Snapshot of Uganda
Uganda is bordered by five countries: the Democratic republic of the Congo, to thewest; the Sudan to the north; Kenya, to the east; and Rwanda and Tanzania, to the south.To the southeast, Uganda has a coast on Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa.
Uganda extends over 93,000 square miles, an area about the size of Oregon.
70% of Uganda is covered by forests, woodlands, and grasslands. More than 10% of theterritory of Uganda is protected in national parks, national forests and game reserves.
The weather in Uganda is quite varied. In the northeast section of the country, theclimate is semi-arid and the average annual rainfall is less than 20 inches. In thesouthwest, however, it can rain fifty inches or more in a year.
There are 19 million people living in Uganda. The people of Uganda are ethnicallymixed. Most people belong to three main ethnic groups: Bantu, Nilotic, and Nilo-Hamatic.There are also many other ethnic groups represented in the population. The population ispredominantly rural, and most people live in the southern sections of the country.
The official language of Uganda is English, but many people also speak the Luganda,Swahili, Bantu, and Nilotic languages.
Two-thirds of Ugandans are Christians, 16% are Muslim, and 18% follow other faiths.
The capital of Uganda is Kampala, which has a population of about 800,000. Other largecities include Jinja, Mbale, and Mbarara
Uganda achieved independence from Britain on October 9, 1961. Every year, Ugandanscelebrate October 9 as a national holiday. Uganda ratified a new Constitution in 1995, andheld its first Presidential election a year later. As in our own government, theConstitution of Uganda specifies three branches of government: the executive, thelegislative, and the judiciary. Currently, the Constitution restricts the activities ofpolitical parties, but in the year 2000 Uganda will hold a referendum to determine if itwill become a multi-party democracy. The current President of Uganda is Yoweri KagutaMuseveni.
Uganda's economy has the potential for rapid development. The country hassignificant natural resources, fertile land, and regular rainfall. Most of the industry inUganda is related to agriculture. The most important cash crop in Uganda is coffee, whichaccounts for 65% of the country's exports.
The flag of Uganda consists of six horizontal stripes--black, yellow, red, black,yellow, red. The national emblem, a crested crane, resides in a white circle in the centerof the flag.