Settlement by Europeans was prohibited throughout Uganda’s period of British colonization, and there are now few Caucasians in the country. The word muzungu (plural wazungu) refers to whites (or other outsiders), and tourists can expect to hear it yelled out by youngsters in every part of the nation. It’s not a pejorative word (it means “one who is looking”), so grin and wave back – and do it as many times as you can. Otherwise, disregard.
Uganda is accessible and cheap, but it falls short of the high tourist standards set by more established destinations like Kenya or Tanzania, much alone South Africa. It has more edge, authenticity, and less predictability as a result of this. This does not imply danger (though read the section below on being safe), but rather more possibilities for delight—and frustration. The filthy urban hustle of Kampala, which is bursting at the seams, gives way to lush subsistence farming and tiny settlements. Roads are rugged, people are kind, everything appears to have its own distinct odor, and things don’t always go as planned.
The critically endangered mountain gorilla is the most popular attraction, although other primates like as chimps, birdwatching, seeing Murchison Falls, hiking the Rwenzoris, and white water rafting near the Nile’s source are all popular.
Although the climate is usually tropical, it is not uniform since height affects the climate. Southern Uganda has a wetter climate, with rain falling throughout the year. The rainiest months in Entebbe, on the northern coast of Lake Victoria, are March to June and November/December. A dry season develops farther north; in Gulu, approximately 120 kilometers from the South Sudanese border, November to February is considerably drier than the rest of the year.
The climate in the northeast is the driest, and droughts are common in certain years. Rwenzori, located in the southwest near the DR Congo border, gets significant rain throughout the year. The south of the nation is strongly affected by Lake Victoria, one of the world’s largest lakes with many islands. It avoids large temperature variations and promotes cloudiness and rainfall.
The nation is mainly between latitudes 4°N and 2°S (with a tiny region north of 4°) and longitudes 29° and 35°E on the East African Plateau. It rises at an altitude of roughly 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) above sea level and slopes gradually downhill to the Sudanese Plain in the north.
Lakes and rivers
Lake Victoria, one of the world’s largest lakes with numerous islands, has a strong impact on most of the country’s south. The most significant towns, including the capital Kampala and the neighboring city of Entebbe, are situated in the south, near this lake.
Lake Kyoga is located in the country’s center and is bordered by large marshy regions.
Uganda has several big lakes despite being a landlocked country. There’s also Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and the smaller Lake George, in addition to Victoria and Kyoga.
Uganda is nearly entirely contained inside the Nile basin. The Victoria Nile flows from Lake Victoria to Lake Kyoga, then to Lake Albert at the Congo’s border. Then it heads north towards South Sudan. The Suam River, which is part of Lake Turkana’s internal drainage basin, drains a region in eastern Uganda. The Lotikipi Basin, which is mostly in Kenya, drains the extreme northeastern portion of Uganda.
There is a major overpopulation issue in the nation.
The population of Uganda increased from 9.5 million in 1969 to 34.9 million in 2014. In the 12 years since the previous inter-censal interval (September 2002), the population has grown by 10.6 million people. Uganda’s population is very youthful, with a median age of 15 years, the lowest in the world. Uganda has the world’s fifth highest total fertility rate, with 5.97 children born per woman (2014 estimates).
Prior to Idi Amin ordering the deportation of Ugandan-Asians (primarily of Indian descent) in 1972, the number of Indians in Uganda was estimated to be about 80,000. After Amin’s fall from power in 1979, however, many Indians returned to Uganda, and the population is currently between 15,000 and 25,000. Kampala, Uganda’s capital, is home to almost 90% of the country’s Indians. Approximately 3,000 Arabs and 20,000 Whites (mainly of English ancestry) live in the nation.
Uganda welcomed approximately 190,000 refugees in 2013, according to the UNHCR. The majority of the latter came from the African Great Lakes region’s neighboring nations, notably Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Sudan.
Christians made up approximately 85 percent of Uganda’s population, according to the 2002 census. The Roman Catholic Church has the most followers (41.9 percent), followed by the Ugandan Anglican Church (35.9 percent). Most of the surviving Christians belonged to Adventist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and other Protestant denominations, but there was still a small Eastern Orthodox minority. The Presbyterian Church in Uganda, the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda, and the Evangelical Free Church in Uganda are among the increasing number of Presbyterian denominations in Uganda, with hundreds of affiliated churches. Islam was Uganda’s second-most-reported religion, with Muslims accounting for 12.1 percent of the population.
Sunni Muslims make up the majority of the Muslim population. Shia Muslims account for 7% of the population, Ahmadiyya Muslims for 4%, and non-denominational Muslims, Sufi Muslims, for 4%.
According to the 2002 census, the rest of the population followed traditional faiths (1.0%), Baha’i (0.1%), other non-Christian religions (0.7%), or had no religious affiliation (0.9 percent).
