have little recourse, as the goods are picked up at the airport and the company cannot be traced. American companies receiving orders from Uganda are encouraged to check with the Economic and Commercial Section in the Embassy to verify the legitimacy of the company. The Embassy strongly cautions U.S. vendors against accepting third-party checks as payment for any goods to be shipped to Uganda.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.

The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities in Uganda, including Kampala, are limited and not equipped to handle most emergencies, especially those requiring surgery. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Equipment and medicines are often in short supply or unavailable. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines.

A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy. Malaria is prevalent in Uganda. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, see the CDC Travelers’ Health webpages at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Uganda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little training and some are reckless. Small vans and large buses are often poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the principal vehicles involved in the many deadly single and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Large trucks on the highways are often over-loaded, with inadequately secured cargo and poor braking systems. Alcohol frequently is a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night. Drivers are advised to take extra care when driving. Nighttime driving and road transportation should be avoided whenever possible. Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazard. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous, including the road between Entebbe Airport and Kampala. The Embassy recommends caution on this road and use of a reliable taxi service to and from the airport.

Traffic accidents draw crowds. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any injured persons. In some cases where serious injury has occurred, there is the possibility of mob anger. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

For specific information concerning Ugandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Uganda Tourist Board, IPS building, 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala, Uganda; telephone 256-414-342196. You may also wish to consult their web site at http://www.visituganda.com, or, for information on government agencies, see http://myuganda.co.ug.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Uganda, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Please note that U.S. currency notes in $20 and $50 denominations are exchanged at a lower rate than $100 currency notes. In addition, travelers may find that they cannot exchange U.S. currency printed earlier than 2000. ATMs are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but usually only customers who have an account with a specific Ugandan bank may use them. A few machines function with overseas accounts. There are offices that facilitate Western Union, MoneyGram, and other types of money transfers in Kampala and other cities throughout the country.

Ugandan Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required, along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Photography in tourist locations is permitted. However, taking pictures of military/police installations or personnel is prohibited. Military and police officers have detained tourists for taking photographs of Entebbe Airport and of the area around Owen Falls Dam, near Jinja.

The U.S. Embassy receives frequent inquiries from American citizens wishing to register a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Uganda. Information about registering an NGO can be obtained from the Ugandan NGO Board which has offices within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The NGO Board can be reached on phone number: 256 414 341 556. One of the requirements for registering an NGO is that a foreign national employee must provide a Certificate of Good Conduct/Criminal Background Check. The U.S. Embassy Kampala cannot provide this service, so American citizens intending to travel to Uganda as an employee of an NGO or who plan to register an NGO should obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from their local police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before departing the United States.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ugandan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uganda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Uganda are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Uganda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala; telephone 256-414-259-791 or 256 414 306 001; fax 256-414-258-451; e-mail: [email protected] state.gov. The U.S. Embassy web site is http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption

January 2007

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: This flyer reflects our understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: Ugandan law places restrictions on the ability of foreign citizens to adopt Ugandan children. The Children's Act states that a foreign citizen may, in exceptional circumstances, adopt a Ugandan child, if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years and if the foreigner has also fostered the child for 36 months. However, High Court judges have made some exceptions to these three-year residency and fostering requirements on a case-by-case basis if it was deemed in the best interests of the child.

Ugandan High Court judges have also exercised discretion in approving legal guardianship decrees (which may permit the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad) in certain cases where the prospective adoptive parents were unable to meet the requirements for adoption in Uganda.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authority: The Ugandan Government office that oversees intercountry adoptions is:

The Department of Youth
and Child Affairs
Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social
Development
Simbamanyo House, Plot 2
Lumumba Avenue
Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: 256-41-347 854/5
Fax: 256-41-256-374
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.mglsd.go.ug

The Department of Youth and Child Affairs oversees Probation and Social Welfare Officers assigned to magistrate courts. Prospective adoptive parents work with the Probation and Social Welfare Officers in the region where the child resides. These officers monitor and record the progress of the adoptive family during the 36-month fostering period.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: Single parents may adopt, but they may not adopt a child of the opposite sex (unless an exception is made). Married couples must adopt jointly. Adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they plan to adopt. In the case of married couples, it is sufficient for one spouse to meet these requirements.

In addition to the three-year residency and 36-month fostering requirement, foreign adoptive parents must demonstrate they have no criminal record, and that they have been approved by their country of nationality to adopt. The adoptive parent must also demonstrate that their country of nationality will respect and recognize the Ugandan adoption decree. The Ugandan attorney working with the adoptive parents usually provides a letter or brief statement in the petition to adopt presented to the High Court that the U.S. state will recognize the adoption decree. It is assumed that the attorney conducted the necessary research to confirm this.

Residency Requirements: Unless a judge waives the fostering requirement, prospective adoptive parents must reside in Uganda with their prospective adoptive child for three years.

Time Frame: Prospective adoptive parents should allow sufficient time to complete the necessary processing of the case both with the Ugandan High Court, and the U.S. Embassy. The court process often takes at least three weeks from the initial court appearance, the execution of the adoption or legal guardianship decree, and the issuance of a court ruling.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: There are no adoption agencies that provide adoption services in Uganda, although there are a number of nongovernmental organizations and interest groups that advocate for children's rights. Some of these groups are encouraging Uganda's ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, and may also provide adoption-related information. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to hire a qualified Ugandan attorney to assist with the legal aspects of the adoption. The U.S. Embassy, Kampala has a list of attorneys who offer legal services related to adoption. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend the services of any specific attorney.

Adoption Fees: Court fees are less than $100.00 and may vary according to the number of documents that require notarization. Attorney's fees can range from $500 to $2,000.

Adoption Procedures: Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in Uganda are required to file a petition with the High Court of Uganda after they have identified a child they wish to adopt. Prospective adoptive parents are required to appear in person, and the court requires that the local Probation and Social Welfare Officer overseeing the case submit a report with his/her recommendation. In certain cases, the court may also request that other individuals or authorities submit a report in respect to the adoption petition. For instance, in many cases orphanage directors are requested to submit information about children that were placed in their care.

Children who are 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption. The consent of both biological parents, if known, must be obtained and may be withdrawn prior to the execution of the adoption order. Under U.S. immigration law, if both biological parents for a child are living, they must independently release their child for adoption and emigration abroad, prior to U.S. prospective adoptive parents being identified.

Once the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents must register the adoption with the Registrar General's Office in Kampala. The Registrar General informs the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the adoption. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will maintain the adopted child's records, which will remain available to the child.

Legal Guardianship and Final Adoption Abroad: The Ugandan Government also permits foreign citizens to obtain legal guardianship of orphans and in some cases allows the child to emigrate from Uganda for full and final adoption abroad. For U.S. citizens, this means the prospective adoptive child may qualify for an Immediate Relative 4 visa (IR-4) for the purpose of emigration and adoption in the United States. In order to file for an IR-4 visa for the child, the legal guardianship order and the accompanying court ruling must state clearly that the High Court is aware of, and concurs with, the intention of the legal guardian to take the child out of Uganda for full and final adoption abroad. Once the child immigrates to the United States, the legal guardians must file for adoption with a U.S. state court.

Required Documents: The following documents must be submitted to the Ugandan High Court:

  • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents;
  • Police clearances;
  • Proof of financial stability (e.g., tax returns and bank statements);
  • A report from the Probation and Social Welfare Officer, or a U.S. home study if the prospective parents do not reside in Uganda;
  • The High Court of Uganda must issue an adoption order for the child to be adopted by the parent(s);
  • Assurance that the adoptive parent(s)'s country will respect and recognize the adoption order issued by the Ugandan Court. (The U.S. Child and Citizenship Act of 2000 meets this requirement).

Embassy of Uganda
5909 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20011
Telephone: (202) 726 -7100
Facsimile: (202) 726-1727
Email:
[email protected]

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective parents are encouraged to consult the USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 7007, Kampala
Uganda
Telephone: 256 41 259 791/5
Fax: 256 41 258 451
Email: [email protected]
Web site:
http://kampala.usembassy.gov

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Uganda may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747.

views updated

Uganda

Compiled from the November 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Uganda

PROFILE

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

DEFENSE

U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 241,040 sq. km. (93,070 sq. mi.); about the size of Oregon.

Cities: Capital—Kampala (2002 pop. 1.2 million). Other cities—Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara.

Terrain: 18% inland water and swamp; 12% national parks, forest, and game reserves; 70% forest, woodland, grassland.

Climate: In the northeast, semi-arid—rainfall less than 50 cm. (20 in.); in southwest, rainfall 130 cm. (50 in.) or more. Two dry seasons: Dec.-Feb. and June-July.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Ugandan(s).

Population: (2003) 26.4 million.

Annual growth rate: (2004 est.) 4.0%.

Ethnic groups: African 99%, European, Asian, Arab 1%.

Religions: Christian 66%, Muslim 16%, traditional and other 18%.

Languages: English (official); Luganda and Swahili widely used; other Bantu and Nilotic languages.

Education: Attendance (2000; primary school enrollment, public and private)—89%. Literacy (2003)—70%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—86/1,000. Life expectancy—45.3 yrs.

Government

Type: “Movement” system, with limited operation of political parties.

Constitution: The current constitution was ratified on July 12, 1995, and promulgated on October 8, 1995. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. Parliament and the judiciary have significant amounts of independence and wield significant power. Formerly, the constitution limited the president to two terms. However, in August 2005, the constitution was revised to allow an incumbent to hold office for more than two terms. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected in 1996, reelected in 2001, and decided to run again in the 2006 election. President Museveni won 59% of the vote in February 2006 against main opposition candidate Kizza Besigye, who won 37% of the vote.

Independence: October 9, 1962.

Government branches: Executive—president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—parliament. There are 214 directly elected representatives and special indirectly elected seats for representatives of women 56, youth 5, workers 5, disabled 5, and the army 10. The president may also appoint up to 10 ex-officio members. Judicial—Magistrate’s Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.

Political subdivisions: 56 districts.

Political parties: (note: political party activity is highly restricted) Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP). There also are political alliances, such as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), that are not registered as parties.

Suffrage: Universal adult.

National holiday: Independence Day, October 9.

Economy

GDP: (purchasing power parity, 2004) $39.39 billion.

Inflation rate: (2004) 3.5%.

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, limestone, phosphate.

Agriculture: Cash crops—coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cut flowers, vanilla. Food crops—bananas, corn, cassava, potatoes, millet, pulses. Livestock and fisher-ies—beef, goat meat, milk, Nile perch, tilapia.

Industry: Types—processing of agricultural products (cotton ginning, coffee curing), cement production, light consumer goods, textiles.

Trade: (2004) Exports—$1.3 billion: coffee, fish and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products, vanilla. Major markets—EU, Kenya, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2004)—$1.306 billion: capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies, chemical, cereals. Major suppliers—OPEC countries, Kenya, EU, India, South Africa, U.S.

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, and NiloHamitic—constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group. Individual ethnic groups in the southwest include the Banyankole and Bahima, 10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, include the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamojong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. The Basoga, 8% and the Bagisu, 5% are among ethnic groups in the East. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.

Uganda’s population is predominately rural, and its population density highest in the southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin’s overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned and now number around 30,000. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include Arabs, Western missionaries, nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers, diplomats, and business people.

When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British “sphere of interest” in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.

Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership. A second round of elections in April 1962 elected members to a new National Assembly. Milton Obote, leader of the majority coalition in the National Assembly, became prime minister and led Uganda to formal independence on October 9, 1962.

In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the ceremonial president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote’s government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.

Idi Amin’s 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. The Acholi and Langi ethnic groups were particular objects of Amin’s political persecution because they had supported Obote and made up a large part of the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin’s reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.

In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin’s troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin’s troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.

After Amin’s removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world’s worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.

Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of ethnic Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander

Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with Museveni’s insurgent forces and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry, and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA’s support.

Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were con ducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni’s forces organized a government with Museveni as president.

Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the “Movement”), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.

A referendum was held in March 2000 on whether Uganda should retain the Movement system or adopt multi-party politics. Although 70% of voters endorsed retention of the Movement system, the referendum was widely criticized for low voter turnout and unfair restrictions on Movement opponents. Museveni was reelected to a second five-year term in March 2001. Parliamentary elections were held in June 2001, and more than 50% of contested seats were won by newcomers. Movement supporters nevertheless remained in firm control of the legislative branch. Observers believed that the 2001 presidential and parliamentary elections generally reflected the will of the electorate; however, both were marred by serious irregularities, particularly in the period leading up to the elections, such as restrictions on political party activities, incidents of violence, voter intimidation, and fraud.

A Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) issued a report proposing comprehensive constitutional change in December 2003. The government, however, took issue with many CRC recommendations and made counterproposals in September 2004. In July 2005 Ugandans voted in a national referendum to approve a multi-party system. In August 2005, Parliament voted to change the constitution to lift presidential term limits. The elimination of term limits allowed Museveni to run in and win the February 2006 presidential election.

The vicious and cult-like Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered and kidnapped civilians in the north and east since 1986. Although the LRA does not threaten the stability of the government, LRA violence at one time displaced up to 1.7 million people, creating a humanitarian catastrophe, particularly when they were forced into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps for their own protection. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) launched “Operation Iron Fist” against LRA rebels in northern Uganda in 2002 and conducted operations against LRA sanctuaries in southern Sudan with the permission of the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government had previously supported the LRA.

There have been significant new developments in this conflict since January 2006. With the signing of the Sudanese “Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) was created. To protect this fragile peace from LRA incursions in southern Sudan, Riek Machar, a GOSS Vice President, launched efforts to broker a peace agreement between the Government of Uganda and the LRA in July 2006. Those talks are ongoing and represent the first time there has been meaningful progress in ending this conflict. As a result, many northern Ugandans are leaving the IDP camps and returning to their villages.

In 1998, Uganda deployed a sizable military force to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), ostensibly to prevent attacks from Ugandan rebel groups operating there. There were widespread allegations that Ugandan military and civilian officials were involved in the illegal exploitation of D.R.C. natural resources. After much international pressure, Uganda withdrew its troops from D.R.C. in June 2003. Relations with the D.R.C., however, continue to be frosty. When the LRA left southern Sudan and relocated to eastern Congo in September 2005, Museveni threatened to enter D.R.C. and go after the LRA if neither Congo nor the UN peacekeepers in the region would take action. The recent peace talks have taken a lot of steam out of those threats, however, and Uganda seems focused on seeing the talks to conclusion.

GOVERNMENT

The 1995 constitution established Uganda as a republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The president of Uganda, who is the head of state and head of government, leads the executive branch. Legislative responsibility is vested in the 305-seat Parliament; legislative elections were last held February 2006. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrate’s courts, high courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/24/2007

Pres.: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI

Vice Pres.: Gilbert Balibaseka BUKENYA, Dr.

Prime Min.: Apollo NSIBAMBI

First Dep. Prime Min.: Eriya KATEGAYA

Second Dep. Prime Min.: Henry KAJURA

Third Dep. Prime Min.: Kirunda KIVEJINJA

Min. for Agriculture, Animal Industry, & Fisheries: Hillary ONEK

Min. for Communication & Information Communication Technology: Hamu MULIIRA

Min. for Defense: Crispus KIYONGA

Min. in Charge of East African Affairs: Eriya KATEGAYA

Min. for Education & Sports: Namirembe BITAMAZIRE

Min. for Energy & Minerals: Daudi MIGEREKO

Min. for Finance: Ezra SURUMA

Min. for Foreign Affairs: Sam KUTESA

Min. for Gender, Labor, & Social Affairs: Syda BUMBA

Min. for General Duties, Office of the Prime Min.: Adolf MWESIGE

Min. for Health: Stephen MALLINGA, Dr.

Min. for Information & National Guidance: Kirunda KIVEJINJA

Min. for Internal Affairs: Ruhakana RUGUNDA

Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Khiddu MAKUBUYA

Min. for Lands, Housing, & Urban Development: Omara ATUBO

Min. for Local Govt.: Kahinda OTAFIIRE, Maj. Gen.

Min. for the Presidency: Beatrice WABUDEYA

Min. for Public Service: Henry KAJURA

Min. for Relief & Disaster Preparedness: Tarsis KABWEGYERE

Min. for Security: Amama MBABAZI

Min. for Trade & Industry: Janat MUKWAYA

Min. for Water & Environment: Maria MUTAGAMBA

Min. for Works: John NASASIRA

Min. of State for Agriculture: Kibirige SSEBUNYA

Min. of State for Animal Industry: Bright RWAMIRAMA, Maj.

Min. of State for Defense: Ruth NANKABIRWA

Min. of State for Disabilities: Sulaiman MADADA

Min. of State for Energy: Simon D’UJANGA

Min. of State for Environment: Jessica ERIYO

Min. of State for Finance (General Duties): Fred OMACH

Min. of State for Fisheries: Fred MUKISA

Min. of State for Foreign Affairs (Intl. Affairs): Okello ORYEM

Min. of State for Gender (Women): Rukia ISANGA

Min. of State for Health (General): Richard NDUHURA

Min. of State for Higher Education: Gabriel OPIO

Min. of State for Housing: Werikhe KAFABUSA

Min. of State for Industry: Ephraim KAMUNTU

Min. of State for Information Communication Technology: Nsambu BALINTUMA

Min. of State for Internal Affairs: Matia KASAIJA

Min. of State for Investment: Ssemakula KIWANUKA

Min. of State for Justice: Fred RUHINDI

Min. of State for Labor: Mwesigwa RUKUTANA

Min. of State for Lands: Atwoki KASIRIVU

Min. of State for Local Govt.: Hope MWESIGYE

Min. of State for Microfinance: Salim SALEH

Min. of State for Minerals: Kamanda BATARINGAYA

Min. of State for Planning: Omwony OJWOK

Min. of State for Primary Education: Peter LOKERIS

Min. of State for Primary Health Care: Otaala EMMANUEL, Dr.

Min. of State for Privatization: Chekamondo RUKIA

Min. of State for Public Service: Sezi MBAGUTA

Min. of State for Regional Affairs: Isaac MUSUMBA

Min. of State for Sports: Charles BAKABULINDI

Min. of State for Tourism: Serapio RUKUNDO

Min. of State for Trade, Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Wambuzi GAGAWALA

Min. of State for Transport: Simon EJUA

Min. of State for Urban Development: Urbane TIBAMANYA

Min. of State for Water: Jenipher NAMUYANGU

Min. of State for Works: John BYABAGAMBI

Min. of State for Youth: James KINOBE

Min. of State for Karamoja, Office of the Prime Min.: Tom BUTIME

Min. of State for Luwero Triangle, Office of the Prime Min.: Nyombi THEMBO

Min. of State for Northern Uganda, Office of the Prime Min.: David WAKIKONA

Min. of State for Relief & Disaster Preparedness, Office of the Prime Min.: Musa ECWERU

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Pres.: James BABA

Min. of State for Economic Monitoring, Office of the Vice Pres.: Kagimu KIWANUKA

Min. of State for Ethics, Office of the Vice Pres.: Nsabo BUTURO

Min. Without Portfolio: Dorothy HYUHA

Chief Whip: Kabakumba MASIKO

Attorney Gen.: Khiddu MAKUBUYA

Dep. Attorney Gen.: Adolf MWESIGYE

Governor, Bank of Uganda: Emmanuel TUMUSIIME-MUTEBILE

Ambassador to the US: Perezi Karukubiro KAMUNANWIRE

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Francis K. BUTAGIRA

Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5909 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).

ECONOMY

Uganda’s economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world’s poorest and least-developed countries.

Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni’s government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country’s infra-structure—notably its transportation and communications systems that were destroyed by war and neglect—is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. These policies produced positive results. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 5.4% for fiscal year 1995-96 and 5.1% in 2003.

Investment as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 20.3% in 2003 compared to 13.7% in 1999. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 14.9% of GDP in 2002. Gross national savings as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 6.4% in 2003. The Ugandan Government has also worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country’s external debts.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings, with coffee (of which Uganda is Africa’s leading producer) accounting for about 19% and fish 17% of the country’s exports in 2002. Exports of non-traditional products, including apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, while traditional exports cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.

Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.

