Clouds encircle the lofty rim of Mount Elgon, a huge, long-extinct volcano on the border between Uganda and Kenya, viewed in this enhanced satellite image. The solitary volcano has one of the world's largest intact calderas, a cauldron-like central depression. The caldera is about 6.5 km (4 mi) across and formed following an eruption, when the emptied magma chamber collapsed under the weight of volcanic rock above it. For active volcanoes in Uganda, see the Natural hazards-volcanism subfield in the Geography section. Image courtesy of USGS.
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Introduction

Background

An ancient crossroads for various migrations, Uganda has as many as 65 ethnic groups that speak languages from three of Africa’s four major linguistic families. As early as 1200, fertile soils and regular rainfall in the south fostered the formation of several large centralized kingdoms, including Buganda, from which the country derives its name. Muslim traders from Egypt reached northern Uganda in the 1820s, and Swahili merchants from the Indian Ocean coast arrived in the south by the 1840s. The area attracted the attention of British explorers seeking the source of the Nile River in the 1860s, and this influence expanded in subsequent decades with the arrival of Christian missionaries and trade agreements; Uganda was declared a British protectorate in 1894. Buganda and other southern kingdoms negotiated agreements with Britain to secure privileges and a level of autonomy that were rare during the colonial period in Africa. The colonial boundaries demarcating Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures, and the disparities between how Britain governed southern and northern areas compounded these differences, complicating efforts to establish a cohesive independent country.

Uganda gained independence in 1962 with one of the more developed economies and one of the strongest education systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, but it descended within a few years into political turmoil and internal conflict that lasted more than two decades. In 1966, Prime Minister Milton OBOTE suspended the constitution and violently deposed President Edward MUTESA, who was also the king of Buganda. Idi AMIN seized power in 1971 through a military coup and led the country into economic ruin and rampant mass atrocities that killed as many as 500,000 civilians. AMIN’s annexation of Tanzanian territory in 1979 provoked Tanzania to invade Uganda, depose AMIN, and install a coalition government. In the aftermath, Uganda continued to experience atrocities, looting, and political instability and had four different heads of state between 1979 and 1980. OBOTE regained the presidency in 1980 through a controversial election that sparked renewed guerrilla warfare, killing as an estimated 300,000 civilians. Gen. Tito OKELLO seized power in a coup in 1985, but his rule was short-lived, with Yoweri MUSEVENI becoming president in 1986 after his insurgency captured the capital. MUSEVENI is widely credited with restoring relative stability and economic growth to Uganda but has resisted calls to leave office. In 2017, parliament approved the removal of presidential age limits, making it possible for MUSEVENI to remain in office for life. Uganda faces numerous challenges that could affect future stability, including explosive population growth, power and infrastructure constraints, corruption, underdeveloped democratic institutions, and human rights deficits.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates

1 00 N, 32 00 E

Area

total: 241,038 sq km

land: 197,100 sq km

water: 43,938 sq km

country comparison to the world: 81

Area - comparative

slightly more than two times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Oregon

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 2,729 km

border countries (5): Democratic Republic of the Congo 877 km; Kenya 814 km; Rwanda 172 km; South Sudan 475 km; Tanzania 391 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast

Terrain

mostly plateau with rim of mountains

Elevation

highest point: Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley 5,110 m

lowest point: Albert Nile 614 m

Natural resources

copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land, gold

Land use

agricultural land: 71.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 34.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 11.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 25.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 14.5% (2018 est.)

other: 14.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

140 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Victoria (shared with Tanzania and Kenya) - 62,940 sq km; Lake Albert (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo) - 5,590 sq km; Lake Kyoga - 4,430 sq km; Lake Edward (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo) - 2,150 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Population distribution

population density is relatively high in comparison to other African nations; most of the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country, particularly along the shores of Lake Victoria and Lake Albert; the northeast is least populated as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

droughts; floods; earthquakes; landslides; hailstorms

Geography - note

landlocked; fertile, well-watered country with many lakes and rivers; Lake Victoria, the world's largest tropical lake and the second largest fresh water lake, is shared among three countries: Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda

Map description

Uganda map showing major population centers as well as parts of surrounding countries and Lake Victoria.

