Uganda

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Republic of Uganda{{#if:{{{conventional_long_name|}}}|
{{{conventional_long_name|}}}}}
Image:Flag of Uganda.svg Image:Uganda Coat of Arms large.jpg
Flag [[{{{symbol_type_article|{{{symbol_type|Coat of arms}}}}}} of Uganda|{{{symbol_type|Coat of arms}}}]]
Motto: For God and My Country
Anthem: Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty
Image:LocationUganda.png
Capital Kampala
Template:Coor dm
{{{largest_settlement_type|Largest city}}} Kampala}}}
Official language(s) English
Government Democratic multi-
party republic
Yoweri Museveni
Independence
October 9, 1962 from
the United Kingdom
Area
 - Total
 
 - Water (%)
 
236,040 km² (81st)
91,136 sq mi 
15.39
Population
 - July 2006 est.{{#if:{{{population_census|}}}|
 - 1980 census}}
 - Density
}}}|
12.6 million|}}
119/km² (65th 2)
308/sq mi 
GDP (PPP)
 - Total
 - Per capita
2005 estimate
$45.97 billion (80th)
$1,700 (153th)
HDI (2003) 0.508 (144th) – medium
Currency Shilling (UGX)
Time zone
 - Summer (DST)
not observed (UTC+3)}}}
Internet TLD .ug
Calling code +2563 {{#if:{{{footnotes|}}}|<tr><td colspan="2">{{{footnotes|}}}

Coordinates: Template:Coor dm

The Republic of Uganda, or Uganda, is a country in East Africa, bordered in the east by Kenya, in the north by Sudan, by the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, within which it shares borders with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala.

Contents

History

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The earliest human inhabitants in contemporary Uganda were hunter-gatherers. Remains of these people are today to be found among the pygmies in western Uganda. Between approximately 2000 to 1500 years ago, Bantu speaking populations from central and western Africa migrated and occupied most of the southern parts of the country.<ref name="living_enc">"East Africa Living Encyclopedia - Ethnic Groups", African Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania</ref><ref name="phil">Phyllis Martin and Patrick O'Meara. Africa. 3rd edition. Indiana University Press, 1995.</ref> The migrants brought with them agriculture, ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization, that by the 15th or 16th century resulted in the development of centralized kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara and Ankole. Kingdoms that developed later include Toro and a large fiefdom of clans in Busoga.

Nilotic people, including Luo and Ateker entered the area from the north probably beginning about A.D. 100. They were cattle herders and subsistence farmers who settled mainly the northern and eastern parts of the country. Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu there, establishing the Babiito dynasty of the current Omukama (ruler) of Bunyoro-Kitara.<ref name="babito">"Origins of Bunyoro-Kitara Kings", Bunyoro-Kitara website</ref> Luo migration proceeded until the 16th century, with some Luo settling amid Bantu people in Eastern Uganda, and proceeding to the western shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya and Tanzania. The Ateker (Karimojong and Teso) settled in the north-eastern and eastern parts of the country, and some fused with the Luo in the area north of lake Kyoga.

Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. Protestant missionaries entered the country in 1877, followed by Catholic missionaries in 1879.<ref name="state_dept">"Background Note: Uganda", U.S. State Department</ref>

The United Kingdom placed the area under the charter of the British East Africa Company in 1888, and ruled it as a protectorate from 1894. As several other territories and chiefdoms were integrated, the final protectorate called Uganda took shape in 1914.