Uganda has about 30,000 kilometers (18,750 mi.), of roads; some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi.) are paved. Most radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Kapwach, though the routes west of Kampala and north of Mbale currently are not in use. Uganda’s important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors-Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Congo and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. President Museveni has been active in attempts implement a peace agreement Burundi and has supported peace initiatives in Sudan and Somalia.

In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda’s relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda’s has strained relations with Sudan because of past Sudanese support for the LRA. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder. In 2002 Uganda and Sudan reestablished diplomatic ties and signed a protocol permitting the UPDF to enter southern Sudan and engage the LRA. The protocol must be renewed periodically.

Another rebel group operating in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area. It has largely been defeated by the UPDF and the affected areas of western Uganda have been secured. Remnants of the ADF remain in eastern Congo.

DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)—previously the National Resistance Army—constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Prior to 2000, U.S. military forces participated with the UPDF in training activities under the African Crisis Response Initiative. U.S. military assistance was terminated in 2000 as a result of the Ugandan incursion into the D.R.C. Following the June 2003 UPDF withdrawal of troops from the D.R.C., the U.S. has restarted limited nonlethal military assistance.

U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin’s fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda’s human rights situation.

Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism. The United States is helping Uganda achieve export-led economic growth through the African Growth and Opportunity Act and provides a significant amount of development assistance. At the same time, the United States is concerned about continuing human rights problems and the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism. U.S. development assistance in Uganda has the overall goal of reducing mass poverty. Most U.S. program assistance is focused in the areas of health, education and agriculture. Both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have major programs to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other programs promote trade and investment, curb environmental degradation, encourage the peaceful resolution of local and international conflicts, and promote honest and open government. The United States also provides large amounts of humanitarian assistance to populations without access to adequate food supplies because of conflict, drought and other factors.

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers are active in primary teacher training and HIV/AIDS programs. The Department of State carries out cultural exchange programs, brings Fulbright lecturers and researchers to Uganda, and sponsors U.S. study and tour programs for a wide variety of officials from government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund, local groups in poor areas receive assistance for small projects with a high level of community involvement.

U.S.-Ugandan relations also benefit from significant contributions to health care, nutrition, education, and park systems from U.S. missionaries, non-governmental organizations, private universities, HIV/AIDS researchers, and wildlife organizations. Expatriate Ugandans living in the U.S. also promote stronger links between the two countries.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KAMPALA (E) Address: 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda; Phone: 256-41-259791/2/3/5, 234142; Fax: 256-41-259794; Workweek: 7:30-4:45 MTh; 7:30-12:30 Friday; Website: usembassy.state.gov/Kampala/.

AMB:Steven A. Browning
AMB OMS:Marialuisa N. Fotheringham
DCM:Andrew G. Chritton
DCM OMS:Courtney M. Preston
PO:Post One
POL:Kathleen FitzGibbon
CON:Nathan Flook
MGT:Martina Flintrop
AFSA:Michael Fotheringham
AID:Margot Ellis
CLO:Dorothy Blocker
DAO:Richard Skow
ECO:Nathan Carter
EEO:Kimberly Murphy
FMO:Kevin Crews
GSO:Kimberly Murphy
ICASS Chair:Harold Rasmussen
IMO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
IPO:Mike Fotheringham
ISO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
ISSO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
PAO:Alyson Grunder
RSO:Bruce Warren
State ICASS:Nathan Carter

Last Updated: 12/28/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : July 27, 2006

Country Description: Uganda is a landlocked, developing country in central eastern Africa. Infrastructure is adequate in Kampala, the capital, but is limited in other areas.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport valid for three months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. Visas are available at Entebbe Airport or may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda. Airline companies may also require travelers have a visa before boarding. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda at 5911 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100; Internet site: http://www.ugandaembassy.com; e-mail: [email protected] Travelers may also contact the Ugandan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, telephone (212) 949-0110. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate.

Safety and Security: U.S. citizens living in or planning to visit Uganda should be aware of threats to their safety from insurgent groups, particularly in the northern region near the border with Sudan, along the western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Although isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning.

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens against travel to northern Uganda (generally defined as the region north of the Victoria Nile River and Lake Kyoga) following a series of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) road ambushes and other attacks in northern Uganda and southern Sudan that killed both foreign nationals and Ugandan citizens in 2005 and early 2006. One attack that killed a foreign national in November 2005 took place within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park, a popular tourist destination. Following the 2005 attack within Murchison Falls National Park, the Ugandan Government strengthened its security presence within the park environs. Tourists have continued to visit the park, but American citizens are strongly advised to restrict all activity on the northern bank of the Victoria Nile River to the area west of Paraa Safari Lodge known as the “Buligi Circuit” or the “Delta Circuit Area.” In March 2004, two Americans were murdered in northwestern Uganda in Yumbe District. The motives for the attacks remain unclear. Armed banditry and attacks on vehicles are also very common in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Most of the LRA attacks in northern Uganda occurred during daylight hours, and some occurred in areas that were previously thought to be secure. Many aid agencies working in the region adopted more stringent security measures as a result of the increase in LRA attacks. Americans who live or work in northern Uganda should exercise caution.

The Government of Uganda has taken steps to improve security in national parks in recent years. Security personnel accompany tourists on gorilla-tracking visits in southwestern Uganda and have significantly increased their presence in the parks. The Ugandan Government reopened Rwenzori National Park, on the western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2001 in response to decreased rebel activity on the eastern slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and environs. However, continuing instability in the Congo and parts of northern Rwanda make parks in the western border area of Uganda potentially vulnerable to incursion by rebel and criminal groups operating out of the Congo and Rwanda. The U.S. Embassy recommends that visitors seek up-to-date security information from park authorities before entering Mgahinga National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, both in the southwestern corner of Uganda, due to sporadic rebel activity across the Congolese/Rwandan border. Rwandan rebel factions with anti-Western and anti-American ideologies are known to operate in areas of the Congo that border Uganda. One such rebel group is believed to be responsible for the March 1999 kidnapping and murder of two American and six other tourists in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in western Uganda. Due to potential security concerns from insurgent activity or armed banditry, U.S. Government employees must have permission from the U.S. Chief of Mission in Uganda to visit the following districts: Kaabong, Kotido, Abim, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Apac, Oyam, Lira, Amolatar, Dokolo, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Amuria, Gulu, Kilak (Kilak District includes the segment of Murchison Falls National Park that is north of the Victoria Nile River), Kitgum, Pader, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Nebbi, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, Bundibugyo, Kisoro, and Kanungu (Kisoro and Kanungu Districts include segments of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park). Tourists contemplating travel in any of these districts are advised to seek the latest security information from Ugandan authorities, tour operators, and the U.S. Embassy.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, and theft from hotels and parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. These offenses also occur on public transportation. Passengers using public transport should under no circumstances accept food or drink from a stranger, even a child, because such food may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery. In November 2003, an American citizen was robbed and beaten after leaving a popular nightclub. During the first several months of 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala received a number of reports of armed robberies of American citizen pedestrians in Kampala. Some of the armed robberies occurred during daylight hours and in public places. Incidents of armed vehicle carjacking and armed highway robbery sometimes occur. Although some of these attacks are violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. U.S. Embassy employees are advised against using roads at night, especially in areas outside the limits of cities and large towns. Women traveling alone are particularly susceptible to crime. Home burglaries do occur and sometimes turn violent. It is not uncommon for armed groups to invade homes.

There has been a recent, marked increase in financial crime, including fraud involving wire transfers, credit cards, and checks. We recommend using money orders for all fund transfers and protecting all bank account information.

An increasing number of U.S. exporters (primarily vendors of expensive consumer goods such as computers, stereo equipment, and electronics) have been targeted by a sophisticated check fraud scheme. A fictitious company in Uganda locates a vendor on the Internet, makes e-mail contact to order goods, and pays with a third-party check. The checks, written on U.S. accounts and made out to entities in Uganda for small amounts, are intercepted, washed, and presented for payment of the goods with the U.S. vendor as payee and an altered amount. If the goods are shipped before the check clears, the U.S. shipper will be a victim of this crime, as the goods are picked up at the airport and the company cannot be traced. American companies receiving orders from Uganda are encouraged to check with the Economic and Commercial Section in the Embassy, which will verify the legitimacy of the company. The Embassy strongly cautions U.S. vendors against accepting third-party checks as payment for any goods to be shipped to Uganda.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities in Uganda, including Kampala, are limited and not equipped to handle most emergencies, especially those requiring surgery. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Equipment and medicines are often in short supply or unavailable. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy.

Malaria is prevalent in Uganda. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flulike illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, see the CDC Travelers’ Health website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Uganda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little training and some are reckless. Small vans and large buses are often poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the principal vehicles involved in the many single and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Large trucks on the highways are often over-loaded, with inadequately secured cargo and poor braking systems. Alcohol frequently is a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night. Drivers are advised to take extra care when driving. Nighttime driving and road transportation should be avoided whenever possible. Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazard. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous, including the road between Entebbe Airport and Kampala. The Embassy recommends caution on this road and use of a reliable taxi service to and from the airport. Traffic accidents draw crowds. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any injured persons. In some cases where serious injury has occurred, there is the possibility of mob anger. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident. For specific information concerning Ugandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Uganda Tourist Board, IPS building, 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala, Uganda; telephone 256-41-342196. You may also wish to consult their website at http://www.visituganda.com, or, for information on government agencies, see http://myuganda.co.ug.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Uganda, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet website at http://www.faa.gov.

Several weekly flights to Europe are available on international airlines. Kenya Airways has daily flights between Kampala’s Entebbe Airport and Nairobi, and regional airlines operate weekly flights to other destinations in Africa, such as Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Johannesburg.

Special Circumstances: Please note that U.S. currency notes in $20 and $50 denominations are exchanged at a lower rate than $100 currency notes. In addition, travelers may find that they cannot exchange U.S. currency printed earlier than 2000. ATMs are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but usually only customers who have an account with a specific Ugandan bank may use them. A few machines function with overseas accounts. There are several offices handling Western Union transfers in Kampala and throughout the country.

Ugandan Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required, along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Photography in tourist locations is permitted. However, taking pictures of military/police installations or personnel is prohibited. Military and police officers have detained tourists for taking photographs of Entebbe Airport and of the area around Owen Falls Dam, near Jinja.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ugandan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uganda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Uganda are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Uganda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 1577 Gaba Road, Kansanga, Kampala; telephone 256-41-259-791; fax 256-41-258-451; e-mail: [email protected] The U.S. Embassy website is http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption : January 2007

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. This flyer reflects our understanding of the law as of this date and is not legally authoritative. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: Ugandan law places restrictions on the ability of foreign citizens to adopt Ugandan children. The Children’s Act states that a foreign citizen may, in exceptional circumstances, adopt a Ugandan child, if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years and if the foreigner has also fostered the child for 36 months. However, High Court judges have made some exceptions to these three-year residency and fostering requirements on a case-by-case basis if it was deemed in the best interests of the child.

Ugandan High Court judges have also exercised discretion in approving legal guardianship decrees (which may permit the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad) in certain cases where the prospective adoptive parents were unable to meet the requirements for adoption in Uganda.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authority: The Ugandan Government office that oversees intercountry adoptions is:

The Department of Youth and Child Affairs
Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development
Simbamanyo House, Plot 2
Lumumba Avenue
Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: 256-41-347 854/5
Fax: 256-41-256-374
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.mglsd.go.ug

The Department of Youth and Child Affairs oversees Probation and Social Welfare Officers assigned to magistrate courts. Prospective adoptive parents work with the Probation and Social Welfare Officers in the region where the child resides. These officers monitor and record the progress of the adoptive family during the 36-month fostering period.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: Single parents may adopt, but they may not adopt a child of the opposite sex (unless an exception is made). Married couples must adopt jointly. Adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older than the child they plan to adopt. In the case of married couples, it is sufficient for one spouse to meet these requirements.

In addition to the three-year residency and 36-month fostering requirement, foreign adoptive parents must demonstrate they have no criminal record, and that they have been approved by their country of nationality to adopt. The adoptive parent must also demonstrate that their country of nationality will respect and recognize the Ugandan adoption decree. The Ugandan attorney working with the adoptive parents usually provides a letter or brief statement in the petition to adopt presented to the High Court that the U.S. state will recognize the adoption decree. It is assumed that the attorney conducted the necessary research to confirm this. For U.S. citizens, the High Court of Uganda generally accepts that an approved I-600 or I-600A petition satisfies the requirement that the adoptive parents have approval of their home government to adopt abroad.

Residency Requirements: Unless a judge waives the fostering requirement, prospective adoptive parents must reside in Uganda with their prospective adoptive child for three years.

Time Frame: Prospective adoptive parents should allow sufficient time to complete the necessary processing of the case both with the Ugandan High Court, and the U.S. Embassy. The court process often takes at least three weeks from the initial court appearance, the execution of the adoption or legal guardianship decree, and the issuance of a court ruling.

In September 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda assumed responsibilities for the processing of all immigrant visa adoption cases from Uganda. Prospective adoptive parents planning travel to Uganda are strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Kampala well in advance of their anticipated arrival in Uganda. This assists the Embassy in confirming that the required I-600A or I-600 approval packet has been received in Kampala, and in some cases allows the Embassy to commence the required I-604 orphan investigation before the prospective adoptive parents arrive in country.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: There are no adoption agencies that provide adoption services in Uganda, although there are a number of nongovernmental organizations and interest groups that advocate for children’s rights. Some of these groups are encouraging Uganda’s ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, and may also provide adoption-related information. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to hire a qualified Ugandan attorney to assist with the legal aspects of the adoption. The U.S. Embassy, Kampala has a list of attorneys who offer legal services related to adoption. The U.S. Embassy cannot recommend the services of any specific attorney.

Adoption Fees: Court fees are less than $100.00 and may vary according to the number of documents that require notarization. Attorney’s fees can range from $500 to $2,000.

Adoption Procedures: Foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in Uganda are required to file a petition with the High Court of Uganda after they have identified a child they wish to adopt. Prospective adoptive parents are required to appear in person, and the court requires that the local Probation and Social Welfare Officer overseeing the case submit a report with his/her recommendation. In certain cases, the court may also request that other individuals or authorities submit a report in respect to the adoption petition. For instance, in many cases orphanage directors are requested to submit information about children that were placed in their care.

Children who are 14 years old or older must consent to the adoption. The consent of both biological parents, if known, must be obtained and may be withdrawn prior to the execution of the adoption order. Under U.S. immigration law, if both biological parents for a child are living, they must independently release their child for adoption and emigration abroad, prior to U.S. prospective adoptive parents being identified. Once the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents must register the adoption with the Registrar General’s Office in Kampala. The Registrar General informs the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the adoption. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will maintain the adopted child’s records, which will remain available to the child.

Legal Guardianship and Final Adoption Abroad: The Ugandan Government also permits foreign citizens to obtain legal guardianship of orphans and in some cases allows the child to emigrate from Uganda for full and final adoption abroad. For U.S. citizens, this means the prospective adoptive child may qualify for an Immediate Relative 4 visa (IR-4) for the purpose of emigration and adoption in the United States. In order to file for an IR-4 visa for the child, the legal guardianship order and the accompanying court ruling must state clearly that the High Court is aware of, and concurs with, the intention of the legal guardian to take the child out of Uganda for full and final adoption abroad. Once the child immigrates to the United States, the legal guardians must file for adoption with a U.S. state court.

Documentary Requirements: The following documents must be submitted to the Ugandan High Court:

  • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents;
  • Police clearances;
  • Proof of financial stability (e.g., tax returns and bank statements);
  • A report from the Probation and Social Welfare Officer, or a U.S. home study if the prospective parents do not reside in Uganda;
  • The High Court of Uganda must issue an adoption order for the child to be adopted by the parent(s);
  • Assurance that the adoptive parent(s)’s country will respect and recognize the adoption order issued by the Ugandan Court. (The U.S. Child and Citizenship Act of 2000 meets this requirement).

Embassy of Uganda:
5909 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20011
Telephone: (202) 726-7100
Facsimile: (202) 726-1727
Email: [email protected]

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adopting parents are strongly encouraged to consult the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adopting Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy:
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 7007, Kampala
Uganda
Telephone: 256 41 259 791/5
Fax: 256 41 258 451
Email: [email protected]
Web site: http://kampala.usembassy.gov/

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Uganda may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-404-4747.

views updated

UGANDA

Compiled from the January 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Uganda


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 241,040 sq. km. (93,070 sq. mi.); about the size of Oregon.

Cities: Capital—Kampala (2002 pop. 1.2 million). Other cities—Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara.

Terrain: 18% inland water and swamp; 12% national parks, forest, and game reserves; 70% forest, woodland, grassland.

Climate: In the northeast, semi-arid—rainfall less than 50 cm. (20 in.); in southwest, rainfall 130 cm. (50 in.) or more. Two dry seasons: Dec.-Feb. and June-July.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Ugandan(s).

Population: (2003) 26.4 million.

Annual growth rate: (2004 est) 4.0%.

Ethnic groups: African 99%, European, Asian, Arab 1%.

Religions: Christian 66%, Muslim 16%, traditional and other 18%.

Languages: English (official); Luganda and Swahili widely used; other Bantu and Nilotic languages.

Education: Attendance (2000; primary school enrollment, public and private)—89%. Literacy (2003)—70%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—86/1,000. Life expectancy—45.3 yrs.

Government

Type: "Movement" system, with limited operation of political parties.

Constitution: The current constitution was ratified on July 12, 1995, and promulgated on October 8, 1995. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. Parliament and the judiciary have significant amounts of independence and wield significant power. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected under the new constitution in 1996 and reelected in 2001. The constitution limits the president to two terms. However, an effort is underway to revise the constitution and eliminate the term limit.

Independence: October 9, 1962.

Branches: Executive—president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—parliament. There are 214 directly elected representatives and special indirectly elected seats for representatives of women 56, youth 5, workers 5, disabled 5, and the army 10. The president may also appoint up to 10 ex-officio members. Judicial—Magistrate's Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.

Administrative subdivisions: 56 districts.

Political parties: (note: political party activity is highly restricted) Uganda People's Congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP). There also are political alliances, such as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), that are not registered as parties.

Suffrage: Universal adult.

National holiday: Independence Day, October 9.

Economy

GDP: (purchasing power parity, 2003) $34.7 billion; (current prices, 2003) $7 billion.

Inflation rate: (2003) 5.1%.

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, limestone, phosphate.

Agriculture: Cash crops—coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cut flowers, vanilla. Food crops—bananas, corn, cassava, potatoes, millet, pulses. Livestock and fisheries—beef, goat meat, milk, nile perch, tilapia.

Industry: Types—processing of agricultural products (cotton ginning, coffee curing), cement production, light consumer goods, textiles.

Trade: (2003) Exports—$628 million: coffee, fish and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products, vanilla. Major markets—EU, Kenya, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2003)—$1.34 billion: vehicles, petroleum, chemical, machinery. Major suppliers—OPEC countries, Kenya, EU, India, South Africa, U.S.

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.


PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic—constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group. Individual ethnic groups in the southwest include the Banyankole and Bahima, 10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, include the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamojong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. The Basoga, 8%, are among ethnic groups in the east. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.

Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its population density highest in the southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned and now number around 30,000. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include Arabs, Western missionaries, NGO workers, diplomats and business people.

When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British "sphere of interest" in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.

Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership. A second round of elections in April 1962 elected members to a new National Assembly. Milton Obote, leader of the majority coalition in the National Assembly, became prime minister and led Uganda to formal independence on October 9, 1962.

In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the ceremonial president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.

Idi Amin's 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. The Acholi and Langi ethnic groups were particular objects of Amin's political persecution because they had supported Obote and made up a large part of the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.

In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.

After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.

Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of ethnic Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with Museveni's insurgent forces and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry, and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA's support.

Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president.

Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the "Movement"), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.

A referendum was held in March 2000 on whether Uganda should retain the Movement system or adopt multi-party politics. Although 70% of voters endorsed retention of the Movement system, the referendum was widely criticized for low voter turnout and unfair restrictions on Movement opponents. Museveni was reelected to a second five-year term in March 2001. Parliamentary elections were held in June 2001, and more than 50% of contested seats were won by newcomers. Movement supporters nevertheless remained in firm control of the legislative branch. Observers believed that the 2001 presidential and parliamentary elections generally reflected the will of the electorate; however, both were marred by serious irregularities, particularly in the period leading up to the elections, such as restrictions on political party activities, incidents of violence, voter intimidation, and fraud.

A Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) issued a report proposing comprehensive constitutional change in December 2003. The government, however, took issue with many CRC recommendations and made counterproposals in September 2004. The government currently proposes the introduction of a full multiparty system, an increase in executive authority vis-à-vis the other branches, and the lifting of presidential term limits. The elimination of term limits would clear the way for Museveni to run again in 2006, and there are increasing signs that he wishes to do so. However, this proposal and other suggested constitutional changes have also produced significant controversy. It is not yet clear when or how the constitution will be changed.

The vicious and cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to murder and kidnap civilians in the north and east. Although the LRA does not threaten the stability of the government, LRA violence has displaced 1.4 million people and created a humanitarian crisis. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) launched "Operation Iron Fist" against LRA rebels in northern Uganda in 2002 and conducted operations against LRA sanctuaries in southern Sudan with the permission of the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government had previously given support to the LRA.

In 1998, Uganda deployed a sizable military force to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), ostensibly to prevent attacks from Ugandan rebel groups operating there. There were widespread allegations that Ugandan military and civilian officials were involved in the illegal exploitation of DRC natural resources. After much international pressure, Uganda withdrew its troops from DRC in June 2003.


GOVERNMENT

The 1995 constitution established Uganda as a republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The President of Uganda who is the head of state and head of government leads the executive branch. Legislative responsibility is vested in the 305-person Parliament, whose members were elected in June 2001. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrate's courts, high courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/26/05

President: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI
Vice President: Gilbert Balibaseka BUKENYA , Dr.
Prime Minister: Apollo NSIBAMBI
First Dep. Prime Min.: Moses ALI , Lt. Gen.
Second Dep. Prime Min.: Henry KAJURA
Min. for the Presidency: Beatrice WABUDEYA
Min. in the Prime Minister's Office: George Mondo KAGONYERA
Min. of Agriculture, Animal Industry, & Fisheries: Janat MUKWAYA
Min. of Defense: Amama MBABAZI
Min. of Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Moses ALI , Lt. Gen.
Min. of Economic Monitoring: Kweronda RUHEMBA
Min. of Education & Sports: Geraldine Namirembe BITAMAZIRE
Min. of Energy & Mineral Development: Ssyda Bumba NAMIREMBE
Min. of Finance: Ezra SURUMA
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Sam KUTESA
Min. of Gender, Labor, & Social Services: Zoe Bakoko BAKORU
Min. of Health: Jim MUHWEZI
Min. of Internal Affairs: Ruhakana RUGANDA
Min. of Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Kiddu MAKUBUYA
Min. of Local Govt.: Tarsis KABWEGYERE
Min. of Public Service: Henry KAJURA
Min. of Public Works, Housing, & Communications: John NASASIRA
Min. in Charge of Security: Betty AKECH
Min. of Trade, Industry, Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Daudi MIGEREKO
Min. of Water, Lands, & Environment: Kahinda OTAFIIRE , Col.
Min. Without Portfolio: Crispus KIYONGA
Min. of State for Agriculture: Israel Kibirige SEBUNYA , Dr.
Min. of State for Animal Industry: Mary MUGENYI
Min. of State for Communications: Tom BUTIME
Min. of State for Defense: Ruth NANKABIRWA
Min. of State for Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Christine AMONGIN APORU
Min. of State for Economic Monitoring: Omwony OJWOK
Min. of State for the Elderly & People With Disabilities: Florence NAYIGA
Min. of State for Energy: Michael Kafabusa WERIKHE
Min. of State for Entandikwa: Agard DIDI
Min. of State for Environment: Jeje ODONGO , Lt. Gen.
Min. of State for Ethics & Integrity: Timothy LWANGA
Min. of State for Finance (General): Francis Mwesigwa RUKUTANA
Min. of State for Finance (Investments): Semakula KIWANUKA
Min. of State for Finance (Planning): Isaac MUSUMBA
Min. of State for Finance (Privatization): Peter KASENENE
Min. of State for Fisheries: Wanjusi WASIEBA
Min. of State for Gender & Cultural Affairs: Sam BITANGARO
Min. of State for Health: Michael MUKULA
Min. of State for Higher Education: Simon MAYENDE
Min. of State for Housing: Francis BABU , Capt.
Min. of State for Industry: Janet NAMUYANGU
Min. of State for Information: James Nsaba BUTURO
Min. of State for Internal Affairs: Kezimbira MIYINGO
Min. of State for International Affairs: Henry Oryem OKELLO
Min. of State in Charge of Karamoja: Peter Aparite LOKERIS
Min. of State for Labor & Industrial Relations: Henry OBBO
Min. of State for Lands: Baguma ISOKE
Min. of State for Local Government: Richard NDUHUURA
Min. of State for Luwero Triangle: Beatrice ZIRABAMUZAALE
Min. of State for Mineral Development: Kamanda BATARINGAYA
Min. of State for Northern Uganda: Grace OKELLO
Min. of State in the Office of the Vice President: Philip BYARUHANGA
Min. of State for Parliamentary Affairs: Hope Ruhindi MWESIGYE
Min. of State for Primary Education: Nyombi TEMBO
Min. of State for Primary Health Care: Alex KAMUGISHA
Min. of State for Public Service (General): Patrick OKUMU RINGA
Min. of State for Public Service (Pensions): Benigna MUKIIBI
Min. of State for Regional Cooperation: Augustine NSHIMYE SEBUTURO
Min. of State for Sports: Charles BAKABULINDI
Min. of State for Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Jovina Ayuma AKAKI
Min. of State for Trade: Igeme NABEETA
Min. of State for Transport: Andruale AWUZU
Min. of State for Water: Maria MUTAGAMBA
Min. of State for Youth & Child Affairs: Felix OKOT OGONG
Attorney General: Kiddu MAKUBUYA
Dep. Attorney General: Adolf MWESIGYE
Governor, Bank of Uganda: Emmanuel TUMUSIIME-MUTEBILE
Ambassador to the US: Edith Grace SSEMPALA
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Francis K. BUTAGIRA

Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5909 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).


ECONOMY

Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.

Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure—notably its transportation and communications systems which were destroyed by war and neglect—is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. These policies produced positive results. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 5.4% for fiscal year 1995-96 and 5.1% in 2003.

Investment as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 20.3% in 2003 compared to 13.7% in 1999. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 14.9% of GDP in 2002. Gross national savings as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 6.4% in 2003.

The Ugandan Government has also worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country's external debts.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings, with coffee (of which Uganda is Africa's leading producer) accounting for about 19% and fish 17% of the country's exports in 2002. Exports of non-traditional products, including apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, while traditional exports cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.

Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.

Uganda has about 30,000 kilometers (18,750 mi.), of roads; some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi.) are paved. Most radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Kapwach, though the routes west of Kampala and north of Mbale currently are not in use. Uganda's important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors-Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Congo and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. President Museveni has been active in attempts implement a peace agreement Burundi and has supported peace initiatives in Sudan and Somalia.

In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda's relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda's has strained relations with Sudan because of past Sudanese support for the LRA. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder. In 2002 Uganda and Sudan reestablished diplomatic ties and signed a protocol permitting the UPDF to enter southern Sudan and engage the LRA. The protocol must be renewed periodically.

Another rebel group operating in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area. It has largely been defeated by the UPDF and the affected areas of western Uganda have been secured. Remnants of the ADF remain in eastern Congo.


DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)—previously the National Resistance Army—constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Prior to 2000, U.S. military forces participated with the UPDF in training activities under the African Crisis Response Initiative. U.S. military assistance was terminated in 2000 as a result of the Ugandan incursion into the DRC. Following the June 2003 UPDF withdrawal of troops from the DRC, the U.S. has restarted limited nonlethal military assistance.


U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation.

Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism.

The United States is helping Uganda achieve export-led economic growth through the African Growth and Opportunities Act and provides a significant amount of development assistance. At the same time, the United States is concerned about continuing human rights problems, the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism, and indications that Museveni may seek to change the constitution and seek another term.

U.S. development assistance in Uganda has the overall goal of reducing mass poverty. Most U.S. program assistance is focused in the areas of health, education and agriculture. Both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have major programs to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other programs promote trade and investment, curb environmental degradation, encourage the peaceful resolution of local and international conflicts, and promote honest and open government. The United States also provides large amounts of humanitarian assistance to populations without access to adequate food supplies because of conflict, drought and other factors.

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers are active in primary teacher training and HIV/AIDS programs. The Department of State carries out cultural exchange programs, brings Ful-bright lecturers and researchers to Uganda, and sponsors U.S. study and tour programs for a wide variety of officials from government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through Ambassador's Self-Help Fund, local groups in poor areas receive assistance for small projects with a high level of community involvement. U.S.-Ugandan relations also benefit from significant contributions to health care, nutrition, education, and park systems from U.S. missionaries, non-governmental organizations, private universities, HIV/AIDS researchers, and wildlife organizations. Expatriate Ugandans living in the U.S. also promote stronger links between the two countries.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KAMPALA (E) Address: 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda; Phone: 256-41-259791/2/3/5, 234142; Fax: 256-41-259794; Workweek: 7:30-4:45 MTh; 7:30-12:30 Friday; Website: usembassy.state.gov/Kampala/

AMB:Jimmy Kolker
AMB OMS:Pearl Drew
DCM:William Fitzgerald
DCM OMS:Michelle Stokes
PO:Post One
POL:Nathan Holt
POL/ECO:Andrew Herrup
CON:Peter Hancon
MGT:John Lipinski
AFSA:Michael Gonzales
AID:Vicki Moore
CLO:Linda Lipinski
DAO:Rick Orth
ECO:Andrew Herrup
EEO:Mark Nichols
FMO:Kevin Crews
GSO:Jan Sittel
ICASS Chair:Vacant
IMO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
ISO:Stella Bulimo-Crews, Kevin Inglis
ISSO:Shawn Franz
PAO:Mark Schlachter
RSO:Bruce Warren
State ICASS:Andrew Herrup
Last Updated: 10/28/2004

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

July 8, 2004

Country Description: Uganda is a landlocked developing country in central/east Africa. Infrastructure is adequate in Kampala, the capital, but it is limited in other areas.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda, 5911 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100; Internet site: http://www.ugandaembassy.com; e-mail: [email protected] Travelers may also contact the Ugandan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, telephone (212) 949-0110. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate.

Safety and Security: U.S. citizens living in or planning to visit Uganda should be aware of threats to their safety from insurgent groups, particularly in the northern region near the border with Sudan, along the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Although isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning. In March 2004, two Americans were murdered in northwestern Uganda in Yumbe District; the motive was not immediately clear. Armed banditry is common in the Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda.

Due to potential security concerns, U.S. government employees must have permission from the Chief of Mission to visit the following districts: Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiritpiriti, Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Arua, Nebbi, Kisoro, Kanungu, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, and Bundibugyo. The above-named districts include all or part of several national parks. Tourists contemplating travel in any of these districts are advised to seek the latest security information from Ugandan authorities, tour operators, and the U.S. Embassy. Until further notice, the Embassy recommends that all American citizens resident in Yumbe District consider leaving the district as a precaution.

Due to the recent movement of elements of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, particularly the districts of Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Adjumani, the level of violence associated with these incursions and an order to target Americans issued in May 2004 by the leader of the LRA, the Embassy strongly recommends against travel to and residence in these districts. Americans resident in these areas should review whether the LRA threats are grounds for temporarily leaving the area.

The Government of Uganda has taken significant steps to improve security in national parks in recent years. The Ugandan army, charged with the safety and welfare of travelers, accompanies tourists on gorilla tracking visits and has greatly increased its presence in the parks. However, there are security concerns associated with pre-dawn and nighttime driving if accommodations are located far away from the gorilla parks. In addition to the general risk of higher accident rates, pre-dawn and nighttime driving also increases the risk of banditry.

The U.S. Embassy recommends against travel to Murchison Falls National Park due to continued activity by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in and around the park. Americans should avoid all road travel in Gulu and Kitgum districts, where the park is located. Prior activity in Murchison Falls National Park in 2001 included at least one incursion into the northern part of the park, when a number of Ugandan tourists were killed.

Rwenzori National Park, on the western border with Congo, was reopened by the Ugandan Government in 2001 in response to decreased rebel activity on the eastern slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and environs. However, continuing instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo and parts of northern Rwanda make parks in the western border area of Uganda potentially vulnerable to incursion by rebel and vigilante groups operating in Congo and Rwanda.

The U.S. Embassy recommends that visitors seek up-to-date security information from park authorities before entering Mgahinga National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, both in the southwestern corner of Uganda, due to sporadic rebel activity across the Congo/Rwanda border. Rwandan rebel factions with anti-Western and anti-American ideologies are known to operate in areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo that border Uganda. One such rebel group is believed to be responsible for the March 1999 kidnapping and murder of two American and six other tourists in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in western Uganda, as well as the August 1998 abduction of three tourists in a Democratic Republic of Congo national park contiguous with Uganda's Mgahinga National Park.

Crime: Home burglaries do occur and sometimes turn violent. It is not uncommon for armed groups to invade homes. In November 2003, an American citizen was robbed and beaten after leaving a popular nightclub. Incidents of armed vehicle carjackings and armed highway robbery occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. U.S. Embassy employees are also advised against using roads at night in non-urban areas. Females traveling alone are particularly susceptible to crime. Crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. These offenses also occur on public transportation. Passengers using public transport should under no circumstances accept food or drink from a stranger, even a child, because such food may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery.

There has been a recent, marked increase in financial crime, including wire transfer fraud and fraud involving checks. We recommend using money orders for all fund transfers and safe guarding account information.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and to explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlets, A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa, for useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Uganda, including Kampala, are limited and not equipped to handle most emergencies, especially those requiring surgery. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Equipment and medicines are often in short supply or unavailable. Travelers generally should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Other Health Information: Malaria is prevalent in Uganda. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Uganda, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Uganda are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following antimalarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariamtm), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malaronetm). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, help to reduce malaria risk.

Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Further information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith or http://www.cdc.gov/travel/

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Uganda is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little or no training and are often reckless. Small vans and large buses are usually poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the principal vehicles involved in the many single and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Large trucks on the highways are often precariously over-loaded, with cargo inadequately secured. Alcohol frequently is a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night. Drivers are advised to take extra care when driving. Driving standards are low, vehicles are often poorly maintained, large potholes are ubiquitous, and adequate signage and shoulders are almost non-existent. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous. Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazard.

Traffic accidents draw crowds. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any injured persons. In some cases where serious injury has occurred, there is the possibility of mob anger. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Ugandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Uganda Tourist Board, IPS building, 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala, Uganda; telephone 256-41-242-196/7. You may also wish to consult their web site: http://myuganda.co.ug.

Aviation Safety Oversight: Several weekly flights to Europe are available on international airlines. Kenya Airways has daily flights between Kampal's airport at Entebbe and Nairobi, and regional airlines operate weekly flights to other destinations in Africa such as Dar Es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg. As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Uganda by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Uganda's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Customs Regulations: Ugandan customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ugandan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uganda are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Once imprisoned in Uganda, there are frequently long delays in judicial processing. Food, sanitation, and medical care in the overcrowded Ugandan prisons are poor.

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad. For purposes of the PROTECT Act, illicit sexual conduct includes any commercial sex act in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18. The law defines a commercial sex act as any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by a person under the age of 18.

Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 for criminal sexual purposes that include, among other things, the production of child pornography. This same law makes it a crime to use any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transport obscene materials to minors under the age of 16.

Special Circumstances: ATM machines are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but most can only be used by customers who have an account with that specific Ugandan bank. Few machines function with overseas accounts. Banks and exchange bureaus have a higher exchange rate for the one hundred dollar bill and the fifty dollar bill. Bills of smaller denominations are exchanged at a lower rate. There are several offices handling Western Union transfers in Kampala.

Photography Prohibition: Photography in tourist locations is permitted. However, taking pictures of military/police installations or personnel is prohibited. Military and police officers have also detained tourists for taking photographs of part of Entebbe Airport and of the area around Owen Falls Dam.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our web site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.

Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Uganda. The chancery is located at Gaba Road, Kansanga, Kampala; telephone 256-41-234-142; fax 256-41-258-451; e-mail: [email protected] The U.S. Embassy website is http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

views updated

UGANDA

Compiled from the December 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name:
Republic of Uganda


PROFILE
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
DEFENSE
U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 241,040 sq. km. (93,070 sq. mi.); about the size of Oregon.

Cities: Capital—Kampala (2002 pop. 1.2 million). Other cities—Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara.

Terrain: 18% in land water and swamp; 12% national parks, forest, and game reserves; 70% forest, woodland, grassland.

Climate: In the northeast, semiarid—rainfall less than 50 cm. (20 in.); in southwest, rainfall 130 cm. (50 in.) or more. Two dry seasons: Dec.-Feb. and June-July.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Ugandan(s).

Population: (2002) 24.7 million.

Annual growth rate: (2003 est) 3.4%.

Ethnic groups: African 99%, European, Asian, Arab 1%.

Religions: Christian 66%, Muslim 16%, traditional and other 18%.

Languages: English (official); Luganda and Swahili widely used; other Bantu and Nilotic languages.

Education: Attendance (2000; primary school enrollment, public and private)—89%. Literacy (2002)—69%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—79/1,000. Life expectancy—46.3 yrs


Government

Type: "Movement" system, with limited operation of political parties

Constitution: The current Constitution was ratified on July 12, 1995, and promulgated on October 8, 1995. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. Parliament and the judiciary have significant amounts of independence and wield significant power. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected under the new constitution in 1996 and reelected in 2001. The Constitution limits the president to two terms. However, an effort is underway to revise the constitution and eliminate the term limit.

Independence: October 9, 1962.

Branches: Executive—president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—parliament. There are 214 directly elected representatives and special indirectly elected seats for representatives of women 56, youth 5, workers 5, disabled 5, and the army 10. The president may also appoint up to 10 ex officio members. Judicial—Magistrate's Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.

Administrative subdivisions: 56 districts.

Political parties: (note: political party activity is highly restricted) Uganda People's Congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP). There also are political alliances, such as the Reform Agenda (RA) group that fielded Museveni's major opposition candidate in the 2001 election.

Suffrage: Universal adult.

National holiday: Independence Day, October 9.

Flag: Six horizontal stripes-black, yellow, red, black, yellow, red with the national emblem, the crested crane, in a centered white circle.


Economy

GDP: (purchasing power parity, 2001) $29 billion.

Inflation rate: (2003) 7.3%.

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, limestone.

Agriculture: Cash crops—coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cut flowers, vanilla. Food crops — bananas, corn, cassava, potatoes, millet, pulses. Livestock and fisheries—beef, goat meat, milk, nile perch, tilapia.

Industry: Types—processing of agricultural products (cotton ginning, coffee curing), cement production, light consumer goods, textiles.

Trade: (2002) Exports—$552 million: coffee, fish and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products. Major markets—EU, Kenya, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2002)—$1.2 billion: vehicles, petroleum, chemical, machinery. Major suppliers—OPEC countries, Kenya, EU, India, South Africa, U.S.

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.



PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic—constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group.


The people of the southwest comprise 30% of the population, divided into five major ethnic groups: the Banyankole and Bahima, 10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Reside nts of the north, largely Nilotic, are the next largest group, including the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%. The Karamojong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.


Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its density population highest in the southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned. About 3,000 Arabs of various national origins and small numbers of Asians live in Uganda. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include several hundred Western missionaries and a few diplomats and businesspeople.


When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British "sphere of interest" in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. The high cost of occupying the territory caused the company to withdraw in 1893, and its administrative functions were taken over by a British commissioner. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.


Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership.


In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribal ly-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coupled by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.


Idi Amin's 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations.

The Acholi and Langi ethnic groups were particular objects of Amin's political persecution because they had supported Obote and made up a large part of the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.


In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.


After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasiparliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. The December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.


Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of ethnic Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with Museve ni's insurgent forces and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry, and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA's support.


Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president.


Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the "Movement"), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial political liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted broad economic reforms after consultation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.