People and Society

Population

46,205,893 (2022 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly taken into account the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

country comparison to the world: 33

Nationality

noun: Ugandan(s)

adjective: Ugandan

Ethnic groups

Baganda 16.5%, Banyankole 9.6%, Basoga 8.8%, Bakiga 7.1%, Iteso 7%, Langi 6.3%, Bagisu 4.9%, Acholi 4.4%, Lugbara 3.3%, other 32.1% (2014 est.)

Languages

English (official language, taught in schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages and the language used most often in the capital), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili (official), Arabic

Religions

Protestant 45.1% (Anglican 32.0%, Pentecostal/Born Again/Evangelical 11.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, Baptist .3%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile

Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world; its total fertility rate is among the world’s highest at close to 5.5 children per woman. Except in urban areas, actual fertility exceeds women’s desired fertility by one or two children, which is indicative of the widespread unmet need for contraception, lack of government support for family planning, and a cultural preference for large families. High numbers of births, short birth intervals, and the early age of childbearing contribute to Uganda’s high maternal mortality rate. Gender inequities also make fertility reduction difficult; women on average are less-educated, participate less in paid employment, and often have little say in decisions over childbearing and their own reproductive health. However, even if the birth rate were significantly reduced, Uganda’s large pool of women entering reproductive age ensures rapid population growth for decades to come.

Unchecked, population increase will further strain the availability of arable land and natural resources and overwhelm the country’s limited means for providing food, employment, education, health care, housing, and basic services. The country’s north and northeast lag even further behind developmentally than the rest of the country as a result of long-term conflict (the Ugandan Bush War 1981-1986 and more than 20 years of fighting between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Ugandan Government forces), ongoing inter-communal violence, and periodic natural disasters.

Uganda has been both a source of refugees and migrants and a host country for refugees. In 1972, then President Idi AMIN, in his drive to return Uganda to Ugandans, expelled the South Asian population that composed a large share of the country’s business people and bankers. Since the 1970s, thousands of Ugandans have emigrated, mainly to southern Africa or the West, for security reasons, to escape poverty, to search for jobs, and for access to natural resources. The emigration of Ugandan doctors and nurses due to low wages is a particular concern given the country’s shortage of skilled health care workers. Africans escaping conflicts in neighboring states have found refuge in Uganda since the 1950s; the country currently struggles to host tens of thousands from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and other nearby countries.

Age structure

0-14 years: 48.21% (male 10,548,913/female 10,304,876)

15-24 years: 20.25% (male 4,236,231/female 4,521,698)

25-54 years: 26.24% (male 5,202,570/female 6,147,304)

55-64 years: 2.91% (male 579,110/female 681,052)

65 years and over: 2.38% (2020 est.) (male 442,159/female 589,053)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 92.3

youth dependency ratio: 88.5

elderly dependency ratio: 3.8

potential support ratio: 26.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 15.7 years

male: 14.9 years

female: 16.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 226

Birth rate

40.94 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Death rate

5.02 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Net migration rate

-3.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Population distribution

population density is relatively high in comparison to other African nations; most of the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country, particularly along the shores of Lake Victoria and Lake Albert; the northeast is least populated as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 26.2% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 5.41% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.652 million KAMPALA (capital) (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2016 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

375 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Infant mortality rate

total: 30.45 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 33.88 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 26.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.96 years

male: 66.71 years

female: 71.27 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 180

Total fertility rate

5.36 children born/woman (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 92.5% of population

rural: 80% of population

total: 83.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 7.5% of population

rural: 20% of population

total: 16.9% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.15 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 67.3% of population

rural: 27.5% of population

total: 37.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 32.7% of population

rural: 72.5% of population

total: 62.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Uganda is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.82 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.85 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.5 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 5.46 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 61