Uganda became an independent nation in 1962, with Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Buganda as the ceremonial president, and Milton Obote as executive Prime Minister. By 1966, Obote had overthrown the constitution and declared himself president, ushering in an era of coups and counter-coups which would last until the mid-1980s. 1971 saw Idi Amin take power, ruling the country with the military for the coming decade.<ref name="loc">"A Country Study: Uganda", Library of Congress Country Studies</ref>

Image:Uganda-Amin-10-Shillings-cr.jpg Idi Amin's rule cost an estimated 300,000 Ugandans' lives, and he forcibly removed the entrepreneurial Indian minority from Uganda, decimating the economy. His reign was ended after an invasion by Tanzanian forces aided by Ugandan exiles in 1979. The situation improved little with the return of Obote, who was deposed once more in 1985 by General Tito Okello. Okello ruled for six months until he was overthrown by the National Resistance Army (NRM) operating under the leadership of the current president, Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni has been in power since 1986. In the mid to late 1990s, he was lauded by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders. His presidency has been marred, however, by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other Great Lakes region conflicts. Rebellion in the north continues to perpetuate one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies.

Politics

Image:Yoweri Museveni.jpg Template:Main

The President of Uganda, currently Yoweri Museveni, is both head of state and head of government. The president appoints a prime minister who aids him in his tasks. The current prime minister is Apolo Nsibambi. The parliament is formed by the National Assembly, which has 303 members. 86 of these members are nominated by interest groups, including women and the army. The remaining members are elected for five-year terms during general elections.

In a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence, political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by Museveni, political parties continued to exist but could not campaign in elections or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum cancelled this 19-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005.

The presidential elections were held in February 2006. Museveni ran against several candidates, the most prominent of whom was exiled Dr Kizza Besigye. Museveni was declared the winner in the elections which were predominantly free and fair according to international and national observers. Despite technically democratic elections, harassment of opposition had started months earlier in the form of disturbing of opposition campaign, detention of activists, rape and other criminal allegations against Besigye and use of state funds for electoral campaigning.

Administrative Divisions

Main articles: Districts of Uganda, Counties of Uganda

Uganda is divided into 70 districts, spread across four administrative divisions: Northern, Eastern, Central and Western. A number of districts have been added in the past few years, and eight others will be added on July 1, 2006.<ref name="district">"Can Uganda’s economy support more districts?", New Vision, 8 August, 2005</ref> Most districts are named after their main commercial and administrative towns. Each district is divided into sub-districts, counties, sub-counties, parishes and villages.

Image:Ug-map.png

Geography

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Although landlocked, Uganda has access to several large water bodies, including Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga and Lake Edward. The country is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 900 metres (2,950 ft) above sea level. Although generally tropical in nature, the climate differs between parts of the country. Uganda includes several offshore islands in Lake Victoria. Most important cities are located in the south, near Lake Victoria, including the capital Kampala and the nearby city of Entebbe.

Economy

Image:Coffee plant Uganda.jpg Template:Main

Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force, with coffee accounting for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate an economy decimated during the regime of Idi Amin and subsequent civil war.

During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. Ongoing Ugandan involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, corruption within the government, and slippage in the government's determination to press reforms raise doubts about the continuation of strong growth. In 2000, Uganda qualified for the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion. Growth for 2001-02 was solid despite continued decline in the price of coffee, Uganda's principal export. <ref name="factbook">"The World Factbook - Uganda", CIA, 2006</ref> According to IMF statistics, in 2004 Uganda's GDP per-capita reached 300 dollars, a much higher level than in the Eighties but still at half of Sub-Saharan African average income of 600 dollars per year. Total GDP crossed the 8 billion dollar mark in the same year.

Demographics

Image:Languages of Uganda.png Template:Main , see also Languages of Uganda

Uganda is home to many different ethnic groups, none of whom form a majority of the population. Around forty different languages are currently in use in the country. English became the official language of Uganda after independence. The language with the largest number of native speakers is Luganda, spoken in the Buganda region which encompasses Kampala. The Ateso language follows, spoken by about 4.2 million people covering seven Districts in the Eastern part of the country. Kiswahili is widely used as a basic trade language.