A referendum was held in March 2000 on whether Uganda should retain the Movement system or adopt multi-party politics. Although 70% of voters endorsed retention of the Movement system, the referendum was widely criticized for low voter turnout and unfair restrictions on Movement opponents. Museveni was reelected to a second five-year term in March 2001. Parliamentary elections were held in June 2001, and more than 50% of contested seats were won by newcomers. Movement supporters nevertheless remained in firm control of the legislative branch. Observers believed that the 2001 presidential
and parliamentary elections generally reflected the will of the electorate; however, both were marred by serious irregularities, particularly in the period leading up to the elections, such as restrictions on political party activities, incidents of violence, voter intimidation, and fraud.


In 2001 the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) began soliciting opinions and holding public hearings on amending the 1995 Constitution. The CRC was set up to examine the constitutional provisions relating to sovereignty, political systems, democracy and good governance. Its report, scheduled for release by October 2003, has not yet been delivered to Cabinet or made public. The Cabinet, however, presented a list of its suggestions for constitutional change to the CRC in September. These changes included the introduction of a full multiparty system, an increase in executive authority vis-à-vis the other branches, and the lifting of presidential term limits. The elimination of term limits would clear the way for Museveni to run again in 2006, and there are increasing signs that he wishes to do so. However, this proposal has also produced significant controversy and it is not yet clear when or how the constitution will be changed.


The bizarre and cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to harass government forces and murder and kidnap civilians in the north and east. Although the LRA does not threaten the stability of the government, LRA violence has displaced 1.2 million people and created a humanitari an crisis. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) launched "Operation Iron Fist" against LRA rebels in northern Uganda in 2002 and conducted operations against LRA sanctuaries in southern Sudan with the permission of the Sudanese Government. Uganda and Sudan have resumed diplomatic relations and exchanged Ambassadors; however, Uganda continues to accuse Sudan of supporting the LRA. Sudan denies the allegations.


In 1998, Uganda deployed a sizable military force to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), ostensibly to prevent attacks from Ugandan rebel groups operating there. There were widespread allegations that Ugandan military and civilian officials were involved in the illegal exploitation of DRC natural resources. After much international pressure, Uganda withdrew its troops from DRC in June 2003.



GOVERNMENT

Yoweri Museveni is the President and the Commander in Chief, Dr. Gilbert Bukenya is the Vice President, and Apollo Nsibambi is the Prime Minister. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is James Wapakabulo and the Minister for Defense is Amama Mbabazi.


Legislative responsibility is vested in the 305-person Parliament, whose members were elected in June 2001. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrate's courts, high courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 7/22/03


President: Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta

Vice President: Bukenya, Gilbert Balibaseka, Dr.

Prime Minister: Nsibambi, Apollo

First Dep. Prime Min.: Ali, Moses, Lt. Gen.

Second Dep. Prime Min.: Wapakhabulo, James

Third Dep. Prime Min.: Kajura, Henry

Min. in Charge of the Presidency: Kivejinja, Kirunda

Min. in the Office of the Vice President:

Min. in the Prime Minister's Office: Kagonyera, George Mondo

Min. of Agriculture, Animal Industry, & Fisheries: Mugerwa, Wilberforce Kisamba

Min. of Defense: Mbabazi, Amama

Min. of Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Ali, Moses, Lt. Gen.

Min. of Economic Monitoring: Ruhemba, Kweronda

Min. of Education & Sports: Makubuya, Kiddu

Min. of Energy & Mineral Development: Namirembe, Ssyda Bumba

Min. of Finance, Planning, & Economic Development: Ssendaula, Gerald

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Wapakhabulo, James

Min. of Gender, Labor, & Social Services: Bakoru, Zoe Bakoko

Min. of Health: Muhwezi, Jim

Min. of Internal Affairs: Ruganda, Ruhakana

Min. of Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Mukwaya, Janet

Min. of Local Govt.: Kabwegyere, Tarsis

Min. of Public Service: Kajura, Henry

Min. of Public Works, Housing, & Communications: Nasasira, John

Min. of Tourism, Trade, & Industry: Rugumayo, Edward

Min. of Water, Lands, & Environment: Otafiire, Kahinda, Col.

Min. Without Portfolio: Kiyonga, Crispus

Min. of State for Agriculture: Sebunya, Israel Kibirige, Dr.

Min. of State for Animal Industry: Mugenyi, Mary

Min. of State for Communication: Werikhe Kafabusa, Michael

Min. of State for Defense: Nankabirwa, Ruth

Min. of State for Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Amongin Aporu, Christine

Min. of State for Economic Monitoring: Ojwok, Omwony

Min. of State for the Elderly & People With Disabilities: Nayiga, Florence

Min. of State for Energy & Mineral Development: Migereko, Daudi

Min. of State for Entandikwa: Didi, Agard

Min. of State for Environment: Odongo, Jeje, Lt. Gen.

Min. of State for Ethics & Integrity: Lwanga, Timothy

Min. of State for Finance (General): Rukutana, Francis Mwesigwa

Min. of State for Finance (Investments): Kutesa, Sam

Min. of State for Finance (Planning): Musumba, Isaac

Min. of State for Finance (Privatization): Kasenene, Peter

Min. of State for Fisheries: Byaruhanga, Fabius, Dr.

Min. of State for Gender & Cultural Affairs: Bitangaro, Sam

Min. of State for Health: Mukula, Michael

Min. of State for Higher Education:

Min. of State for Housing: Babu, Francis, Capt.

Min. of State for Industry: Namuyangu, Janet

Min. of State for Information: Buturo, James Nsaba

Min. of State for Internal Affairs: Miyingo, Kezimbira

Min. of State for Intl. Affairs: Butiime, Tom

Min. of State in Charge of Karamoja: Lokeris, Peter Aparite

Min. of State for Labor & Industrial Relations: Obbo, Henry

Min. of State for Lands: Isoke, Baguma

Min. of State for Local Government: Byaruhanga, Philip, Dr.

Min. of State in Charge of Luwero: Kiwanuka, Matia Semakula Mulumba

Min. of State for Mineral Development: Bataringaya, Kamanda

Min. of State for Northern Uganda: Okello, Grace

Min. of State in the Office of the President: Mwesigye, Adolf

Min. of State for Parliamentary Affairs: Mwesigye, Hope Ruhindi

Min. of State for Primary Education: Bitamazire, Geraldine Namirembe

Min. of State for Primary Health Care: Kamugisha, Alex

Min. of State for Public Service (General): Okumu Ringa, Patrick

Min. of State for Public Service (Pensions): Mukiibi, Benigna Min. of State for Regional Cooperation: Nshimye Sebuturo, Augustine

Min. of State for Security: Akech, Betty

Min. of State for Sports: Oryem Okello, Henry

Min. of State for Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Akaki, Jovina Ayuma

Min. of State for Trade: Rwendeire, Abel

Min. of State for Transport: Awuzu, Andruale

Min. of State for Water: Mutagamba, Maria

Min. of State for Youth & Child Affairs: Okot Ogong, Felix

Attorney General: Ayume, Francis

Governor, Bank of Uganda: Tumusiime- Mutebile, Emmanuel

Ambassador to the US: Ssempala, Edith Grace

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Butagira, Francis K.



Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5909 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).



ECONOMY

Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.


After the turmoil of the Aminera, the country began a program of economic recovery in 1981 that received considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1984 on, however, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.


Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure—notably its transportation and communications systems which were destroyed by war and neglect—is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. These policies produced positive results. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 5.4% for fiscal year 1995-96 and 7.3% in 2003.


Investment as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 20.9% in 2002 compared to 13.7% in 1999. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 14.9% of GDP in 2002. Gross national savings as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 5.5% in 2002. The Ugandan Government has also worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country's external debts.


Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda's foreign ex change earnings, with coffee alone (of which Uganda is Africa's leading producer) accounting for about 27% of the country's exports in 2002. Exports of apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, and cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.


Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.


Uganda has about 30,000 kilometers (18,750 mi.), of roads; some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi.) are paved. Most radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Kapwach. Uganda's important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors-Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Congo and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.



FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. President Museveni has been active in attempts implement a peace agreement Burundi and has supported peace initiatives in Sudan and Somalia.


In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda's relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda's has strained relations with Sudan because of alleged Sudanese support for the LRA. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder. In 2002 Uganda and Sudan reestablished diplomatic ties and signed a protocol permitting the UPDF to enter southern Sudan and engage the LRA. The protocol must be renewed periodically, and has lapsed at least twice since it was signed.


Another rebel group operating in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces, emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area. It has largely been defeated by the UPDF and the areas secured.


DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)—previously the National Resistance Army—constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Prior to 2000, U.S. military forces participated with the UPDF in training activities under the African Crisis Response Initiative. U.S. military assistance was terminated in 2000 as a result of the Ugandan incursion into the DRC. Following the June 2003 UPDF with drawal of troops from the DRC, the U.S. has restarted limited nonlethal military assistance.



U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation.


Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism. The United States is helping Uganda achieve export-led economic growth through the African Growth and Opportunities Act and provides a significant amount of development assistance. At the same time, the United States is concerned about continuing human rights problems, the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism, and indications that Museveni may seek to change the Constitution and seek another term.


U.S. development assistance in Uganda has the overall goal of reducing mass poverty. Most U.S. program assistance is focused in the areas of health, education and agriculture.

Both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have major programs to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other programs promote trade and investment, curb environmental degradation, encourage the peaceful resolution of local and international conflicts, and promote honest and open government. The United States also provides large amounts of humanitarian assistance to populations without access to adequate food supplies because of conflict, drought and other factors.


U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers are active in education and other sectors. The Department of State carries out cultural exchange programs, brings Fulbright lecturers and researchers to Uganda, and sponsors U.S. study and tour programs for a wide variety of officials from government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through Ambassador's Self-Help Fund, local groups in poor areas receive assistance for small projects with a high level of community involvement.


U.S.-Ugandan relations also benefit from significant contributions to healthcare, nutrition, education, and park systems from U.S. missionaries, non-governmental organizations, private universities, HIV/AIDS researchers, and wildlife organizations. Expatriate Ugandans living in the U.S. also promote stronger links between the two countries.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Kampala (E), 1577 Ggaba Road • P.O. Box 7007, Tel [256] (41) 259-792, Fax 259-794; USAID Tel 235-879, Fax 233-417; PC 348-510; CDC 320-776.

AMB: Jimmy Kolker
AMB OMS: Pearl Drew
DCM: William Fitzgerald
POL: Nathan Holt
REF: Matthew McKeever
ECO/COM: Andrew Herrup
CON: Peter Hancon
MGT: John Lipinski
GSO: Jan Sittel
RSO: Albert De Jong
PAO: Mark Schlachter
IMO: Kevin Inglis
AID: Vicki Moore
DAO: LTC Richard Orth
PC: Elizabeth O'Malley
CDC: Dr. Jonathan Mermin
USMC: SSGT Nicholas Grube
AGR: Fred Kessel (res. Nairobi)


Last Modified: Tuesday, January 06, 2004



TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
January 8, 2004


Country Description: Uganda is a landlocked developing country in central/east Africa. Infrastructure is adequate in Kampala, the capital, but it is limited in other areas.


Entry Requirements: A passport, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda, 5911 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100; Internet site: www.ugandaembassy.com; e-mail: [email protected] Travelers may also contact the Ugandan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, telephone (212) 949-0110. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate.


Safety and Security: U.S. citizens living in or planning to visit Uganda should be aware of threats to their safety from insurgent groups, particularly in the northern region near the border with Sudan, along the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Although isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning. Armed banditry is common in the Karamoj a region in northeastern Uganda.


Due to potential security concerns, U.S. government employees must have permission from the Chief of Mission to visit the following districts: Soroti, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapirit piriti, Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Arua, Nebbi, Kisoro, Kanungu, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, and Bundibugyo. The above-named districts include all or part of several national parks. Tourists contemplating travel in any of these districts are advised to seek the latest security information from Ugandan authorities, tour operators, and the U.S. Embassy.


Due to the recent movement of elements of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) into Soroti, Kaberamaido and Katakwi Districts in Uganda, and the level of violence associated with these incursions, the Embassy strongly recommends against travel to these districts. Americans resident in these areas should review whether the LRA threats are grounds for temporarily leaving the area.


The Government of Uganda has taken significant steps to improve security in national parks in recent years. The Ugandan army, charged with the safety and welfare of travelers, accompanies tourists on gorilla tracking visits and has greatly increased its presence in the parks. However, there are security concerns associated with pre-dawn and nighttime driving if accommodations are located far away from the gorilla parks. In addition to the general risk of higher accident rates, pre-dawn and nighttime driving also increases the risk of banditry.


The U.S. Embassy recommends against travel to Murchison Falls National Park due to continued activity by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in and around the park. Americans should avoid all road travel in Gulu and Kitgum districts, where the park is located. Prior activity in Murchison Falls National Park in 2001 included at least one incursion into the northern part of the park, when a number of Ugandan tourists were killed.

Rwenzori National Park, on the western border with Congo, was reopened by the Ugandan Government in 2001 in response to decreased rebel activity on the eastern slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and environs. However, continuing instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo and parts of northern Rwanda make parks in the western border area of Uganda potentially vulnerable to incursion by rebel and vigilante groups operating in Congo and Rwanda.


The U.S. Embassy recommends that visitors seek up-to-date security information from park authorities before entering Mgahinga National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, both in the southwestern corner of Uganda, due to sporadic rebel activity across the Congo/Rwanda border. Rwandan rebel factions with anti-Western and anti-American ideologies are known to operate in areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo that border Uganda. One such rebel group is believed to be responsible for the March 1999 kidnapping and murder of two American and six other tourists in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in western Uganda, as well as the August 1998 abduction of three tourists in a Democratic Republic of Congo national park contiguous with Uganda's Mgahinga National Park.


There have been periodic bomb attacks at various public places in Kampala, most recently in March 2001, when three bombs were detonated. As a general rule, U.S. citizens in Kampala should exercise caution and be alert when visiting both indoor and outdoor public facilities such as bars, restaurants, hotels, and markets, as well as when using local and inter-city public van service ("matatus") and larger buses.


Crime: Armed home burglaries sometimes turn violent. In two separate home burglary incidents in 2001, one American was shot dead and two were wounded by gun shots. In November 2003, an American citizen was robbed and beaten after leaving a popular nightclub. Incidents of armed vehicle carjackings and armed highway robbery are frequent throughout the country. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. U.S. Embassy employees are generally advised against using roads at night in non-urban areas. Carjackings sometimes take place on the road from Entebbe Airport to Kampala. Females traveling alone are particularly susceptible to crime. Crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. These offenses also occur on public transportation. Passengers should not accept food or drink from a stranger, even a child, because such food may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and to explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.


U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlets, A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa, for useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Uganda, including Kampala, are limited and not equipped to handle most emergencies, especially those requiring surgery. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Equipment and medicines are often in short supply or unavailable. Travelers generally should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover healthcare expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.


When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Other Health Information: Malaria is prevalent in Uganda. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Uganda, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Uganda are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following antimalarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone /proguanil (Malarone™). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC travel health website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.


Further information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/ or http://www.cdc.gov/travel/


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Uganda is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor


Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little or no training and are often reckless. Small vans and large buses are usually poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the principal vehicles involved in the many single and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Large trucks on the highways are often precariously overloaded, with cargo in adequately secured. Alcohol frequently is a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night. Drivers are advised to take extra care when driving. Driving standards are low, vehicles are often poorly maintained, large potholes are ubiquitous, and adequate signage and shoulders are almost non-existent. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous. Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazard.


Traffic accidents draw crowds. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any injured persons. In some cases where serious injury has occurred, there is the possibility of mob anger. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.


For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Ugandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Uganda Tourist Board, IPS building, 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala, Uganda; telephone 256-41-242-196/7. You may also wish to consult their website: http://myuganda.co.ug.


Aviation Safety Oversight: Several weekly flights to Europe are available on international airlines. Kenya Airways has daily flights between Kampala's airport at Entebbe and Nairobi, and regional airlines operate weekly flights to other destinations in Africa such as Dar Es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg. As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Uganda by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Uganda's air carrier operations.


For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.

Customs Regulations: Ugandan customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Ugandan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uganda are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Once imprisoned in Uganda, there are frequently long delays in judicial processing. Food, sanitation, and medical care in the overcrowded Ugandan prisons are poor.

Special Circumstances: ATM machines are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but most can only be used by customers who have an account with that specific Ugandan bank. Few machines function with overseas accounts.


Photography Prohibition: Photography in tourist locations is permitted. However, taking pictures of military/police installations or personnel is prohibited. Military and police officers have also detained tourists for taking photographs of part of Entebbe Airport and of the area around Owen Falls Dam.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our website at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.


Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Uganda. The chancery is located at Gaba Road, Kansanga, Kampala; telephone 256-41-234-142; fax 256-41-258-451; e-mail: [email protected] The U.S. Embassy website is http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

views updated

UGANDA

Compiled from the October 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Uganda


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

241,040 sq. km. (93,070 sq. mi.); about the size of Oregon.

Cities:

Capital—Kampala (2002 pop. 1.2 million). Other cities—Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara.

Terrain:

18% inland water and swamp; 12% national parks, forest, and game reserves; 70% forest, woodland, grassland.

Climate:

In the northeast, semiarid—rainfall less than 50 cm. (20 in.); in southwest, rainfall 130 cm. (50 in.) or more. Two dry seasons: Dec.-Feb. and June-July.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective—Ugandan(s).

Population (2003):

26.4 million.

Annual growth rate (2004 est.):

4.0%.

Ethnic groups:

African 99%, European, Asian, Arab 1%.

Religion:

Christian 66%, Muslim 16%, traditional and other 18%.

Language:

English (official); Luganda and Swahili widely used; other Bantu and Nilotic languages.

Education:

Attendance (2000; primary school enrollment, public and private)—89%. Literacy (2003)—70%.

Health:

Infant mortality rate—86/1,000. Life expectancy—45.3 yrs.

Government

Type:

"Movement" system, with limited operation of political parties.

Constitution:

The current constitution was ratified on July 12, 1995, and promulgated on October 8, 1995. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. Parliament and the judiciary have significant amounts of independence and wield significant power. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected under the new constitution in 1996 and reelected in 2001. Formerly, the constitution limited the president to two terms. However, in August 2005, the constitution was revised to allow an incumbent to hold office for more than two terms.

Independence:

October 9, 1962.

Branches:

Executive—president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative—parliament. There are 214 directly elected representatives and special indirectly elected seats for representatives of women 56, youth 5, workers 5, disabled 5, and the army 10. The president may also appoint up to 10 ex-officio members. Judicial—Magistrate's Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.

Administrative subdivisions:

56 districts.

Political parties:

(note: political party activity is highly restricted) Uganda People's Congress (UPC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP). There also are political alliances, such as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), that are not registered as parties.

Suffrage:

Universal adult.

National holiday:

Independence Day, October 9.

Economy

GDP (purchasing power parity, 2004):

$39.39 billion.

Inflation rate (2004):

3.5%.

Natural resources:

Copper, cobalt, limestone, phosphate.

Agriculture:

Cash crops—coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, cut flowers, vanilla. Food crops—bananas, corn, cassava, potatoes, millet, pulses. Livestock and fisheries—beef, goat meat, milk, Nile perch, tilapia.

Industry:

Types—processing of agricultural products (cotton ginning, coffee curing), cement production, light consumer goods, textiles.

Trade (2004):

Exports—$1.3 billion: coffee, fish and fish products, tea, electricity, horticultural products, vanilla. Major markets—EU, Kenya, South Africa, U.K., U.S. Imports (2004)—$1.306 billion: capital equipment, vehicles, petroleum, medical supplies, chemical, cereals. Major suppliers—OPEC countries, Kenya, EU, India, South Africa, U.S.

Fiscal year:

July 1-June 30.


PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Africans of three main ethnic groups—Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamitic—constitute most of the population. The Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, which, with 18% of the population, constitute the largest single ethnic group. Individual ethnic groups in the southwest include the Banyankole and Bahima, 10%; the Bakiga, 8%; the Banyarwanda, 6%; the Bunyoro, 3%; and the Batoro, 3%. Residents of the north, largely Nilotic, include the Langi, 6%, and the Acholi, 4%. In the northwest are the Lugbara, 4%, and the Karamojong, 2%, occupy the considerably drier, largely pastoral territory in the northeast. The Basoga, 8%, are among ethnic groups in the east. Europeans, Asians, and Arabs make up about 1% of the population with other groups accounting for the remainder.