Tobacco use

total: 8.4% (2020 est.)

male: 13% (2020 est.)

female: 3.7% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 7.3%

women married by age 18: 34%

men married by age 18: 5.5% (2016 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 76.5%

male: 82.7%

female: 70.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 10 years

female: 10 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 15.6%

male: 13.8%

female: 17.6% (2017 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water pollution from industrial discharge and water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; widespread poaching

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 48.41 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 5.68 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 30.24 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February, June to August); semiarid in northeast

Land use

agricultural land: 71.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 34.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 11.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 25.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 14.5% (2018 est.)

other: 14.3% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 26.2% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 5.41% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 181

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Uganda is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to weather extremes, civil insecurity, and high food prices- in Karamoja Region, about 518,000 people, 41% of the population, are estimated to be severely food insecure between March and July 2022, as a result of consecutive poor rainy seasons that adversely affected crop and livestock production, frequent episodes of cattle rustling leading to the loss of productive assets, and high food prices (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 7,045,050 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 422,703 tons (2017 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 6% (2017 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Victoria (shared with Tanzania and Kenya) - 62,940 sq km; Lake Albert (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo) - 5,590 sq km; Lake Kyoga - 4,430 sq km; Lake Edward (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo) - 2,150 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 328 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 50 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 259 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

60.1 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Uganda

conventional short form: Uganda

etymology: from the name "Buganda," adopted by the British as the designation for their East African colony in 1894; Buganda had been a powerful East African state during the 18th and 19th centuries

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Kampala

geographic coordinates: 0 19 N, 32 33 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the site of the original British settlement was referred to by its native name as Akasozi ke'Empala ("hill of the impala" [plural]); over time this designation was shortened to K'empala and finally Kampala

Administrative divisions

134 districts and 1 capital city*; Abim, Adjumani, Agago, Alebtong, Amolatar, Amudat, Amuria, Amuru, Apac, Arua, Budaka, Bududa, Bugiri, Bugweri, Buhweju, Buikwe, Bukedea, Bukomansimbi, Bukwo, Bulambuli, Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Bushenyi, Busia, Butaleja, Butambala, Butebo, Buvuma, Buyende, Dokolo, Gomba, Gulu, Hoima, Ibanda, Iganga, Isingiro, Jinja, Kaabong, Kabale, Kabarole, Kaberamaido, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kalaki, Kalangala, Kaliro, Kalungu, Kampala*, Kamuli, Kamwenge, Kanungu, Kapchorwa, Kapelebyong, Karenga, Kasese, Kasanda, Katakwi, Kayunga, Kazo, Kibaale, Kiboga, Kibuku, Kikuube, Kiruhura, Kiryandongo, Kisoro, Kitagwenda, Kitgum, Koboko, Kole, Kotido, Kumi, Kwania, Kween, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kyotera, Lamwo, Lira, Luuka, Luwero, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Madi-Okollo, Manafwa, Maracha, Masaka, Masindi, Mayuge, Mbale, Mbarara, Mitooma, Mityana, Moroto, Moyo, Mpigi, Mubende, Mukono, Nabilatuk, Nakapiripirit, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Namayingo, Namisindwa, Namutumba, Napak, Nebbi, Ngora, Ntoroko, Ntungamo, Nwoya, Obongi, Omoro, Otuke, Oyam, Pader, Pakwach, Pallisa, Rakai, Rubanda, Rubirizi, Rukiga, Rukungiri, Rwampara, Sembabule, Serere, Sheema, Sironko, Soroti, Tororo, Wakiso, Yumbe, Zombo

Independence

9 October 1962 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 9 October (1962)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 27 September 1995, promulgated 8 October 1995