Religion

Christian and Muslim missionaries first arrived in the 1860s, attempting to convert the Bugandan king. The National Census of October 2002 resulted in the clearest and most detailed information ever given on the religious composition of Uganda. According to the Census, Christians of all denominations made up 85.1% of Uganda's Population. The Catholic Church has the largest number of adherents (41.9%) followed by the Church of Uganda—a local Anglican denomination—(31.9%). Minor Christian groups include Pentecostals (4.6%) and Seventh-Day Adventists (1.5%), while 1.0% were grouped under the category 'Other Christians'.

The second religion of Uganda is Islam, with Muslims representing 12.1% of the population according to the Census. The CIA Factbook estimate for the number of Muslims is 16%. While Muslims today appear to be experiencing some degree of discrimination, they were in the seventies the most favoured group under the rule of President Idi Amin Dada, himself a Muslim, under whose Government the number of Muslims had significantly grown.Template:Fact

Only 1% of Uganda's population follow Traditional Religions and 0.7% are classified as 'Other Non-Christians'.

One of only seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship, known as Mother Temple of Africa, is located on the outskirts of Kampala.

AIDS-prevention

See also: AIDS in Africa

Uganda has been hailed as a rare success story in the fight against HIV and AIDS, widely being viewed as the most effective national response to the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. President Museveni established the AIDS Control Program (ACP) within the Ministry of Health (MOH) to create policy guidelines for Uganda’s fight against HIV/AIDS. Uganda quickly realized that HIV/AIDS was more than a ‘health’ issue and in 1992 created a “Multi-sectoral AIDS Control Approach.” In addition, the Uganda AIDS Commission, also founded in 1992, has been instrumental in developing a national HIV/AIDS policy. A variety of approaches to AIDS education have been employed, ranging from the promotion of condom use to 'abstinence only' programmes. To further Uganda's efforts in establishing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS program, in 2000 the MOH set up a PMTCT pilot program in three district sof Uganda. The services included are: VCT, ANC, administration of ARVs, modifications of birth practicies and safe infant feeding counseling. According to the WHO, around 41,000 women received PMTCT services in 2001[http:www.ari.ucsf.edu?ARI/policy/profiles/Uganda.pdf]. Uganda was the first country to open a VCT clinic in Africa and pioneered the concept of voluntary HIV testing centers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The scope of Uganda's success has come under scrutiny from new research. Research published in The Lancet medical journal in 2002 questions the dramatic decline reported. It is claimed statistics have been distorted through the inaccurate extrapolation of data from small urban clinics to the entire population, nearly 90 per cent of whom live in rural areas.[1] Also, recent trials of the HIV drug nevirapine have come under intense scrutiny and criticism; see this excerpt of an article from Harper's Magazine: Out of Control.

US-sponsored abstinence promotions have received recent criticism from observers for denying young people information about any method of HIV prevention other than sexual abstinence until marriage. Human Rights Watch says that such programmes "leave Uganda’s children at risk of HIV".<ref name="abstinence">"Uganda: 'Abstinence-Only' Programs Hijack AIDS Success Story", Human Rights Watch, 30 March, 2005</ref>

Culture

Image:Bicycle-taxi-2.jpg Template:Main

Due to the large number of ethnic communities, culture within Uganda is diverse. Many Asians (mostly from India) who were expelled during the regime of Amin have returned to Uganda.

Human rights

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Respect for human rights in Uganda has been advanced significantly since the mid-1980s. There are, however, numerous areas which continue to attract concern.

Conflict in the northern parts of the country continues to generate reports of abuses by both the rebel Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan army. Torture continues to be a widespread practice amongst security organisations. Attacks on political freedom in the country, including the arrest and beating of opposition Members of Parliament, has led to international criticism, culminating in May 2005 in a decision by the British government to withhold part of its aid to the country. The arrest of the main opposition leader Kizza Besigye and the besiegement of the High Court during a hearing of Besigye's case by a heavily armed security forces – before the February 2006 elections – led to condemnation.<ref name="hrw1">"Uganda: Respect Opposition Right to Campaign", Human Rights Watch, 19 December, 2005</ref>

References

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See also

External links

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