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You are in:  Nations > Africa > Uganda
Uganda*Uganda flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Kampala
Area: 241,038 sq km; 93,065 sq miles
Population: 23,451,687 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 13 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 87 per cent (1998 Estimate)


Exports: Coffee, cotton, tea, gold, fish, maize

Industry: Sugar, food processing, soft drinks, tobacco, cotton, textiles, cement

Agriculture: Cash crops: coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco; food crops: cassava, potatoes, maize, millet, pulses; livestock products: beef, goat meat, milk, poultry

Currency: 1 Ugandan shilling (USh), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, limestone, salt, gold, tin, tungsten, hydroelectricity


The people

Ethnic: Ganda 18 per cent, Nyankole 10 per cent, Kiga 8 per cent, Soga 8 per cent, Iteso 6 per cent, Langi 6 per cent, Acholi 4 per cent, Other 40 per cent

Language: English is the official language of Uganda. Swahili and Arabic are commonly used. Each ethnic group also has its own language. Luganda, a Bantu language and the language of the Ganda, is the most widely spoken of Uganda's indigenous languages. Nilo-Saharan and Sudanic languages are also spoken.

Religion: Roughly 60 per cent of Uganda's inhabitants are Christian, half of these are Roman Catholic and half Protestant. Muslims make up a sizeable minority. Many people follow traditional indigenous religions, which are rarely seen as incompatible with Christianity or Islam. Often Ugandans' belief systems represent a fusion of traditional beliefs and elements of an imported religion.


The history

Independence: Uganda gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 and Milton Obote assumed the office of Prime Minister. One year later, Uganda became a Federal Republic, with the kabaka, or King, of the Kingdom of Buganda, Mutesa II, as President of the country and Obote as Prime Minister. In May 1966 Obote sent the army into the Kingdom of Buganda and drove Mutesa II into exile. He then proclaimed a new constitution, which formally abolished the Kingships and became Uganda's first President of a unitary republic.

Government: The 1995 constitution provides for a popularly elected President and legislature, although opposition parties are still not recognised. The highest tribunals of Uganda are the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The country also has magistrates' courts. Uganda is divided into 39 districts. The districts are grouped into four geographical regions: Eastern, Western, Central and Northern.

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