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership in the second and third readings; proposals affecting "entrenched clauses," including the sovereignty of the people, supremacy of the constitution, human rights and freedoms, the democratic and multiparty form of government, presidential term of office, independence of the judiciary, and the institutions of traditional or cultural leaders, also requires passage by referendum, ratification by at least two-thirds majority vote of district council members in at least two thirds of Uganda's districts, and assent of the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2017

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a native-born citizen of Uganda

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: an aggregate of 20 years and continuously for the last 2 years prior to applying for citizenship

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since 26 January 1986); Vice President Jessica Rose Epel ALUPO (since 21 June 2021); Prime Minister Robinah NABBANJA (since 21 June 2021); First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca KADAGA (since 24 June 2021); Second Deputy Prime Minister Moses ALI (since 21 June 2021); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since 26 January 1986); Vice President Jessica Rose Epel ALUPO (since 21 June 2021); Prime Minister Robinah NABBANJA (since 21 June 2021); First Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca KADAGA (since 24 June 2021); Second Deputy Prime Minister Moses ALI (since 21 June 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among elected members of the National Assembly or persons who qualify to be elected as members of the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 14 January 2021 (next to be held in 2026)

election results: 2021: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (NRM) 58.6%, Bobi WINE (NUP) 34.8%, Patrick Oboi AMURIAT (FDC) 3.2%, other 3.4%

2016: Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (NRM) 60.6%, Kizza BESIGYE (FDC) 35.6%, other 3.8%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Parliament (556 seats; 353 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 146 for women directly elected in single-seat districts by simple majority vote, and 30 "representatives" reserved for special interest groups - army 10, disabled 5, youth 5, labor 5, older persons 5; 27 ex officio members appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 14 January 2021 (next to be held in February 2026)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NRM 336, NUP 57, FDC 32, DP 9, UPDF 10, UPC 9, independent 76 (excludes 27 ex-officio members)

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Uganda (consists of the chief justice and at least 6 justices)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president of the republic in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, an 8-member independent advisory body, and approved by the National Assembly; justices serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal (also acts as the Constitutional Court); High Court (includes 12 High Court Circuits and 8 High Court Divisions); Industrial Court; Chief Magistrate Grade One and Grade Two Courts throughout the country; qadhis courts; local council courts; family and children courts

Political parties and leaders

Activist Party [Stephen BAMPIGGA]
Alliance for National Transformation or ANT [Alice ALASO, acting national coordinator]
Conservative Party [Walyemera Daniel MASUMBA]
Democratic Party or DP [Norbert MAO]
Forum for Democratic Change or FDC [Patrick Oboi AMURIAT]
Justice Forum or JEEMA [Asuman BASALIRWA]
National Resistance Movement or NRM [Yoweri MUSEVENI]
National Unity Platform [Nkonge KIBALAMA]
Uganda People's Congress or UPC [James AKENA]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNOCI, UNSOM, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mull Ssebujja KATENDE (since 8 September 2017)

chancery: 5911 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone: [1] (202) 726-7100

FAX: [1] (202) 726-1727

email address and website:
washington@mofa.go.ug; info@ugandaembassysus.org; ambauganda@aol.com

https://washington.mofa.go.ug/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Natalie E. BROWN (since 17 November 2020)

embassy: 1577 Ggaba Road, Kampala

mailing address: 2190 Kampala Place, Washington DC  20521-2190

telephone: [256] (0) 312-306-001

FAX: [256] (0) 414-259-794

email address and website:
KampalaUScitizen@state.gov

https://ug.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

six equal horizontal bands of black (top), yellow, red, black, yellow, and red; a white disk is superimposed at the center and depicts a grey crowned crane (the national symbol) facing the hoist side; black symbolizes the African people, yellow sunshine and vitality, red African brotherhood; the crane was the military badge of Ugandan soldiers under the UK

National symbol(s)

grey crowned crane; national colors: black, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty!"