Uganda's population is predominately rural, and its population density highest in the southern regions. Until 1972, Asians constituted the largest nonindigenous ethnic group in Uganda. In that year, the Idi Amin regime expelled 50,000 Asians, who had been engaged in trade, industry, and various professions. In the years since Amin's overthrow in 1979, Asians have slowly returned and now number around 30,000. Other nonindigenous people in Uganda include Arabs, Western missionaries, NGO workers, diplomats and business people.

When Arab traders moved inland from their enclaves along the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa and reached the interior of Uganda in the 1830s, they found several African kingdoms with well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries. These traders were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile River. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.

In 1888, control of the emerging British "sphere of interest" in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to the Imperial British East Africa Company, an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. In 1894, the Kingdom of Buganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.

Britain granted internal self-government to Uganda in 1961, with the first elections held on March 1, 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda maintained its Commonwealth membership. A second round of elections in April 1962 elected members to a new National Assembly. Milton Obote, leader of the majority coalition in the National Assembly, became prime minister and led Uganda to formal independence on October 9, 1962.

In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution, assumed all government powers, and removed the ceremonial president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms. On January 25, 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself president, dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.

Idi Amin's 8-year rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. The Acholi and Langi ethnic groups were particular objects of Amin's political persecution because they had supported Obote and made up a large part of the army. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure much higher.

In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces repulsed an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian force, backed by Ugandan exiles, waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On April 11, 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.

After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president. This government adopted a ministerial system of administration and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.

Obote ruled until July 27, 1985, when an army brigade, composed mostly of ethnic Acholi troops and commanded by Lt. Gen. Basilio Olara-Okello, took Kampala and proclaimed a military government. Obote fled to exile in Zambia. The new regime, headed by former defense force commander Gen. Tito Okello (no relation to Lt. Gen. Olara-Okello), opened negotiations with Museveni's insurgent forces and pledged to improve respect for human rights, end tribal rivalry,

and conduct free and fair elections. In the meantime, massive human rights violations continued as the Okello government murdered civilians and ravaged the countryside in order to destroy the NRA's support.

Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, seized Kampala in late January 1986, and assumed control of the country, forcing Okello to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president.

Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the "Movement"), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.

A referendum was held in March 2000 on whether Uganda should retain the Movement system or adopt multi-party politics. Although 70% of voters endorsed retention of the Movement system, the referendum was widely criticized for low voter turnout and unfair restrictions on Movement opponents. Museveni was reelected to a second five-year term in March 2001. Parliamentary elections were held in June 2001, and more than 50% of contested seats were won by newcomers. Movement supporters nevertheless remained in firm control of the legislative branch. Observers believed that the 2001 presidential and parliamentary elections generally reflected the will of the electorate; however, both were marred by serious irregularities, particularly in the period leading up to the elections, such as restrictions on political party activities, incidents of violence, voter intimidation, and fraud.

A Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) issued a report proposing comprehensive constitutional change in December 2003. The government, however, took issue with many CRC recommendations and made counterproposals in September 2004. In July 2005 Ugandans voted in a national referendum to approve a multi-party system. In August 2005, Parliament voted to change the constitution to lift presidential term limits. The elimination of term limits clears the way for Museveni to run again in 2006, and there are increasing signs that he wishes to do so, despite significant controversy.

The vicious and cult-like Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) continues to murder and kidnap civilians in the north and east. Although the LRA does not threaten the stability of the government, LRA violence has displaced 1.4 million people and created a humanitarian crisis. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) launched "Operation Iron Fist" against LRA rebels in northern Uganda in 2002 and conducted operations against LRA sanctuaries in southern Sudan with the permission of the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government had previously given support to the LRA.

In 1998, Uganda deployed a sizable military force to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), ostensibly to prevent attacks from Ugandan rebel groups operating there. There were widespread allegations that Ugandan military and civilian officials were involved in the illegal exploitation of D.R.C. natural resources. After much international pressure, Uganda withdrew its troops from D.R.C. in June 2003.


GOVERNMENT

The 1995 constitution established Uganda as a republic with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The president of Uganda, who is the head of state and head of government, leads the executive branch. Legislative responsibility is vested in the 305-person Parliament, whose members were elected in June 2001. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of magistrate's courts, high courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/26/2005

President: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI
Vice President: Gilbert Balibaseka BUKENYA, Dr.
Prime Minister: Apollo NSIBAMBI
First Dep. Prime Min.: Moses ALI, Lt. Gen.
Second Dep. Prime Min.: Henry KAJURA
Min. for the Presidency: Beatrice WABUDEYA
Min. in the Prime Minister's Office: George Mondo KAGONYERA
Min. of Agriculture, Animal Industry, & Fisheries: Janat MUKWAYA
Min. of Defense: Amama MBABAZI
Min. of Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Moses ALI, Lt. Gen.
Min. of Economic Monitoring: Kweronda RUHEMBA
Min. of Education & Sports: Geraldine Namirembe BITAMAZIRE
Min. of Energy & Mineral Development: Ssyda Bumba NAMIREMBE
Min. of Finance: Ezra SURUMA
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Sam KUTESA
Min. of Gender, Labor, & Social Services: Zoe Bakoko BAKORU
Min. of Health: Jim MUHWEZI
Min. of Internal Affairs: Ruhakana RUGANDA
Min. of Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Kiddu MAKUBUYA
Min. of Local Govt.: Tarsis KABWEGYERE
Min. of Public Service: Henry KAJURA
Min. of Public Works, Housing, & Communications: John NASASIRA
Min. in Charge of Security: Betty AKECH
Min. of Trade, Industry, Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Daudi MIGEREKO
Min. of Water, Lands, & Environment: Kahinda OTAFIIRE, Col.
Min. Without Portfolio: Crispus KIYONGA
Min. of State for Agriculture: Israel Kibirige SEBUNYA, Dr.
Min. of State for Animal Industry: Mary MUGENYI
Min. of State for Communications: Tom BUTIME
Min. of State for Defense: Ruth NANKABIRWA
Min. of State for Disaster Preparedness & Refugees: Christine AMONGIN APORU
Min. of State for Economic Monitoring: Omwony OJWOK
Min. of State for the Elderly & People With Disabilities: Florence NAYIGA
Min. of State for Energy: Michael Kafabusa WERIKHE
Min. of State for Entandikwa: Agard DIDI
Min. of State for Environment: Jeje ODONGO, Lt. Gen.
Min. of State for Ethics & Integrity: Timothy LWANGA
Min. of State for Finance (General): Francis Mwesigwa RUKUTANA
Min. of State for Finance (Investments): Semakula KIWANUKA
Min. of State for Finance (Planning): Isaac MUSUMBA
Min. of State for Finance (Privatization): Peter KASENENE
Min. of State for Fisheries: Wanjusi WASIEBA
Min. of State for Gender & Cultural Affairs: Sam BITANGARO
Min. of State for Health: Michael MUKULA
Min. of State for Higher Education: Simon MAYENDE
Min. of State for Housing: Francis BABU, Capt.
Min. of State for Industry: Janet NAMUYANGU
Min. of State for Information: James Nsaba BUTURO
Min. of State for Internal Affairs: Kezimbira MIYINGO
Min. of State for International Affairs: Henry Oryem OKELLO
Min. of State in Charge of Karamoja: Peter Aparite LOKERIS
Min. of State for Labor & Industrial Relations: Henry OBBO
Min. of State for Lands: Baguma ISOKE
Min. of State for Local Government: Richard NDUHUURA
Min. of State for Luwero Triangle: Beatrice ZIRABAMUZAALE
Min. of State for Mineral Development: Kamanda BATARINGAYA
Min. of State for Northern Uganda: Grace OKELLO
Min. of State in the Office of the Vice President: Philip BYARUHANGA
Min. of State for Parliamentary Affairs: Hope Ruhindi MWESIGYE
Min. of State for Primary Education: Nyombi TEMBO
Min. of State for Primary Health Care: Alex KAMUGISHA
Min. of State for Public Service (General): Patrick OKUMU RINGA
Min. of State for Public Service (Pensions): Benigna MUKIIBI
Min. of State for Regional Cooperation: Augustine NSHIMYE SEBUTURO
Min. of State for Sports: Charles BAKABULINDI
Min. of State for Tourism, Wildlife, & Antiquities: Jovina Ayuma AKAKI
Min. of State for Trade: Igeme NABEETA
Min. of State for Transport: Andruale AWUZU
Min. of State for Water: Maria MUTAGAMBA
Min. of State for Youth & Child Affairs: Felix OKOT OGONG
Attorney General: Kiddu MAKUBUYA
Dep. Attorney General: Adolf MWESIGYE
Governor, Bank of Uganda: Emmanuel TUMUSIIME-MUTEBILE
Ambassador to the US: Edith Grace SSEMPALA
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Francis K. BUTAGIRA

Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5909 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).


ECONOMY

Uganda's economy has great potential. Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development at independence. However, chronic political instability and erratic economic management produced a record of persistent economic decline that left Uganda among the world's poorest and least-developed countries.

Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation. The country's infrastructure—notably its transportation and communications systems which were destroyed by war and neglect—is being rebuilt. Recognizing the need for increased external support, Uganda negotiated a policy framework paper with the IMF and the World Bank in 1987. It subsequently began implementing economic policies designed to restore price stability and sustainable balance of payments, improve capacity utilization, rehabilitate infrastructure, restore producer incentives through proper price policies, and improve resource mobilization and allocation in the public sector. These policies produced positive results. Inflation, which ran at 240% in 1987 and 42% in June 1992, was 5.4% for fiscal year 1995-96 and 5.1% in 2003.

Investment as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 20.3% in 2003 compared to 13.7% in 1999. Private sector investment, largely financed by private transfers from abroad, was 14.9% of GDP in 2002. Gross national savings as a percentage of GDP was estimated at 6.4% in 2003. The Ugandan Government has also worked with donor countries to reschedule or cancel substantial portions of the country's external debts.

Agricultural products supply nearly all of Uganda's foreign exchange earnings, with coffee (of which Uganda is Africa's leading producer) accounting for about 19% and fish 17% of the country's exports in 2002. Exports of non-traditional products, including apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish are growing, while traditional exports cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.

Most industry is related to agriculture. The industrial sector is being rehabilitated to resume production of building and construction materials, such as cement, reinforcing rods, corrugated roofing sheets, and paint. Domestically produced consumer goods include plastics, soap, cork, beer, and soft drinks.

Uganda has about 30,000 kilometers (18,750 mi.), of roads; some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi.) are paved. Most radiate from Kampala. The country has about 1,350 kilometers (800 mi.) of rail lines. A railroad originating at Mombasa on the Indian Ocean connects with Tororo, where it branches westward to Jinja, Kampala, and Kasese and northward to Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, and Kapwach, though the routes west of Kampala and north of Mbale currently are not in use. Uganda's important road and rail links to Mombasa serve its transport needs and also those of its neighbors-Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Congo and Sudan. An international airport is at Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 32 kilometers (20 mi.) south of Kampala.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Relations with Rwanda, Congo and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. President Museveni has been active in attempts implement a peace agreement Burundi and has supported peace initiatives in Sudan and Somalia.

In the past, neighbors were concerned about Uganda's relationship with Libya, which had supplied military equipment and bartered fuel to Uganda. In addition to its friendly ties to Western nations, Uganda has maintained ties with North Korea. Uganda's has strained relations with Sudan because of past Sudanese support for the LRA. The LRA seeks to overthrow the Uganda Government and has inflicted brutal violence on the population in northern Uganda, including rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder. In 2002 Uganda and Sudan reestablished diplomatic ties and signed a protocol permitting the UPDF to enter southern Sudan and engage the LRA. The protocol must be renewed periodically.

Another rebel group operating in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Rwenzori Mountains, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), emerged as a localized threat in 1996 and inflicted substantial suffering on the population in the area. It has largely been defeated by the UPDF and the affected areas of western Uganda have been secured. Remnants of the ADF remain in eastern Congo.


DEFENSE

The Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF)—previously the National Resistance Army—constitutes the armed forces of Uganda. Prior to 2000, U.S. military forces participated with the UPDF in training activities under the African Crisis Response Initiative. U.S. military assistance was terminated in 2000 as a result of the Ugandan incursion into the D.R.C. Following the June 2003 UPDF withdrawal of troops from the D.R.C., the U.S. has restarted limited nonlethal military assistance.


U.S.-UGANDAN RELATIONS

Although U.S.-Ugandan relations were strained during the rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s, relations improved after Amin's fall. In mid-1979, the United States reopened its embassy in Kampala. Relations with successor governments were cordial, although Obote and his administration rejected strong U.S. criticism of Uganda's human rights situation.

Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States has welcomed his efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism. The United States is helping Uganda achieve export-led economic growth through the African Growth and Opportunities Act and provides a significant amount of development assistance. At the same time, the United States is concerned about continuing human rights problems, the pace of progress toward the establishment of genuine political pluralism, and indications that Museveni may seek to change the constitution and seek another term.

U.S. development assistance in Uganda has the overall goal of reducing mass poverty. Most U.S. program assistance is focused in the areas of health, education and agriculture. Both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have major programs to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other programs promote trade and investment, curb environmental degradation, encourage the peaceful resolution of local and international conflicts, and promote honest and open government. The United States also provides large amounts of humanitarian assistance to populations without access to adequate food supplies because of conflict, drought and other factors.

U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers are active in primary teacher training and HIV/AIDS programs. The Department of State carries out cultural exchange programs, brings Fulbright lecturers and researchers to Uganda, and sponsors U.S. study and tour programs for a wide variety of officials from government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through Ambassador's Self-Help Fund, local groups in poor areas receive assistance for small projects with a high level of community involvement.

U.S.-Ugandan relations also benefit from significant contributions to health care, nutrition, education, and park systems from U.S. missionaries, non-governmental organizations, private universities, HIV/AIDS researchers, and wildlife organizations. Expatriate Ugandans living in the U.S. also promote stronger links between the two countries.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

KAMPALA (E) Address: 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda; Phone: 256-41-259791/2/3/5, 234142; Fax: 256-41-259794; Workweek: 7:30-4:45 MTh; 7:30-12:30 Friday; Website: usembassy.state.gov/Kampala/.

AMB:Vacant
AMB OMS:Marialuisa N. Fotheringham
DCM:William Fitzgerald
DCM OMS:Courtney M. Preston
PO:Post One
POL:Nathan Holt
CON:Nathan Flook
MGT:Martina Flintrop
AFSA:Casey Mace
AID:Margot Ellis
CLO:Shawna Wentlandt
DAO:Richard Skow
ECO:Nathan Carter
EEO:Kimberly Murphy
FMO:Kevin Crews
GSO:Kimberly Murphy
ICASS Chair:Harold Rasmussen
IMO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
IPO:Mike Fotheringham
ISO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
ISSO:Stella Bulimo-Crews
PAO:Alyson Grunder
RSO:Bruce Warren
State ICASS:Vacant
Last Updated: 12/29/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

August 31, 2005

Country Description:

Uganda is a landlocked, developing country in central East Africa. Infrastructure is adequate in Kampala, the capital, but is limited in other areas.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

A passport valid for three months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. Visas are available at Entebbe Airport or may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda. Airline companies may also require travelers have a visa before boarding. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda at 5911 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100; Internet site: http://www.ugandaembassy.com; e-mail: [email protected] Travelers may also contact the Ugandan Permanent Mission to the United Nations, telephone (212) 949-0110. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Uganda web site at http://www.ugandaembassy.com for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security:

U.S. citizens living in or planning to visit Uganda should be aware of threats to their safety from insurgent groups, particularly in the northern region near the border with Sudan, along the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the southwest near the border with Rwanda. Insurgent groups have at times specifically targeted U.S. citizens. They have engaged in murder, armed attacks, kidnapping, and the placement of land mines. Although isolated, incidents occur with little or no warning. In March 2004, two Americans were murdered in northwestern Uganda in Yumbe District. The police have caught five suspects who face trial soon; however their motives remain unclear. Armed banditry is common in the Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda.

Due to potential security concerns, U.S. government employees must have permission from the Chief of Mission to visit the following districts: Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Arua, Nebbi, Kisoro, Kanungu, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, and Bundibugyo. The above-named districts include all or part of several national parks. Tourists contemplating travel in any of these districts are advised to seek the latest security information from Ugandan authorities, tour operators, and the U.S. Embassy.

Because of continuing activity by elements of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, particularly the districts of Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Adjumani, the level of violence associated with these incursions and an order to target Americans issued in May 2004 by the leader of the LRA, the Embassy strongly recommends against travel to and residence in these districts. Americans resident in these areas should review whether the LRA threats are grounds for leaving the area.

The Government of Uganda has taken significant steps to improve security in national parks in recent years. The Ugandan army, charged with the safety and welfare of travelers, accompanies tourists on gorilla-tracking visits and has greatly increased its presence in the parks. However, there are security concerns associated with pre-dawn and nighttime driving if accommodations are located far away from the gorilla parks. In addition to the general risk of higher accident rates, pre-dawn and nighttime driving also increases the risk of banditry.

The U.S. Embassy recommends against travel to Murchison Falls National Park due to continued activity by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in and around the park. Americans should avoid all road travel in Gulu and Kitgum districts, where the park is located. Prior LRA activity in Murchison Falls National Park in 2001 included at least one incursion into the northern part of the park, when a number of Ugandan tourists were killed.

The Ugandan Government reopened Rwenzori National Park, on the western border with Congo, in 2001 in response to decreased rebel activity on the eastern slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains and environs. However, continuing instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo and parts of northern Rwanda make parks in the western border area of Uganda potentially vulnerable to incursion by rebel and vigilante groups operating in Congo and Rwanda.

The U.S. Embassy recommends that visitors seek up-to-date security information from park authorities before entering Mgahinga National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, both in the southwestern corner of Uganda, due to sporadic rebel activity across the Congo/Rwanda border. Rwandan rebel factions with anti-Western and anti-American ideologies are known to operate in areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo that border Uganda. One such rebel group is believed to be responsible for the March 1999 kidnapping and murder of two American and six other tourists in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in western Uganda, as well as the August 1998 abduction of three tourists in a Democratic Republic of Congo national park contiguous with Uganda's Mgahinga National Park.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found.

Crime:

Crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from hotels and parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. These offenses also occur on public transportation. Passengers using public transport should under no circumstances accept food or drink from a stranger, even a child, because such food may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery. In November 2003, an American citizen was robbed and beaten after leaving a popular nightclub. Incidents of armed vehicle carjackings and armed highway robbery occur throughout the country, including urban areas. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. U.S. Embassy employees are advised against using roads at night, especially in areas outside the limits of cities and large towns. Women traveling alone are particularly susceptible to crime. Home burglaries do occur and sometimes turn violent. It is not uncommon for armed groups to invade homes.

There has been a recent, marked increase in financial crime, including wire transfer fraud and fraud involving checks. We recommend using money orders for all fund transfers and protecting all bank account information.

An increasing number of U.S. exporters (primarily vendors of expensive consumer goods such as computers, stereo equipment, and electronics) have been targeted by a sophisticated check fraud scheme. A fictitious company in Uganda locates a vendor on the Internet, makes e-mail contact to order goods, and pays with a third-party check. The checks, written on U.S. accounts and made out to entities in Uganda for small amounts, are intercepted, washed and presented for payment of the goods with the U.S. vendor as payee and an altered amount. If the goods are shipped before the check clears, the U.S. shipper will be a victim of this crime, as the goods are picked up at the airport and the company cannot be traced. American companies receiving orders from Uganda are encouraged to check with the Economic and Commercial Section in the Embassy, which will verify the legitimacy of the company. The Embassy strongly cautions U.S. vendors against accepting third-party checks as payment for any goods to be shipped to Uganda.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Medical facilities in Uganda, including Kampala, are limited and not equipped to handle most emergencies, especially those requiring surgery. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Equipment and medicines are often in short supply or unavailable. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy.