The Northern Region, which includes the West Nile sub-region, is mostly Catholic, whereas the Iganga District in eastern Uganda has the largest Muslim population. The remainder of the nation is made up of people of various religious backgrounds.
The Bank of Uganda is Uganda’s central bank, in charge of monetary policy and issuing the Ugandan shilling.
Coffee ($466.6 million yearly), tea ($72.1 million), fish ($136.2 million), and other goods contribute to Uganda’s economy. Economic changes have begun, and the country’s development has been strong. Despite the global crisis and regional turmoil, Uganda’s economy grew by 7% in 2008.
Uganda has abundant natural resources, including rich farmland, consistent rainfall, and large copper and cobalt mineral reserves. Both crude oil and natural gas reserves in the nation are virtually unexplored. Agriculture contributed for 56 percent of the economy in 1986, with coffee as its major export, but the services sector has already overtaken it, accounting for 52 percent of GDP in 2007. 500,000 subsistence farmers were pushed to join co-operatives by the British colonial government in the 1950s. Since 1986, the government has worked to rebuild an economy that was destroyed by Idi Amin’s dictatorship and the following civil war (with the help of other nations and international organizations).
Uganda was included in the $1.3 billion Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt reduction program and the $145 million Paris Club debt relief initiative in 2000. These sums, when coupled to the initial HIPC debt relief, totaled about $2 billion. Uganda was remained on the HIPC list in 2012, according to the World Bank. Despite continuing declines in the price of Uganda’s main export, coffee, growth remained strong in 2001–2002. According to IMF data, Uganda’s GDP per capita hit $300 in 2004, a significant increase over the 1980s but still less than half of the Sub-Saharan African average of $600 per year. In the same year, total GDP surpassed the $8 billion level.
Poverty reduction has not always accompanied economic development. Poverty levels rose by 3.8 percent between 2000 and 2003, despite an average yearly growth rate of 2.5 percent. This has emphasized the significance of avoiding jobless growth, and it is part of a growing understanding in development circles of the need for fair growth not only in Uganda, but globally.
Several stocks have been listed since the Uganda securities markets were formed in 1996. The stock market has been utilized by the government to privatize assets. The securities exchange lists all government treasury offerings. African Alliance Investment Bank, Baroda Capital Markets Uganda Limited, Crane Financial Services Uganda Limited, Crested Stocks and Securities Limited, Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Equity Stock Brokers Uganda Limited, Renaissance Capital Investment Bank, and UAP Financial Services Limited are among the 18 brokers, asset managers, and investment advisors licensed by the Capital Markets Authority. Pension reform is a hot topic since it is one of the methods to boost formal domestic savings (2007).
For access to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, Uganda has historically relied on Kenya. Efforts to construct a second sea access route through the lakeside ports of Bukasa in Uganda and Musoma in Tanzania, which are linked by railway to Arusha in Tanzania’s interior and the port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean, have increased. Uganda is a member of the East African Community and a possible candidate for membership in the East African Federation.
Uganda has a sizable diaspora, with the majority of its citizens living in the United States and the United Kingdom. Through remittances and other investments, the diaspora has made a significant contribution to Uganda’s economic development (especially property). Uganda received $994 million in remittances from overseas in 2014, according to the World Bank. Uganda also acts as an economic center for a number of neighboring nations, including the DRC, South Sudan, and Rwanda.
Uganda is one of the world’s poorest countries. In 2012, 37.8% of the population had a daily income of less than $1.25. Despite making significant success in lowering the country’s poverty rate from 56 percent in 1992 to 24.5 percent in 2009, poverty remains widespread in Uganda’s rural regions, which are home to 84 percent of the country’s population.
In Uganda’s rural regions, farming is the primary source of income, and 90% of all rural women work in the agricultural industry. Rural women are responsible for the care of their families in addition to agricultural labor. The typical Ugandan woman spends 9 hours a day on household chores including cooking and cleaning, collecting water and firewood, and caring for the elderly, ill, and orphans. As a result, women work between 12 and 18 hours per day on average, with a mean of 15 hours, compared to males, who work between 8 and 10 hours per day.
Rural women may augment their income by engaging in small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as raising and selling indigenous animal varieties. Despite this, they have limited time for these income-generating activities due to their busy schedule. The impoverished cannot afford to send their children to school, and most females drop out to assist with household chores or marry. Other females are involved in sex work. As a consequence, young women are more likely to have older and more sexually experienced partners, putting them at a higher risk of contracting HIV. Women account for approximately 57 percent of all HIV-positive adults.
Geographic inaccessibility, lack of transportation, and financial burdens have been identified as key demand-side constraints to accessing maternal health services in rural Uganda; as a result, interventions such as intermediate transport mechanisms have been adopted as a means to improve women’s access to maternal health care.
The greatest impediment to decreasing women’s poverty is gender inequity. Women are subjected to a lesser social standing than males. Many women’s ability to act freely, engage in communal life, get education, and avoid dependence on violent males is harmed as a result of this.