lyrics/music: George Wilberforce KAKOMOA

note: adopted 1962

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 3 (1 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (n); Rwenzori Mountains National Park (n); Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (c)

Economy

Economic overview

Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, substantial reserves of recoverable oil, and small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy, employing 72% of the work force. The country’s export market suffered a major slump following the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan, but has recovered lately, largely due to record coffee harvests, which account for 16% of exports, and increasing gold exports, which account for 10% of exports. Uganda has a small industrial sector that is dependent on imported inputs such as refined oil and heavy equipment. Overall, productivity is hampered by a number of supply-side constraints, including insufficient infrastructure, lack of modern technology in agriculture, and corruption.

 

Uganda’s economic growth has slowed since 2016 as government spending and public debt has grown. Uganda’s budget is dominated by energy and road infrastructure spending, while Uganda relies on donor support for long-term drivers of growth, including agriculture, health, and education. The largest infrastructure projects are externally financed through concessional loans, but at inflated costs. As a result, debt servicing for these loans is expected to rise.

 

Oil revenues and taxes are expected to become a larger source of government funding as oil production starts in the next three to 10 years. Over the next three to five years, foreign investors are planning to invest $9 billion in production facilities projects, $4 billion in an export pipeline, as well as in a $2-3 billion refinery to produce petroleum products for the domestic and East African Community markets. Furthermore, the government is looking to build several hundred million dollars’ worth of highway projects to the oil region.

 

Uganda faces many economic challenges. Instability in South Sudan has led to a sharp increase in Sudanese refugees and is disrupting Uganda's main export market. Additional economic risks include: poor economic management, endemic corruption, and the government’s failure to invest adequately in the health, education, and economic opportunities for a burgeoning young population. Uganda has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa - only 22% of Ugandans have access to electricity, dropping to 10% in rural areas.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$99.61 billion (2020 est.)

$96.84 billion (2019 est.)

$90.67 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 90

Real GDP growth rate

4.8% (2017 est.)

2.3% (2016 est.)

5.7% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2020 est.)

$2,200 (2019 est.)

$2,100 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 211

GDP (official exchange rate)

$34.683 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.8% (2019 est.)

2.6% (2018 est.)

5.6% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B+ (2015)

Moody's rating: B2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2014)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 28.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.1% (2017 est.)

services: 50.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 74.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 18.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -25.1% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, plantains, cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, milk, vegetables, beans, bananas, sorghum

Industries

sugar processing, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles; cement, steel production

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 71%

industry: 7%

services: 22% (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 15.6%

male: 13.8%

female: 17.6% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.4%

highest 10%: 36.1% (2009 est.)

Budget

revenues: 3.848 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 4.928 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

40% of GDP (2017 est.)

37.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$1.212 billion (2017 est.)

-$707 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Exports

$6.12 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.63 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$5.958 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 119

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 58%, Kenya 9% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, coffee, milk, fish and fish products, tobacco (2019)

Imports

$9.54 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$8.65 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$7.44 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Imports - partners

China 19%, India 17%, Kenya 16%, United Arab Emirates 7%, Japan 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

packaged medicines, aircraft, delivery trucks, cars, wheat (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.654 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.034 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

note: excludes gold

country comparison to the world: 101

Debt - external

$13.85 billion (2019 est.)

$12.187 billion (2018 est.)

$6.241 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

Exchange rates

Ugandan shillings (UGX) per US dollar -

3,680 (2020 est.)

3,685 (2019 est.)

3,735 (2018 est.)

3,234.1 (2014 est.)

