Welcome to Uganda (The Pearl of Africa)

Uganda is a landlocked country located in Eastern Africa that borders the countries of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Tanzania. The terrain is mostly plateau with a rim of mountains and a southeastern shore of Lake Victoria. The government system is a republic. The chief of state and head of government is the President. Uganda has a mixed economic system in which there is a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Uganda is a member of the African Union (AU), Africa Economic Community (AEC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Uganda sits on the equator and daylight is nearly always 12 hours. However, temperatures are not as hot as you’d think. Maximum daily temperatures average between 25°C-32°C across the various regions.

Uganda has very fertile soils, particularly around Lake Victoria. Coffee is the main export, with tobacco and tea the next highest-earning agricultural exports. Cocoa beans, palm oil and sugar cane are also key cash crops for the country’s farmers.

Agriculture still employs around two-fifths of Uganda’s workforce. But while many older Ugandans continue to farm or earn money from growing cash crops such as coffee, young Ugandans often aspire to a more modern way of living.

Most Ugandans still lead a rural lifestyle, with 87% of the population living in the countryside.

Meat or chicken stews are popular in Uganda served with rice, chapatti, ugali (a stiff maize porridge) or matoke (a cooked plantain/banana mash). For a sweet dish, locals enjoy a type of doughnut called mandazi.

Over 800,000 visitors come to Uganda each year and collectively spend over 700 million dollars (according to the World Tourism Organisation). The tourist industry is an important source of revenue for the country.

Life expectancy in Uganda is just 56 (WHO, 2011). Malaria is a huge problem throughout the country, with over 9.7 million cases reported in 2009.

Facts & Figures

Country: Republic of Uganda
Population: 34,856,813 as per Uganda Bureau of Statistics
Capital: Kampala
Area: 241,038 sq km (93,072 sq miles)
Main languages: English (official), Swahili (official), other local languages
Main religions: Christianity, Islam
Life expectancy: 56
Literacy rate: Adult [15+] 73%, Youth [15-24] 87%
Urban population (% of total): 16% (UN, 2012)
Population under 18 years:56.7%
Child mortality: 90 children in every 1,000 likely to die before five years (WHO, 2011)
Child nutrition: 14.1% of children below five years underweight (WHO, 2012)
Number of children (0-17) who have lost one/both parents: 2.6 million (UNICEF, 2011)

 

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