Malaria is prevalent in Uganda. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, see the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Uganda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little or no training and are often reckless. Small vans and large buses are usually poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the principal vehicles involved in the many single and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Large trucks on the highways are often precariously over-loaded, with inadequately secured cargo and poor braking systems. Alcohol frequently is a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night. Drivers are advised to take extra care when driving. Driving standards are low, vehicles are often poorly maintained, large potholes are ubiquitous, and adequate signage and shoulders are almost non-existent. Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazard. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous, including the road between Entebbe Airport and Kampala. The Embassy recommends caution on this road and taking a reliable taxi service to and from the airport.

Traffic accidents draw crowds. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any injured persons. In some cases where serious injury has occurred, there is the possibility of mob anger. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

For specific information concerning Ugandan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Uganda Tourist Board, IPS building, 14, Parliament Avenue, Kampala, Uganda; telephone 256-41-342196. You may also wish to consult their web site at http://www.visituganda.com, or, for information on government agencies, check http://myuganda.co.ug.

Visit the website of the country's national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://myuganda.co.ug.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Uganda, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Uganda's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa.

Several weekly flights to Europe are available on international airlines. Kenya Airways has daily flights between Kampala's Entebbe Airport and Nairobi, and regional airlines operate weekly flights to other destinations in Africa, such as Dar Es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Johannesburg.

Special Circumstances:

Please note that U.S. currency notes in $20 and $50 denominations are exchanged at a lower rate than $100 currency notes. Travelers may also encounter difficulty exchanging $100 notes printed earlier than 2000. ATMs are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but usually only customers who have an account with a specific Ugandan bank may use them. Few machines function with overseas accounts. There are several offices handling Western Union transfers in Kampala. In addition, some travelers have reported problems utilizing traveler's checks. In order to avoid potential difficulties, American citizens planning a visit to Uganda should check with their hotel and other service providers in order to confirm the acceptance of traveler's checks.

Ugandan Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required, along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Photography in tourist locations is permitted. However, taking pictures of military/police installations or personnel is prohibited. Military and police officers have detained tourists for taking photographs of part of Entebbe Airport and of the area around Owen Falls Dam, near Jinja.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Uganda laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uganda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://www.travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Uganda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Uganda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 1577 Gaba Road, Kansanga, Kampala; telephone 256-41-234-142; fax 256-41-258-451; e-mail: [email protected] The U.S. Embassy website is http://kampala.usembassy.gov.

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UGANDA

Republic of Uganda

Major Cities:
Kampala, Entebbe

Other Cities:
Jinja, Kabale, Kisoro, Masaka, Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Tororo

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report dated July 1996. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

UGANDA , once called the "Pearl of Africa," is a nation that has, in little more than two decades, been battered into near ruin by rampant military violence and blatant abuses of the most basic human rights. It has suffered a succession of brutal, dictatorial regimes, widespread atrocities, and crushing starvation and disease.

Raging terrorism affected every segment of society until finally, in January 1986, rebel forces overthrew those in power and a new leader, Yoweri Museveni, promised the formation of a non-aligned government committed to the restoration of peace and stability. Museveni's National Resistance Movement largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments and initiated substantial political and economic reforms. A new constitution was ratified in 1995 by a popularly elected constituent assembly.

The United Kingdom, which had established hegemony over Uganda in the 1890s, granted full internal self government to the country in March 1962. Political struggles soon began, and were intensified during the turbulent rule of the infamous Idi Amin (1971-1979). Both Great Britain and the United States severed diplomatic relations with Uganda, following open threats and brazen incidents of human rights violations. The U.S. Embassy was reopened in the capital city of Kampala in 1981, but tough American criticism of continuing abuses in Uganda created mounting tension. With a new government in place, a calmer atmosphere prevails.

Insurgent groups, with support from Sudan, harass government forces and murder and kidnap civilians in the north and west. Due to Sudanese support of various guerilla movements, Uganda cut off diplomatic relations with Sudan in 1995.

MAJOR CITIES

Kampala

Kampala began as a settlement near the palace of the kabaka (the former absolute monarch of the Baganda) at Mengo, and in the 20th century developed into the largest town in Uganda, dominating the country's political and economic life. It was granted city status during the nation's independence celebrations in October 1962. An estimated 774,000 people live in the metropolitan area.

Kampala lies on the shores of Lake Victoria, about 20 miles north of the equator, at an altitude of close to 4,500 feet. It is built on a number of low-lying hills, surrounded by green, rolling countryside dotted with small farms. These farms grow mostly plantains, the main subsistence crop and staple food.

Along Kampala's central streets, modern stores and office buildingsmany of them multi-storiedmix with old-style shops. On Janan Luwum Street and Nkurumah Road, near the main market, are many small shops that trade in a variety of goods. On the other side of the main street, called variously along its length Bombo, Kampala, or Jinja Road, are large government structures, the most important of which is the Parliament building with its Independence Arch.

Residential areas, located on a series of hills surrounding downtown, had made Kampala one of Africa's most attractive capitals, but more than two decades of neglect is sadly apparent. Some effort has been made to restore the city to its once verdant beauty. Within the city are Kololo Hill (easily recognized by the tall television mast), and other hills such as Nakasero, Makindye, Makerere (the home of Makerere University), Mulago, Mbuya, and Muyenga. Outside of Kampala, still more hills are dominated by Namirembe Cathedral (Anglican), Rubaga Cathedral (Roman Catholic), the Baha'i Temple, the former kabaka's palace, and Kibuli Mosque.

Education

The Lincoln International School, assisted by the U.S. Department of State's Overseas Schools Program, serves the international community. It follows the American curriculum for kindergarten through the twelfth grade. The school is coeducational.

Extracurricular activities include drama, yearbook, choir, field trips, swimming, soccer, softball, basketball, and volleyball. The school also offers numerous clubs.

Most children of expatriates (in upper grades) attend schools in the U.S., Europe, or Kenya.

Recreation

Club membership is necessary in Kampala to use facilities for tennis or golf, but such membership is inexpensive and available. There is an 18-hole course at the Kampala Golf Club.

The Kampala Club has good facilities for tennis and squash, and also has a swimming pool which is generally in usable condition. Swimming in Lake Victoria is dangerous because of the likelihood of contracting bilharzia, a debilitating parasitic disease.

The Nyanza Sailing Club sails from two locations in the Kampala area on Sunday afternoons and holidays.

Soccer is a national sport and attracts large crowds for weekend matches.

The Kenya Highlands to the east and the mountains of southwestern Uganda provide a change from the weather of Kampala. Cold-weather gear for an extended trek to the higher altitudes may be useful. These are both six-to-eight-hour drives. The accommodations in Uganda are not good at present, but rehabilitation is going on. In Kenya, pleasant country hotels offer modest facilities for rest and relaxation. The capital city of Nairobi provides an opportunity to enjoy excellent shopping for foodstuffs, household items, African handicrafts, as well as offering night life and other diversions. Nairobi is nine to 10 hours by road and 90 minutes by plane.

Uganda is the home of three of the best game parks in Africa. All are open and operating, and extensive repairs are in progress. Some animals are beginning to return to Kabalega National Park from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the former Zaire) and other nearby areas where they took refuge during the 1979 Liberation War. Poaching is still a problem and the animals are quite shy. The game park also offers the opportunity of seeing a spectacular cataract in which the Nile forces its way through a 19-foot cleft in the rocks. Chobe is the nearest operating game lodge and it offers comfortable lodgings. No scheduled launches go to the falls, but arrangements can generally be made at Paraa Lodge.

Kidepo Park in northeastern Uganda contains land of great beauty, and also some animals which are not observable anywhere else in Uganda. It is, however, remote and difficult to reach. Rwenzori National Park in the west still has some surviving large animals.

Mombasa (Kenya), on the Indian Ocean, is two-to-three days' travel by road. It has pleasant beach accommodations and many tourist attractions. The islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, and the Seychelles are also nice places to visit. Frequent air service from Nairobi reaches the coastal resort areas as well as the islands.

Entertainment

Entertainment is limited in Kampala. The Alliance Française offers French films with English subtitles on Saturdays, and the French Cultural Center has educational programs. Amateur theatricals in English and in local languages are shown at the National Theater.

The British High Commission Social Club sponsors an active Darts League that meets on Fridays during the equivalent of "happy hour." A rugby club meets twice a week on a pitch near the stadium. Golf, tennis, fishing, and sailing are common entertainments for Americans and Europeans as well as for many Ugandans.

A small, but good, museum is a must for newcomers. It portrays the history, culture, and economy of Uganda.

Kampala's active professional soccer league plays daily games from January through May at Nakivubo Stadium.

Entebbe

Entebbe, situated on the equator 22 miles south of Kampala, is Uganda's other principal city, but its population (43,000) is lower than that of other centers. It was administrative capital of the country from 1894 to 1962 and, although most government offices have moved to the capital, the State House (residence and office of the president) remains at Entebbe. It is the center of a region that produces bananas, coffee, and cotton.

Several attractions are located in Entebbe, among them botanical gardens, a veterinary research laboratory, and a virus research institute. The city is a transportation hub for eastern Africa, with an international airport and shipping connections to Kenya, Tanzania, and other parts of Uganda via Lake Victoria.

Entebbe figured prominently in international news in July 1976, when the passengers and crew of a hijacked airliner were rescued in a dramatic Israeli commando raid on Entebbe Airport. An elderly British citizen died, and it was at this time that the United Kingdom broke diplomatic relations with Uganda. Gen. Idi Amin Dada, now in exile in the Middle East, was president and dictator at that time.

OTHER CITIES

JINJA , 50 miles east of Kampala, is Uganda's second largest city, with about 65,000 residents. Built around the Owens Falls dam and power station, it is the country's chief industrial region. Jinja is home to several industries, including the first steel-rolling mill in eastern Africa, a copper smeltery, a brewery, tannery, textile factory, and large sugar plantations. The city is a major transportation center for railroads and lake steamers.

KABALE , the highest town in the nation at 6,600 feet above sea level, is 200 miles southwest of Kampala. Trips to nearby lakes, especially to Lake Bunyonyi, are considered worthwhile for tourists. The current population is 29,000.

KISORO , in the Mitumba Mountain range of the extreme southwest, is a popular tourist spot. The city of 10,000 is the starting point for expeditions to Mounts Muhavura and Mgahinga. Numerous lakes and Ruwenzori Park are in the area.

Historic Fort Mosaka is in MASAKA , 80 miles southwest of Kampala. A market town and commercial center, the city produces processed meat and fish, beverages, footwear, bakery products, furniture, clay products, and glass. It is a critical commercial area for the surrounding coffee growing region. The population is approximately 50,000.

Mount Elgon dominates MBALE , the country's third largest city and the hub of the eastern region. Round trips to the mountain, an extinct volcano, take about three days; climbs in the rainy season may be difficult. Mbale is an agricultural trading center and the site of one of Uganda's principal dairies. The current population is about 54,000.

MBARARA is a center of cattle ranching in the southwestern region of Uganda. The famous Ankole cattle are raised in the area. The city is the headquarters of a large army camp and base for the Lake Mburo Game Reserve. Located 167 miles southwest of Kampala, Mbarara is noted for its woodcarving, weaving, and pottery-making. Industries produce soap, oils and fats, textiles, beverages, processed food, rope and twine, and plywood. It has approximately 41,000 residents.

MOROTO , in the extreme northeast near the Kenyan border, is the home of the Karamojong people. Cattle are vital here, and disputes with Kenyan border tribes over cattle raiding are common. The proud, traditional Karamojong should be approached with care, ideally with a knowledgeable guide. The Karamojong produce various crafts including pottery, woodworking, weaving, and clay products. The current population is 14,000.

TORORO is a major road and rail junction in the far eastern region, near the border with Kenya. This town of 44,000 lies at the base of a hill that dominates the area.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Uganda occupies a fertile plateau in the center of Africa at an average altitude of 4,000 feet. The plateau's edges are turned up on the east by Mt. Elgon (14,178 feet) and the Kenya highlands, and on the west by the Rwenzori Mountains (16,791 feet). The country is crossed diagonally from southeast to northwest by the Nile River, which begins its journey to the Mediterranean near the city of Jinja on Lake Victoria, about 50 miles from Kampala. With an area of 91,000 square miles, Uganda is roughly the size of Oregon.

The temperature ranges from a high of 80°F to 85°F at noon to 60°F to 65°F at night. A greater range of temperature change occurs during the course of the day than between seasons. The hottest interval is generally from October through March, and the temperature is usually hot in the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. anytime of the year.

Annual rainfall averages 63.9 inches. During the rainy seasonsMarch/April and September/Octoberthe weather is cool and over-cast. Frequently heavy thunderstorms last 30 minutes to an hour. It seldom rains for an entire day, even during the so-called rainy seasons. Wind gusts accompanying downpours are sometimes strong, yet seldom damaging. Red murram dust can be a problem during dry periods, but this affects city dwellers primarily when they venture beyond the town and leave the asphalt roads.

Virtually every residence has insects of various sizes, but the ever-present lizards provide "exterminator" service.

Population

The population of Uganda is 24 million. Africans of four racial groupsBantu, Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, and Sudanicconstitute most of the populace. Of the four, the Bantu are the most numerous and include the Baganda, the largest single ethnic group, with more than 3.5 million members. The Iteso constitute the second largest group, followed by the Basoga, Banyankore, and Banyaruanda, all with populations of more than 500,000.

At one time, the Indo-Pakistani comprised a large part of the population. Most were deported during Amin's rule, but some returned as skilled laborers and office workers. Many Europeans also fled the country during Amin's rule and, after the Liberation War, they too began to return, although political turmoil kept their numbers at a minimum.

English is the official language. It is spoken by almost the entire European community, most of the Asian community, and all of the educated Africans in Kampala.

Elementary Swahili is useful in the Kampala area for talking to servants and to African tradesmen and craftsmen. Outside of Kampala and the Buganda region, Swahili is used as the lingua franca among many people who do not speak English, in addition to their maternal tongues.

Most members of the Baganda tribe, however, prefer not to speak Swahili. They use their own language, Luganda, which is spoken or understood by at least four million people.

The religious work begun in 1877 by missionaries was successful, and today some 66 percent of the Ugandan population is Christian, divided equally between Protestants and Catholics. The rest is made up of Muslims (16 percent) and animists (18 percent).

History

When British explorers, searching for the headwaters of the Nile, first arrived in Uganda in 1862, they found the northern shores of Lake Victoria controlled by the Baganda, a people who had developed a complex agricultural society ruled over by an absolute monarch called the kabaka. Christian missionaries entered the area in 1877 and, by 1892, British authority was established through a series of treaties of protection with Buganda and the other kingdoms of Uganda. These kingdoms had already well-developed political institutions dating back several centuries.

As a result of the decision by the early British administrators to govern indirectly through the chiefs and rulers, and because of their beliefs that the area was unsuited to European settlement, the country was developed from the beginning primarily as an African territory. Land ownership was reserved for Africans at an early date, so that there is now almost no Asian or European rural settlement group.

Government

When the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin Dada came to an end in 1979, Dr. A. Milton Obote, who had been overthrown by Amin's army coup eight years earlier, was restored to power. Continued abuses of human rights, however, led to the ousting by rebel troops of Obote and his government. The rebel troops, calling themselves the National Resistance Movement, selected Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as chairman of the National Resistance Council. The National Resistance Council (NRC) is the legislative branch of the National Resistance Movement. Under the NRM system, local resistance councils at the village, parish, subcounty, county, and district level elect representatives to the next level in the pyramidal structure.

The main thrust of the present government is to rebuild the seriously damaged economy. Food production is the area of greatest concentration.

A number of philanthropic and social organizations thrive here. The YMCA, YWCA, Lions, and Rotary are active and play an important role in charitable affairs. In addition, the Uganda Red Cross, which has ties to International Red Cross groups, and the Uganda Foundation for the Blind are active. Youth programs are organized by the National Council of Sports. The National Union of Youth Organizations sponsors a sports club program. In addition to the above, youth programs are organized through the school system.

The Ugandan flag consists of repeated bands of black, gold, and red. In the center is a white disc with an emblem of a crested crane.

Arts, Science, Education

In the arts, the National Theatre once again is flourishing with performances in drama, dance, and song every weekend throughout the year by groups coming to Kampala from all over Uganda. Several popular rock groups entertain regularly. The Uganda Museum, presents a comprehensive insight into the area's history. There are regional museums at Saroti and Kabale. The Nommo Gallery, a parastatal institution, features mostly batiks, but is striving to reestablish its collection in diverse art forms. Many individual batik artists ply their trade within the country. Although radio and television have some technical problems, they do a commendable job in theatrical and musical presentations.

Interest in the sciences is beginning to form again. Individual Ugandans are still invited to international science conferences, but are often unable to attend for lack of foreign currency.

A strong public and private secondary school system exists. Only the most promising primary school students are enrolled. For more than a decade, almost nothing was done to develop and nourish higher education. Makerere University, once the premier institution of higher learning in East Africa, is on the rise again but faces many difficulties because of lack of sufficient funds. Shortages range from lack of housing for faculty and students to insufficient textbooks, scientific journals, and laboratory equipment. Despite its problems, Makerere continues to educate a student body in various disciplines. Other higher educational institutions are the National Teachers College, Institute of Teacher's Education, Uganda Polytechnic, the National College of Commerce, and the Institute for Public Administration.

Commerce and Industry

Uganda has substantial economic resources, among them fertile soil, regular rainfall, and abundant reserves of cobalt and copper. However, commerce and industry were seriously disrupted under both Amin's and Obote's rule, and by the looting that followed the countless civil disturbances. Government and private businesses, with foreign assistance, are making progress rebuilding the industrial sector. Manufacturing began recovering in the 1980s, and by the mid-1990s Uganda's industrial production was three times larger than it was in the late 1980s. Most facilities are still trying to rebuild, however, and the industrial sector still operates at only 40 percent or less of capacity.

Agriculture is Uganda's principal economic sector, employing 82 percent of the labor force. Coffee, cotton, tea, beans, corn, and tobacco are the main export crops; sugar and cocoa also are important. The main food crops are cassava, millet, corn, sweet potatoes, beans, and cereals. The chief industries are those for the processing of the food crops and for textiles, soap, cement, brewing, metal products, vehicle assembly, and steel. Rehabilitation of the sugar, textiles, paper, and steel industries is underway, mainly funded by international aid agencies.

The tourist industry, very important as a foreign exchange earner, is slowly beginning to recover. Several lodges are being rehabilitated for the public, and animals are becoming more evident in game parks, although many have been killed by poachers. Uganda's principal attractions for tourists are the forests, lakes, and wildlife. In the late 1980s, Uganda launched a program to create new national parks and build new hotels.

The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry is at 17-19 Jinja Road, P.O. Box 3809, Kampala.

Transportation

Air traffic into Uganda is being used increasingly. Entebbe Airport is only 20 miles from the capital over an asphalt road, but there is a scarcity of public or private transportation available between the cities. Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines operate flights between Entebbe Airport and Nairobi several times a week. Air Tanzania also has one flight per week between Uganda and Tanzania. Buses travel to the Kenya border where bus connections to Kisumu and Nairobi can be made. The Uganda Railways Corporation operates train service between some rural towns and Kampala.

In Kampala, public transportation is poor. The few available buses are overcrowded and do not follow any schedule. Local taxis are, in reality, private cars that crowd in as many passengers as possible, and charge as much as those passengers will pay. The taxis are unsafe and unreliable. Most Americans do not use public transportation.

In general, private automobiles are a necessity. Those planning a stay in Uganda should either bring a car to the country or purchase one in neighboring Kenya. Autos can be bought locally, but selection is limited, and the cost is many times the actual value.

While large cars are more comfortable for long trips, small vehicles are easier to handle on Uganda's narrow roads. A Ugandan driver's license is required and, unless the applicant has a valid Kenyan or Tanzanian license, both oral and road examinations are necessary. Americans who have, or who can show that they have held, a driver's license from an East African or British Commonwealth country, can obtain a permit without testing.

All automobile owners are required by law to carry minimum third-party insurance, but rates are low. However, comprehensive coverage is quite costly because of the high incidence of auto thefts. The prospect of easy money from the sale of stolen vehicles makes owning a car a risky prospect in Uganda. Gasoline, at about five dollars a gallon, is usually available. Traffic moves on the left.

Communications

Telephone service is only fair. International calls to the U.S. and Europe are sometimes difficult to place, but reception is generally good, since there is a satellite station in Kenya. Overseas telegraph facilities are available, but not always reliable. Service for local calls within Uganda is often reliable.