2,599.8 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 29% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 66% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 17% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 2.397 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 4,207,040,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 299.2 million kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 104.2 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.157 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 1.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 86.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 10.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 40,900 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 2.5 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 14.158 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

5.841 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 5.841 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 90,774 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2020 est.) less than 1

country comparison to the world: 141

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 25,395,500 (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 57.37 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 49

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: a series of reforms within Uganda’s telecom sector have provided the country with one of the most competitive markets in the region; the entry of MTN Uganda as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom sectors fundamentally improved the availability and quality of services offered to end-users; regulatory reforms in recent years have meant that Lycamobile Uganda and Airtel Uganda also now hold National Telecommunications Operator licenses; in line with the regulator’s licensing requirements by which Uganda-based companies should be broadly owned by Ugandans by mid-2022, MTN Group carried out a partial listing on the Uganda Stock Exchange in December 2021; Airtel is expected to follow suit later in 2022; a simplified and converged licensing regime has significantly reduced barriers to market entry and increased competition, but this has also led to price wars which have dented operator revenue; heightened competitive pressures against the backdrop of a weak consumer profile have worsened operating conditions, prompting the exit of Africell in 2021 while the financially strained Smile Telecom has pinned its hopes on a restructuring plan aimed at stabilizing in the challenging market; fixed-line infrastructure remains poor, with low penetration, and as a result fixed-line broadband penetration is also particularly low; consumers have largely depended on mobile infrastructure to provide voice and broadband services; there is sufficient capacity with LTE infrastructure to match data demand during the next few years; MTN Uganda has anticipated the migration to 5G, having held trials in early 2020 though the roll out of 5G is not expected until later in 2022. (2022)

domestic: fixed-line less than 1 per 100 and mobile cellular systems teledensity about 61 per 100 persons; intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations (2020)

international: country code - 256; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; analog and digital links to Kenya and Tanzania

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

public broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), operates radio and TV networks; 31 Free-To-Air (FTA) TV stations, 2 digital terrestrial TV stations, 3 cable TV stations, and 5 digital satellite TV stations; 258 operational FM stations

Internet users

total: 9,148,200 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 20% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 60

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 58,594 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 140

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 26

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 21,537 (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 5

over 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 42

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 26

under 914 m: 7 (2021)

Railways

total: 1,244 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 1,244 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 85

Roadways

total: 20,544 km (2017) (excludes local roads)

paved: 4,257 km (2017)

unpaved: 16,287 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 111

Waterways

907 km (2022) (there are no long navigable stretches of river in Uganda; parts of the Albert Nile ( 210 km) that flow out of Lake Albert (160 km) in the northwestern part of the country are navigable; several lakes including Lake Victoria (337 km) and Lake Kyoga (199.5) have substantial traffic; Lake Albert is navigable along a 200-km stretch from its northern tip to its southern shores)

country comparison to the world: 74

Ports and terminals

lake port(s): Entebbe, Jinja, Port Bell (Lake Victoria)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF): Land Forces, Air Forces, Marine Forces, Special Forces Command, Reserve Force (2022)

note 1: the Special Forces Command is a separate branch within the UPDF; it evolved from the former Presidential Guard Brigade and continues to have presidential protection duties in addition to its conventional missions, such as counterinsurgency

note 2: in 2018, President MUSEVENI created a volunteer force of Local Defense Units under the military to beef up local security in designated parts of the country

Military expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.7% of GDP (2019) (approximately $870 million)

1.2% of GDP (2018) (approximately $640 million)

1.2% of GDP (2017) (approximately $610 million)

country comparison to the world: 41

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 50,000 troops, including about 1,000-1,500 air and marine personnel; approximately 20-30,000 personnel in the Local Defense Units (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the UPDF's inventory is mostly older Russian/Soviet-era equipment with a limited mix of more modern Russian- and Western-origin arms; since 2010, Russia has been the leading supplier of arms to the UPDF (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military duty for men and women; 9-year service obligation (2021)

Military deployments

6,800 Somalia (6,200 ATMIS; 625 UNSOM); 250 Equatorial Guinea (training mission) (2022)

Military - note

the UPDF, which is constitutionally granted seats in parliament, is widely viewed as a key constituency for MUSEVENI; it has been used by MUSEVENI and his political party to break up rallies, raid opposition offices, and surveil rival candidates

as of 2022, the UPDF was conducting operations along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (including cross-border operations) against a Congo-based (and formerly based in western Uganda) Ugandan rebel group, the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), which was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department in March 2021 as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC; see Appendix T); in addition, elements of the UPDF were deployed in the northeast region of Karamoja against cattle rustlers and criminal gangs

beginning in 2012, the UPDF led regional efforts to pursue the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a small, violent group of Ugandan origin that conducted widespread attacks against civilians in much of Central Africa; the UPDF withdrew from the mission in 2017 after declaring that the LRA no longer posed a security threat; Uganda intervened in the South Sudan civil war in 2013-2016 and UPDF forces have clashed with South Sudanese forces along the border as recently as 2020

the military traces its history back to the formation of the Uganda Rifles in 1895 under the British colonial government; the Uganda Rifles were merged with the Central Africa Regiment and the East Africa Rifles to form the King’s African Rifles (KAR) in 1902, which participated in both world wars, as well as the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya (1952-1960); in 1962, the Ugandan battalion of the KAR was transformed into the country's first military force, the Uganda Rifles, which was subsequently renamed the Uganda Army; the Uganda People's Defense Force was established in 1995 from the former rebel National Resistance Army following the enactment of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

al-Shabaab; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Democratic Republic of Congo (ISIS-DRC)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Uganda is subject to armed fighting among hostile ethnic groups, rebels, armed gangs, militias, and various government forces that extend across its borders

Uganda-Kenya: Kenya and Uganda have begun a joint demarcation of the boundary in 2021; Uganda and Kenya both claim Migingo Island, a tiny island in the middle of Lake Victoria, which offers good fishing

Uganda-Rwanda: a joint technical committee established in 2007 to demarcate sections of the border

Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo(DROC): Uganda rejects the DROC claim to Margherita Peak in the Rwenzori mountains and considers it a boundary divide; there is tension and violence on Lake Albert over prospective oil reserves at the mouth of the Semliki River; Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert is claimed by both countries

Uganda-South Sudan: Government of South Sudan protests Lord's Resistance Army operations in western Equatorial State, displacing and driving out local populations and stealing grain stores

Uganda-Sudan: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 911,255 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 452,891 (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 61,853 (Somalia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 40,167 (Burundi), 26,668 (Rwanda), 22,223 (Eritrea), 5,322 (Ethiopia) (2022)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Uganda, and traffickers exploit victims from Uganda abroad; young Ugandan children are exploited in forced labor in agriculture, fishing, forestry, cattle herding, mining, stone quarrying, brick making, carpentry, steel manufacturing, street vending, bars, restaurants, gold mining, and domestic service; traffickers exploit girls and boys in commercial sex; most are children from the northeastern region and are exploited in forced begging, commercial sex in brothels, or sold in markets; traffickers compel  children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan into forced agricultural labor and sex trafficking in Uganda; young women most at risk for transnational trafficking seek employment as domestic workers in the Middle East and then are exploited in sex trafficking; traffickers subject Ugandans to forced labor and sex trafficking in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Malaysia, Thailand, Bahrain, Jordan, China, Kenya, and India; traffickers are often relatives, friends of victims, or religious leaders who receive a fee per worker from recruiters

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch list — Uganda does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include investigating allegations of complicit officials, implementing the protection and prevention provisions of the 2009 anti-trafficking act, convicting alleged traffickers, developing a plan for an anti-trafficking department within the police force; however, the government reported the lowest number of investigations in the past five years and a substantial decrease in prosecutions; authorities provided no training for law enforcement and immigration officials and identified fewer victims; the Coordination Office for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons is severely underfunded, stifling efforts to coordinate and combat trafficking; no systematic procedures to refer or assist victims have been developed, and the government provides no resources to NGOs for protective services; Uganda was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)