International airmail to and from the U.S. is slow, taking roughly 10-15 days. Delivery is fairly reliable for letters. However, packages should be sent through international mail.

Special note: The typewritten stamps of Uganda, issued before the country owned a printing press, are among the most unusual in the world. They were prepared by Rev. E. Miller of the Church Missionary Society in 1895, and are very valuable today.

The government-operated radio system, Radio Uganda, broadcasts in many different languages, divided into the following linguistic groups: the Bantu spoken in the south by three-fifths of the population; Nilotic or Nilo-Hamitic found in the north and northeast; the Sudanic found in the northwest; and English, French, and Arabic. English-language news is broadcast six times daily. Ordinary radios in Kampala are limited to local-station reception. In order to receive a variety of shortwave broadcasts, a good set is required. Reliable shortwave sets can pick up Voice of America (VOA), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Service. Commercial FM radio stations began broadcasting in the mid-1990s; these carry VOA and BBC news and play a wide variety of contemporary music.

Local and foreign-produced television programs consisting of news, entertainment, movies, and sports are shown in the evenings. Most shows are in English, but there is some Swahili and Luganda programming. Television is transmitted by the British and European PAL system. American television sets are not compatible with this system. A multi-system receiver should be purchased. Television sets purchased in Nairobi are compatible with the system in Uganda.

Uganda's freedom of press has given rise to several daily and weekly newspapers in both English and Luganda. New Visions, The Star, Monitor, and The East African are some of the major newspapers. There are several weeklies and periodicals. A number of newspapers have editions in the Luganda language, and are widely read in the Kampala area. Some American or international newspapers or magazines are available.

Bookstores typically carry a fair selection of academic books but stock very little fiction. The Makerere University Library has a rather large collection, especially of East African and Ugandan history, but lack of tight control and inadequate air conditioning have resulted in theft and the deterioration of the collection. Uganda maintains no public lending libraries. However, United States Information Services (USIS) has a small public library, with a selection of current magazines and back issues of U.S. newspapers and the International Herald Tribune.

Health

Mulago Hospital is a government-owned hospital, but there have been problems with lack of personnel and supplies. Several missionary hospitals, which are well staffed, provide adequate services. Nsambya Hospital is run by the Franciscan Sisters and staffed by Irish nuns who are physicians and nurses. It has its own training school for general nursing and midwifery. The hospital has an adequate laboratory, X-ray unit, and blood bank. The operating room is clean and well equipped.

A British general practitioner who runs a competent private practice is under contract to the U.S. Embassy, and is recommended highly. He has a small laboratory and uses hospital X-ray facilities when needed. He isavailable at night and on weekends, and he makes house calls. Westerners with serious medical problems go to Nairobi for treatment.

In Kampala, public sanitation is quite good, and a waterborne sewage disposal system serves 90 percent of the municipal area. However, immediately outside the city limits, public sanitation is completely lacking. A large portion of the population are afflicted with intestinal parasites; health inspections of food are not stringent. The city sporadically collects garbage around some of the market areas.

For those who wash fresh fruits and vegetables well, boil and filter all drinking water, and take an antimalarial drug regularly, health hazards are not great within Kampala's residential areas. Allergy diseases (hay fever, asthma, sinus), colds, diarrhea, influenza, and several unidentifiable viruses constitute most maladies.

All water must be filtered because of the silt content, regardless of the purification process. Drinking water must also be boiled; as an alternative, treatment with iodine or chlorine is acceptable. Bottled water is not available. A household bleach or iodine solution should be used to disinfect fresh fruits and vegetables.

Malaria is widespread in Uganda. Four different parasites of Plasmodia cause four types of malaria. The type most common in Uganda is falciparum, which the old textbooks called "malignant malaria," since its frequent complications involve the brains and kidneys, and often cause death. No mosquito-control inspection or spraying is currently taking place. A regular regime of antimalarial drugs is advised, starting two weeks before arrival in Uganda and continuing for four weeks after leaving. Chloroquine (Aralen or Nivaquin) and Fansidar are the drugs commonly used by Americans.

There is a significant AIDS risk in Uganda. Visitors and expatriates are urged to use extreme caution in order to avoid infection. Contracting tuberculosis is a risk if one is exposed over a lengthy period.

Most houses in residential areas are equipped with modern plumbing facilities. Nevertheless, ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are a constant, if minor, problem. Sanitation standards are not high in the market area, and food bought there should be carefully inspected and washed.

Clothing and Services

Summer-weight clothing is needed all year in Uganda. Very little is available to suit Westerners' tastes, except for the cotton prints in African designs which are always in the marketplace in Nairobi (Kenya), and sometimes in Kampala. Clothing and shoes for the entire family sometimes can be bought in local stores, but they are expensive.

Men find that tropical safari suits are the most comfortable and satisfactory. Often they wear either suits or sports shirts and slacks to work. Women need sweaters and stoles for cool evenings and during the daytime in the rainy season. Women usually wear slacks, jeans, cotton blouses, and skirts during the day.

Several dry cleaners do business in Kampala, but most laundry is done at home. A few reputable hair salons in Kampala serve both men and women, but their prices are extremely high. Of the handful of shoe repair shops, one is good; the two or three others are mediocre. Some automobiles and radios can be repaired locally.

Fresh fruits and vegetables abound in the markets around Kampala. Fresh vegetables, such as green peppers, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers, are always in stock. Most tropical fruits also are available and in good condition. Pears, peaches, and apples are not found in Kampala. Beef, poultry, and eggs are plentiful, but prices are high compared to those in the U.S. Good quality, fresh, lake fish is available. Pork, sausages, bacon, and frozen fish sometimes can be found in butcher shops.

Packaged pasteurized milk made by Uganda Dairy Corporation is sometimes available. Fresh milk can be bought from farmers by prior arrangement, and instant powdered milk and evaporated milk are available. Canned margarine, butter, imported coffee, and salt, though usually available, are expensive. High quality Ugandan coffee and tea are in plentiful supply. Cooking oil, which can be adulterated, is not always available and is extremely expensive. Baby foods, dried fruits, soy sauces, spices, and salad dressings are not usually sold in local markets. Several bakeries make bread and a variety of pastries.

There is a great shortage of goods. Most medicines and toiletries are both expensive and difficult to find. Toys and books must be brought from home.

Domestic Help

As good servants are scarce, constant supervision is necessary to see that work is done properly and theft is kept to a minimum. Breakage of china and glassware and some disappearance of food must be expected. These problems can be controlled with proper supervision. Both male and female servants are available for cooking and house-cleaning. Ayahs, or nursemaids, can be hired to care for small children. There are no European or Asian servants.

The minimum wage prescribed by the Ugandan government is very low. If servants provide their own food, they get an allowance. The average American household has a combination cook/houseboy, a gardener (if house and plot are occupied), and an ayah if there are small children. Single people living in apartments usually need only one servant. Most servants live in semi-detached or detached servants quarters. Day and night guards are necessary.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan.1 New Year's Day

Jan. 26 Victory Day

Mar.(2nd Mon) Commonwealth Day

Mar. 8Women's Day

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Mar/Apr. Easter Monday*

May 1Labor Day

June 3 Martyrs' Day

June 9 Heroes' Day

Oct. 9 Independence Day

Dec. 25 Christmas Day

Dec. 26 Boxing Day

Id al-Adah*

Ramadan*

Id al-fitr*

* Variable

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

The required entry visa can be obtained at either the Ugandan Embassy in Washington, D.C., or the diplomatic offices in New York. Incoming travelers must also possess cholera and yellow fever immunization certificates on the World Health Organization's standard form. It is wise, once in Uganda, to renew visas for multiple entry.

Because of rebel and bandit activity and fighting in the area along the Sudanese border, travel in the northern part of Uganda is dangerous. The area affected encompasses Apac, Gulu, Kitgum, Kotido, Lira, Moroto, Moyo, Nebbi, and Soroti Districts. The inability of the Ugandan government to ensure the safety of visitors makes any travel in the area unwise. Vehicles have been stopped and destroyed; passengers have been robbed and/or killed. There have been at least two land mine explosions on the roads north of Gulu. Additionally, random acts of violence involving American and other tourists have occurred in northern Uganda, such as a grenade attack at a tourist hotel in Arua. Bomb attacks have occurred in Kampala at various public places, all travelers should exercise extreme caution.

Travel to Murchison Falls National Park is unsafe. Three Americans were robbed in a violent attack by armed men in March 1997 near the southern entrance to the park. In addition, rebels have operated inside the park on the northern side of the Nile River. Visitors should consult U.S. Embassy officials about travel plans to Murchison Falls National Park.

Travel to western Uganda is unsafe. The Ugandan military is pursuing rebel groups in the Rwenzori Mountains, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and in portions of Kasese, Bushenyi and Rukunguri Districts. In March 1999, tourists were kidnapped and murdered in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Travel to the southwestern corner of Uganda near the Zaire and Rwanda borders can also be risky. There have been attacks by bands of armed men in and near Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, as well as the abduction of American tourists. Visitors should consult U.S. Embassy officials about travel plans to western Uganda.

The Government of Uganda is expected to maintain laws forbidding the importation of firearms and ammunition. Updated information should be sought.

Pets bought into Uganda must have valid health and rabies vaccination certificates. Pets will not be quarantined if they are accompanied by these certificates.

Many religions (Baha'i, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and animist) are represented in Kampala and its environs. Christian churches include Baptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Church of God. Services are usually conducted in English.

The time in Uganda is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus three hours.

Uganda uses a decimal currency of shillings and cents.

The metric system of weights and measures is used.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Uganda. The U.S. Embassy address is: P.O. Box 7007, 10-12 Parliament Avenue, Kampala; telephone: 256-41-259-792/3/5.

RECOMMENDED READING

The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country:

Berg-Schlosser, D. Political Stability and Development: A Comparative Analysis of Kenya, Tanzania, & Uganda. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1990.

Bunker, Stephen G. Peasants Against the State: The Politics of Market Control in Bugisu, Uganda. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Creed, Alexander. Uganda. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Decalo, Samuel. Psychoses of Power: African Personal Dictatorships. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988.

Dodge, Cole P., and Magne Raundalen, eds. War, Violence & Children in Uganda. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Hammer, Trudy J. Uganda. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.

Hansen, Holger Bernt, and MichaelTwaddle. Changing Uganda: The Dilemmas of Structural Adjustment & Revolutionary Change. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1991.

Hansen, Holger Bernt, and MichaelTwaddle. Uganda Now: Between Decay & Development. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1988.

Kisubi, Alfred. Time Winds: Poems. Kansas City, MO: BkMk PressUMKC College of Arts & Sciences, 1988.

Lisicky, Paul. Uganda. New York:Chelsea House, 1988.

Rupesinghe, Kumar, ed. Conflict Resolution in Uganda. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1989.

Wiebe, Paul D., and Cole P. Dode, eds. Beyond Crisis: Development Issues in Uganda. Atlanta, GA: African Studies Assn., 1987.

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Uganda

1 Location and Size

2 Topography

3 Climate

4 Plants and Animals

5 Environment

6 Population

7 Migration

8 Ethnic Groups

9 Languages

10 Religions

11 Transportation

12 History

13 Government

14 Political Parties

15 Judicial System

16 Armed Forces

17 Economy

18 Income

19 Industry

20 Labor

21 Agriculture

22 Domesticated Animals

23 Fishing

24 Forestry

25 Mining

26 Foreign Trade

27 Energy and Power

28 Social Development

29 Health

30 Housing

31 Education

32 Media

33 Tourism and Recreation

34 Famous Ugandans

35 Bibliography

Republic of Uganda

CAPITAL: Kampala

FLAG: The national flag consists of six equal horizontal stripes of black, yellow, red, black, yellow, and red (from top to bottom); at the center, within a white circle, is a crested crane, the national bird of Uganda.

ANTHEM: Begins “O Uganda! May God uphold thee.”

MONETARY UNIT: The new Uganda shilling (NUSH) was introduced in May 1987 with a value equal to 100 old Uganda shillings. nush1 = $0.00056 (or $1 = nush1,776.68) as of 2005. There are coins of 1, 2, and 5 shillings, and notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shillings.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is now in use.

HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Martyrs’ Day, 3 June; Independence Day, 9 October; Christmas Day, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, ‘Id al-Fitr, and ‘Id al-’Adha’.

TIME: 3 pm = noon GMT.

1 Location and Size

A landlocked country in east-central Africa, situated north and northwest of Lake Victoria, Uganda has a total area of 236,040 square kilometers (91,135 square miles), slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. The country shares borders with Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a total land boundary length of 2,698 kilometers (1,676 miles).

The capital city of Kampala is located in the south, along the shore of Lake Victoria.

2 Topography

The greater part of Uganda consists of a plateau 800 to 2,000 meters (2,600 to 6,600 feet) in height. Along the western border, in the Ruwenzori Mountains, Margherita Peak reaches a height of 5,110 meters (16,765 feet), while on the eastern frontier Mount Elgon rises to 4,321 meters (14,178 feet). By contrast, the Western Rift Valley, which runs from north to south through the western half of the country, is below 910 meters (3,000 feet) on the surface of Lake Edward and Lake George and 621 meters (2,038

GEOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Geographic Features

Area: 236,040 sq km (91,135 sq mi)

Size ranking: 80 of 194

Highest elevation: 5,110 meters (16,765 feet) at Margherita Peak (Mount Stanley)

Lowest elevation: 621 meters (2,038 feet) at Lake Albert

Land Use*

Arable land: 22%

Permanent crops: 9%

Other: 69%

Weather**

Average annual precipitation: Annual rainfall ranges from just 69 centimeters (27.2 inches) in the northeast to nearly 200 centimeters (78.7 inches) near Lake Victoria.

Average temperature in January: (Kampala): 18–28°C (64–82°F)

Average temperature in July: (Kampala): 17–25°C (63–77°F)

* Arable Land: Land used for temporary crops, like meadows for mowing or pasture, gardens, and greenhouses.

Permanent crops: Land cultivated with crops that occupy its use for long periods, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruit and nut orchards, and vineyards.

Other: Any land not specified, including built-on areas, roads, and barren land.

** The measurements for precipitation and average temperatures were taken at weather stations closest to the country’s largest city.

Precipitation and average temperature can vary significantly within a country, due to factors such as latitude, altitude, coastal proximity, and wind patterns.

feet) on the surface of Lake Albert (the lowest point in the country).

The White Nile has its source in Lake Victoria. As the Victoria Nile, it runs northward through Lake Kyoga and then westward to Lake Albert, from which it emerges as the Albert Nile to resume its northward course to Sudan. The total length of the Nile River is 6,693 kilometers (4,160 miles). Lake Victoria, the largest lake, covers an area of 69,484 square kilometers (26,828 square miles).

3 Climate

Although Uganda is on the equator, its climate is warm rather than hot, and temperatures hardly vary throughout the year. On Lake Albert, the mean annual maximum is 29°c (84°F) and the mean annual minimum 22°c (72°F). At Kabale in the southwest, 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) higher in elevation, the mean annual maximum is 23°c (73°F), and the mean annual minimum 10°c (50°F). Most of the territory receives an annual rainfall of at least 100 centimeters (40 inches).

4 Plants and Animals

In the southern half of Uganda, the natural vegetation has been largely replaced by cultivated plots; plantain is the most prominent crop. Some scattered patches remain of elephant grass and mvuli trees and of thick forest, providing excellent timber.

The cooler western highlands contain a higher proportion of long grass and forest. In the extreme southwest, however, cultivation is intensive even on the high mountain slopes. In the drier northern region, short grasses appear, and there are areas of open woodland; thorn trees and borassus palms also grow there.

Elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, cob, topi, and numerous varieties of monkeys are all plentiful, along with lion, giraffe, and rhinoceros. At least six mammal species are found only in Uganda.

The birds of Uganda include the crowned crane (the national emblem), bulbul, weaver, crow, shrike, heron, egret, ibis, guinea fowl, mouse bird, lourie, hornbill, pigeon, dove, bee-eater, hoopoe, darter, lily-trotter, marabou stork, kingfisher, fish eagle, and kite.

There are relatively few varieties of fish, but the lakes and rivers contain plentiful stocks of tilapia, Nile perch, catfish, lungfish, elephant snout fish, and other species. Crocodiles, too, are found in many areas and are particularly evident along the Nile between the Kabalega (Murchison) Falls and Lake Albert. There is a wide variety of snakes, but the more dangerous varieties are rarely observed.

5 Environment

Major environmental problems in Uganda include overgrazing, deforestation, and primitive agricultural methods, all of which lead to soil erosion. Attempts at controlling the tsetse fly population have involved the use of hazardous chemicals. The nation’s water supply is threatened by toxic industrial pollutants. Mercury from mining activity is also found in the water supply. Forests and woodlands were reduced by two-thirds between 1962 and 1977. Between 1983 and 1993, an additional 7.7% of forest and woodland were lost. Wetlands have been drained for agricultural use. Poaching of protected animals is widespread.

Uganda’s three national parks total over 6,300 square kilometers (2,400 square miles).

As of 2001, 7.9% of Uganda’s total land area was protected. In 2006, 29 of the nation’s mammal species and 15 of the nation’s bird species were threatened, as well as 38 species of plants. Endangered or extinct species include the mountain gorilla, northern white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, and Nile crocodile.

In 1996, water hyacinth growth created a serious environmental and economic problem on Lake Victoria. When the masses of hyacinths drifted into Uganda’s ports and coves, they impaired local fishing, prevented small boats from leaving their harbors, and trapped fish. The weed invasion has also been known to affect cargo boat and ferry transportation by fouling engines and propellers and making docking difficult.

6 Population

In 2005, the United Nations estimated the population of Uganda to be 26.9 million. The projected population is 55.8 million for 2025. Estimated population density in 2005 was 141 persons per square kilometer (365 per square mile). In the same year, Kampala, the capital and largest city, had a population of 1.2 million.

7 Migration

As of 2004, Uganda had 250,482 refugees. These refugees were primarily from Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other neighboring African nations. The net migration rate that year was -1.49 migrants per 1,000 population.

8 Ethnic Groups

Uganda’s ethnic groups are primarily distinguished by language. In southern Uganda, most of the population speak Bantu languages. Sudanic speakers inhabit the northwest. Nilotic speakers, such as the Acholi and Langi, live in the north, and the Iteso and Karamajong reside in the northeast. The Baganda, who populate the northern shore of Lake Victoria, constitute the largest single ethnic group in Uganda, making up about 17% of the total population. The Karamajong account for 2%, the Basogo 8%, the Iteso 8%, and the Langi 6%. About 6% of the population (not counting refugees) is of Rwandan descent, either Tutsi or Hutu. Most of them live in the south. The Bagisu account for another 5%, Acholi for 4%, Lugbara 4%, Bunyoro 3%, and Batoro 3%. About 1% is comprised of non-Africans, including Europeans, Asians, and Arabs.

9 Languages

English is the official national language. It is taught in grade schools, and it is used in courts of law, by most newspapers, and in some radio broadcasts. Bantu languages, particularly Luganda (the language of the Baganda), are widespread in the southern, western, and central areas. Luganda is the preferred language for native-language publications and may be taught in schools. Nilotic languages are common in the north and northeast, and Central Sudanic clusters exist in the northwest. Kiswahili and Arabic are also widely spoken.

10 Religions

Christianity is the majority religion, practiced by about 75% of the population. About 90% of all Christians are Roman Catholics or Anglicans. Other denominations include Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, the Orthodox Church, the Unification Church, and Pentecostal churches. Muslims account for about 15% of the population, and most of them are of the Sunni sect. There are also small numbers of Hindus, Baha’is, and Jews. The rest of the Ugandans practice traditional African religions, which are most common in the north and west. Traditional beliefs and customs are often practiced in conjunction with other established faiths.

Certain Muslim and Christian holidays are officially observed. Though freedom of religion is provided for in the constitution, local governments have placed restrictions on some religious groups that are considered to be cults.

11 Transportation

A landlocked country, Uganda depends on links with Tanzania and Kenya for access to the sea. There is a total of 1,241 kilometers (771 miles) of railroad track in Uganda. In 2002, there were 27,000 kilometers (16,778 miles) of roads, 1,800 kilometers (1,119 miles) of which were surfaced. In 2003, there were 51,010 passenger cars and 43,150 commercial vehicles registered in Uganda. Three Ugandan ferries operate on Lake Victoria. In 2004, airports numbered 29, only 4 of which had paved runways. Uganda’s international airport is at Entebbe. In 2003, scheduled domestic and international flights carried 40,000 passengers.

12 History

Cushitic speakers from eastern Africa probably penetrated the area that is now Uganda around 1000 bc. In the first millennium ad, they were followed by Bantu-speaking peoples from central and southern Africa and later by people from central and western Africa. Europeans began to arrive in the 19th century, beginning with the British explorers John Hanning Speke and J. A. Grant in 1862. Members of the Church Missionary Society of Great Britain came to Buganda (present-day southeast Uganda) in 1877.

The missionaries were welcomed by the kabaka (ruler) of Buganda, Mutesa I. He hoped they would support his efforts to thwart Egyptian invasion into his country. Later Mutesa became less cooperative, however; his son, Mwanga, who succeeded to the throne in 1884, was even more hostile, fearing the influence of both missionaries and Arab traders. When Mwanga began to persecute the ethnic Bagandan adherents of both Christianity and Islam, the two groups joined forces to drive him from the country in 1888. He was restored to power early in 1890.

In 1894, the kingdom of Buganda became a British protectorate. The boundaries of the region were extended in 1896 to cover most of what is now Uganda. In 1897, Mwanga led a revolt against the British, but he was quickly defeated and dethroned. Under the Uganda Agreement of 1900, Buganda was ruled indirectly by the British. Buganda’s rejection of British policies following World War II marked the beginning of a conflict over independence for the territory. Kabaka Mutesa II was ousted in 1953 when he refused to force his chiefs to cooperate with the British, but he was restored to power in 1955 under a compromise agreement.

At a 1961 constitutional conference in London, independence for a new state of Uganda, composed of Buganda and the kingdoms of Ankole, Bunyoro, and Toro, was granted, effective 9 October 1962. In 1963, Sir Edward Mutesa (Kabaka Mutesa II of Buganda) became Uganda’s first president. In February 1966, the 1962 constitution was suspended and the prime minister, Milton Obote, assumed all powers of government. Parliament formally repealed the 1962 constitution on 15 April 1966 and adopted a new one that created the post of president and commander in chief; Obote was elected to fill this position on the same day.

Amin Seizes Power On 25 January 1971, while Obote was out of the country, Major General Idi Amin led a successful military coup, and the Second Republic of Uganda was proclaimed on 17 March 1971, with Amin as president. In September 1972, Ugandans who had followed Obote into exile in Tanzania staged an unsuccessful invasion. They were immediately overpowered, but tensions between Uganda and Tanzania remained high.

Under Amin, Uganda suffered a reign of terror that claimed 50,000 to 300,000 lives by 1977. The expulsion of Asian non-citizens from Uganda in August 1972 took a heavy toll on the economy, especially on trade. Agricultural and industrial production also fell, and educational and health facilities suffered from the loss of skilled personnel. An Israeli commando raid on Entebbe Airport on 3–4 July 1976 freed 91 Israeli passengers and 12 crewmembers who had been held captive by pro-Palestinian radicals in a hijacked aircraft. This raid was a severe blow to Amin’s prestige. By January 1979, Tanzanian forces, supported by anti-Amin rebels, entered Ugandan territory. Kampala was taken on 11 April 1979, and all of Uganda was cleared of Amin’s forces by the end of May. Amin fled to Libya and later to Saudi Arabia. A provisional government was formed, and parliamentary elections were held on 10 December 1980. The elections were administered by Paulo Muwanga and other supporters of Obote, who returned from exile in Tanzania. The election results gave Obote’s Ugandan People’s Congress (UPC) a clear majority, and he was sworn in as president on 15 December 1980.

After Amin Obote’s second term in office was marked by continued fighting between the army and guerrilla factions, especially the National Resistance Army. On 27 July 1985, Obote was overthrown in a military coup and Lieutenant General Tito Okello, commander of the armed forces, was installed as president.

The NRA continued fighting. On 26 January 1986, it occupied Kampala; that April it formed the National Resistance Movement government, with Yoweri Museveni as president, and controlled of most of the country. Armed rebels remained active in northern and northeastern Uganda, but by 1990 most had been defeated. By 1992, significant progress had been made on a draft constitution. Parliament declared a ban on party politics, but opposition parties became more active despite the ban. The government introduced constitutional changes allowing the Baganda to restore their monarchy (purely for ceremonial purposes). Ronald Mutebi, son of the former king, was installed as kabaka on 31 July 1993. General elections were held at the end of 1994.

During the 1990s, Uganda was plagued by a cultlike Christian rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA was supported by the Islamist government of Sudan. The group maintained bases in southern Sudan, from which it crossed the border into northern Uganda. The LRA made sudden hit-and-run raids into northern Ugandan villages, abducting teenagers and torturing and killing villagers. The LRA also planted land mines in random places. Half the Ugandan army was stationed in the north to protect the people from LRA bandits.

In October 1995, a new constitution was written, replacing the National Resistance Council with a permanent parliament. Political party activity was banned for five years, however. The first popular elections were held in May 1996, with Yoweri Museveni winning 74% of the vote. Elections were held again in March 2001, with Museveni claiming victory with 69% of the vote.

By 2003 there was growing concern over the government’s inability to maintain peace and security. The LRA in the north and the Allied Democratic Forces in the west stepped up rebel attacks from bases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). Other rebel groups have murdered, raped, kidnapped, tortured, and abducted children, often using them as combatants and slaves.

Museveni has tried to end the fighting. Though a ceasefire with President Joseph Kabila of the DROC was signed, and most Ugandan troops were withdrawn from Congolese territory in early 2003, fighting on the DROC side of the border continued. Museveni’s relations with his once-strong ally, Rwandan president Paul Kagame, have been strained since fighting between troops from both countries broke out in the DROC in 2001.

Idi Amin died in Saudi Arabia in August 2003.

13 Government

Under the 1995 constitution, a 276-member parliament replaced the 270-person National Resistance Council that had been established in 1986. The new parliament ensured representation for special-interest groups (including 10 seats for the Army, 39 for women, 5 for the disabled, 5 for youth, and 3 for trade unions). By 2003, the number and proportion of appointed seats had been altered. An appointed cabinet advises the president. In 2005, parliament voted two significant changes to the constitution that restores multipartyism and revoked the two-term limit for presidents.

By 2006, there were 56 local government districts.

14 Political Parties

After the overthrow of Idi Amin, the remaining parties included the Ugandan People’s Congress, the Democratic Party, the Uganda Patriotic Movement, and the Conservative Party. These parties, as well as Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement and the Uganda Freedom Movement, were represented in the cabinet appointed in 1986. By 1991, party activity, although banned, began to increase. Despite the new constitution in 1995, President Museveni declared that political parties would not be allowed to participate in the parliamentary and presidential elections held in May and June 1996, respectively. Of the 279 members elected in 1996, 156 were considered Museveni supporters.

In May 2003, the National Executive Committee recommended that parties be free to operate, subject to a national referendum in 2004. Nonetheless, the United States continued to express concerns about the lack of freedom of speech allowed to political forces other than Museveni’s government.

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Name: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Position: President of a republic

Took Office: 29 January 1986

Birthplace: Ntungamo, southwestern Uganda

Birthdate: 1944

Education: University College, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, bachelor of arts in economics and political science, 1970

Spouse: Janet Kataaha

Children: One son, three daughters

Of interest: Museveni told the Los Angeles Times that when he leaves office, he would like to be remembered as “a freedom fighter, who helped to give the people of Uganda a key to their future, to give them democracy, get rid of dictatorship.”

15 Judicial System

At the lowest level are three classes of courts presided over by magistrates. The chief magistrate’s court hears appeals from the magistrates’ courts. The High Court also hears appeals and has full criminal and civil jurisdiction. The three-member Court of Appeal hears appeals from the High Court.

Village resistance councils (RCs) mediate disputes involving land ownership and creditor claims. These councils have at times over-stepped their authority in order to hear criminal cases, including murder and rape. RC decisions are appealable to magistrate’s courts, but ignorance of the right to appeal and the time and cost involved make such appeals rare.

16 Armed Forces

The Ugandan People’s Defense Force was estimated at 40,000–45,000 in 2005. Paramilitary forces consisted of a border defense unit of around 600, some 400 marines, a police air wing of around 800, and local defense units numbering up to 10,000. In 2005, the defense budget totaled $196 million.

17 Economy

Uganda’s economy is based on agriculture, which employs about 70% of the population and represents 90% of the export economy. An economic reform process begun in 1986 has resulted in progress; the economic growth rate averaged 6% from 1998–2003 and 5.8% from 2000–05. Even though the size of its economy has doubled during the past decade, Uganda is still one of the poorest countries in the world and is highly dependent on foreign aid.

18 Income

In 2005, Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $46 billion, or about $1,700 per person. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 4%. The average inflation rate in 2002 was 9.7%.

19 Industry

As of 2002, growth over the past decade had occurred in manufacturing and construction, and the size of the Ugandan economy had doubled. Industry accounted for about 22% of GDP in 2004. Industries included cotton, coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, edible oils, dairy products, grain milling, brewing, vehicle assembly, textiles, and steel. Batteries, canned foods, medicines, and salt were also produced by Uganda’s industrial sector.

20 Labor

The estimated workforce numbered 13.2 million in 2005. The vast majority of economically active Ugandans work outside the monetary economy. Agriculture engages more than 70% of the total population, while services account for about 23%, and industry for 7%.

The minimum working age is 18, but many children work out of economic necessity and because school fees are so high. Consequently, a large percentage of children under 18 do not attend school. In 2002, the legal minimum wage

Yearly Growth Rate

This economic indicator tells by what percent the economy has increased or decreased when compared with the previous year.

was $3.50 per month. Wage earners represent an extremely small percentage of the workforce.

21 Agriculture

Agriculture accounts for about 31% of GDP, 70% of the employed labor force, and 40% of export earnings. About one-third of the land area is under cultivation, and 70% of the tilled land grows locally consumed produce. Plantains, cassava, sweet potatoes, and bananas are the major food crops. Annual food production estimates include 9.9 million tons of plantains, 5.5 million tons of cassava, 2.6 million tons of sweet potatoes, 615,000 tons of bananas, 700,000 tons of millet, 1.4 million tons of corn, 420,000 tons of sorghum, 545,000 tons of beans, and 573,000 tons of potatoes.

Coffee is still the primary export earner for Uganda, with receipts of $124.2 million in 2004. Production of robusta and some arabica

Components of the Economy

This pie chart shows how much of the country’s economy is devoted to agriculture (including forestry, hunting, and fishing), industry, or services.

varieties of coffee provides the most important single source of income for more than one million Ugandan farmers, and the crop is the principal earner of foreign exchange. Estimated annual production of major cash crops includes coffee (186,000 tons), cotton (22,200 tons), tea (36,000 tons), sugarcane (1.6 million tons), and tobacco (33,000 tons). Roses and carnations are grown for export to Europe.

22 Domesticated Animals

In 2005, Uganda had an estimated 6.1 million head of cattle, 7.7 million goats, 1.2 million sheep, 1.3 million hogs, and 33 million chickens. Meat production in 2005 was an estimated 256,000 tons, of which 23% was pork. The tsetse fly (a disease-carrying insect) limits livestock production and cattle rustling remains a problem.

23 Fishing

Many Ugandans are employed in fishing and the marketing of fish, and many fishermen sell their

Yearly Balance of Trade

The balance of trade is the difference between what a country sells to other countries (its exports) and what it buys (its imports). If a country imports more than it exports, it has a negative balance of trade (a trade deficit). If exports exceed imports there is a positive balance of trade (a trade surplus).

catch to the main distribution centers. Most fish are caught from dugouts or hand-propelled canoes. Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga are the major commercial fishing areas. Nile perch and Nile tilapia are the most abundant species. In 2003, the total catch was estimated at 245,431 tons. The fishing industry has benefited from a large ice-making plant at Soroti.

24 Forestry

Forests cover 4.2 million hectares (10.4 million acres), or 21% of the land area. About half of the forested area is savanna woodland. In 2000, production of roundwood was estimated at 39.4 million cubic meters (139 billion cubic feet). About 92% was used for fuel.

Selected Social Indicators

The statistics below are the most recent estimates available as of 2006. For comparison purposes, data for the United States and averages for low-income countries and high-income countries are also given. About 15% of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in high-income countries, while 37% live in low-income countries.

IndicatorUganda Low-income countriesHigh-income countriesUnited States
sources: World Bank. World Development Indicators. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2006; Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006; World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.
Per capita gross national income (GNI)*$1,450 $2,258$31,009$39,820
Population growth rate3.2% 2%0.8%1.2%
People per square kilometer of land141 803032
Life expectancy in years: male48 587675
female49 608280
Number of physicians per 1,000 people0.1 0.43.72.3
Number of pupils per teacher (primary school)50 431615
Literacy rate (15 years and older)66.8% 65%>95%99%
Television sets per 1,000 people18 84735938
Internet users per 1,000 people8 28538630
Energy consumed per capita (kg of oil equivalent)n.a. 5015,4107,843
CO2 emissions per capita (metric tons)0.07 0.8512.9719.92
* The GNI is the total of all goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a year. The per capita GNI is calculated by dividing a country’s GNI by its population and adjusting for relative purchasing power.
n.a.: data not available >: greater than <: less than

25 Mining

In recent years, Uganda has produced cobalt, gold, limonite and other iron ore, niobium, steel, tantalum, tin, tungsten, apatite, gypsum, kaolin, brick clays and other clays, hydrated lime, quicklime, limestone, pozzolanic materials, and salt (by evaporation of lakes and brine wells).

Mine gold output (metal content) in 2003 was 5 kilograms (11 pounds). Limestone output, for use in cement, was 226,408 tons. In addition, Uganda produced garnet, gravel, marble, ruby, sand, and vermiculite.

26 Foreign Trade

The main exports in 2005 included coffee (41% of total exports), fish (34%), cotton (13%), and tea (12%). Principal imports in 2005 included machinery equipment, iron, steel, vehicles and accessories, chemical and related products, medical supplies, petroleum and related products, vegetable products, and animal fats and oil.

Uganda exports most of its goods to Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany, and Spain, while most of its imports come from Kenya, the United Kingdom, China, and Japan. Other main trading partners include the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Germany, India, and the United States.

27 Energy and Power

In the early 1990s, hydroelectric potential was estimated at nearly 200,000 kilowatts. A total of 1.7 billion kilowatt-hours (almost all hydroelectric) was generated in 2002. Only an estimated 3–5% of the population has access to electricity. Fuel wood and charcoal supply 95% of required energy.

Uganda has no known reserves of crude oil, natural gas or coal, nor any refining capacity.

28 Social Development

Responsibility for social welfare rests primarily with the Ministry of Culture and Community Development, but voluntary agencies play a supplementary role. A social security system provides old-age and disability pensions for employees of firms with five or more workers. Work injury benefits are provided for all workers.

Women are granted equal rights, but tradition limits their exercise of them.

29 Health

Although medical treatment in government hospitals and dispensaries is free, as of 2000, Uganda’s health indicators were still poor, even compared to those of other African countries. Containment of serious diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis, malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, typhus, and leprosy, has been made difficult by poor sanitation and unclean water. Other barriers to health care access for the rural poor were distance from providers, cost of services, and inadequate quality of health care. Less than half the population lives within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of a health care facility.

The most serious obstacle to health has arisen from nutritional deficiencies, particularly among children. The goiter rate was 75 per 100 school-aged children in the late 1990s. Malaria remains the country’s most serious health threat, even more so than acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Other commonly reported diseases were guinea worm, measles, and tuberculosis.

Venereal disease continues to be a problem in the adult population, and AIDS became a severe problem in the 1980s. An estimated 800,000 Ugandans were living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1989. At the end of 2004, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 530,000 and deaths from AIDS in 2003 were estimated at 78,000.

It is estimated that there were fewer than 1 physician and 6 nurses per 100,000 people. The country plans to focus on health care awareness and education-in particular, family planning and AIDS.

Average life expectancy was 48.5 years in 2005. The infant mortality rate that year was 67.8 per 1,000 live births.

Most of the inhabitants live in thatched huts with mud and wattle (interwoven branches and reeds) walls. Even in rural areas, however, corrugated iron is used extensively as a roofing material. In urban centers, the government encourages the use of housing materials such as sun-baked mud bricks, concrete blocks, and fired bricks.

31 Education

The basic school system includes a seven-year primary course, a four-year junior secondary course, and a two-year senior secondary course for those who qualify. Those who do not choose to attend secondary schools may attend technical schools. Many of the senior schools are boarding

schools. The student-to-teacher ratio at the primary level averaged 50 to 1 in 2000.

The University College of East Africa (founded in 1921), was renamed Makerere University in 1970. Situated on the outskirts of Kampala, it prepares students for degrees in the arts, sciences, and agriculture, and for advanced diplomas in medicine, education, engineering, law, and veterinary science. Other universities include Mbale Islamic University and the Mbarara University of Science and Technology. There are also several religious colleges, 5 commercial colleges, 52 technical schools, and 71 colleges for teachers. There are approximately 35,000 students enrolled in all higher-level institutions.

As of 2004, the adult literacy rate has been estimated at 66.8%.

32 Media

In 2003, there were 2 mainline telephones and 30 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

Radio Uganda controls radio broadcasting in the country, while television is in the hands of the Uganda Television Service; both operate as part of the government’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Radio Uganda broadcasts daily in 22 languages, including English, French, Swahili, and local languages; television programs are in English, Swahili, and Luganda. As of 2004, there were about 60 local and regional radio stations that were privately owned. In 2005, there were 122 radios and 18 television sets for every 1,000 people.

The government-operated New Vision, with a 2002 circulation of 40,000, is published in English in Kampala. Two other major dailies published in Kampala are The Monitor (in English, 34,000) and Munno (in Luganda, 15,000).

The constitution provides for freedom of speech and a free press; in practice, however, the government may sometimes restrict these rights.

33 Tourism and Recreation

Tourism facilities are adequate in Kampala but limited in other areas. In 2003, there were 305,000 tourist arrivals in Uganda. Tourism receipts in that year totaled $221 million. Wildlife is the major tourist attraction.

34 Famous Ugandans

Kabaka Mutesa I (reigned 1856–1884) contributed to Uganda’s modern development. Sir Apollo Kagwa, chief minister (1890–1926) to Kabaka Mwanga and Kabaka Daudi Chwa, was one of the dominant figures in Uganda’s history. Mukama Kabarega of Bunyoro (reigned 1896–([0-9]+)) led his people against British and Buganda forces until captured and exiled in 1899; he died in exile in 1923. Apollo Milton Obote (1924–2005), founder of the UPC and prime minister from 1962 to 1966, overthrew the first president, Sir Edward Frederick Mutesa (Kabaka Mutesa II of Buganda, 1924–1969). Obote served as president of Uganda from 1966 to 1971 and from 1980 to 1985. Yoweri Museveni (1944–), leader of the National Resistance Movement, became president in 1986 with the help of about 2,000 guerrillas recruited from among Tutsi refugee families who had fled Rwanda.

35 Bibliography

BOOKS

Barlas, Robert. Uganda. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2000.

Braun, Eric. Uganda in Pictures. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books, 2006.

Creed, Alexander. Uganda. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999.

Kubuitsile, Lauri. Uganda. Philadelphia, PA: Mason Crest Publishers, 2005.

Pirouet, Louise. Historical Dictionary of Uganda. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1995.

Pundyk, Grace. Welcome to Uganda. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub., 2005.

Schemenauer, Elma. Uganda. Chanhassen, MN: Child’s World, 2003.

WEB SITES

Aquastat. www.fao.org/ag/Agl/AGLW/aquastat/countries/uganda/index.stm. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Commonwealth Country Profiles. www.thecommonwealth.org/Templates/YearbookHomeInternal.asp?NodeID=139552. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Country Pages. www.state.gov/p/af/ci/ug/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Government Home Page. www.statehouse.go.ug/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

World Heritage List. whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ug. (accessed on January 15, 2007).