Photos of Uganda

A sign outside a Chinese restaurant in Jinja, near the Nile.

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. Uganda's colonial boundaries 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 removed presidential age limits, making it possible for MUSEVENI to remain in office for life. 

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

comparison ranking: total 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

105 sq km (2013)

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

People and Society

Population

total: 49,283,041

male: 24,040,560

female: 25,242,481 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 30; male 31; total 31

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 in 2022. 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: 47% (male 11,747,745/female 11,427,932)

15-64 years: 50.6% (male 11,788,483/female 13,131,051)

65 years and over: 2.4% (2024 est.) (male 504,332/female 683,498)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 88.2

youth dependency ratio: 85.1

elderly dependency ratio: 3.2

potential support ratio: 31.7 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 16.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 15.5 years

female: 17.1 years

comparison ranking: total 228

Population growth rate

3.18% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 6

Birth rate

39.6 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 5

Death rate

4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 206

Net migration rate

-3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 183

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: 26.8% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

3.846 million KAMPALA (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.4 years (2016 est.)

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

Maternal mortality ratio

284 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 29

Infant mortality rate

total: 28.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 31.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 25.1 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 53

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.7 years (2024 est.)

male: 67.5 years

female: 72 years

comparison ranking: total population 182

Total fertility rate

5.17 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 7

Gross reproduction rate

2.55 (2024 est.)

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.)

Physician 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 (2023)

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

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Trypanosomiasis-Gambiense (African sleeping sickness), and sexually transmitted diseases: HIV/AIDS (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.3% (2016)

comparison ranking: 180

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.)

comparison ranking: total 61

Tobacco use

total: 8.4% (2020 est.)

male: 13% (2020 est.)

female: 3.7% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 145

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

7.6% (2019/20)

comparison ranking: 64

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 7.3%

women married by age 18: 34%

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

Education expenditures

2.7% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 169

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 79%

male: 84%

female: 74.3% (2021)

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

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: 26.8% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

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)

Revenue from forest resources

7.32% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 7

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 92

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 31.31 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 5.68 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 30.24 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 330 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 50 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 260 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

60.1 billion cubic meters (2020 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 2018

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)

head of government: Prime Minister Robinah NABBANJA (since 14 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%, Robert Kyagulanyi SSENTAMU (aka 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); composition- men 368, women 189, percentage women 33.9%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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

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 [Robert Kyagulanyi SSENTAMU, known as Bobi WINE]
People's Progressive Party or PPP [Jaberi Bidandi SSALI]
Uganda People's Congress or UPC [James AKENA]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, ATMIS, 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), ITC, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCDF, UNCTAD, UNECA, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNOCI, UNOPS, UNSOM, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFP, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Robie KAKONGE (since 12 December 2022)

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

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador William W. POPP (since 20 September 2023)

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:
KampalaWebContact@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

low-income, primarily agrarian East African economy; COVID-19 hurt economic growth and poverty reduction; lower oil prices threaten prior sector investments; endemic corruption; natural resource rich; high female labor force participation but undervalued

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$107.733 billion (2022 est.)
$103.007 billion (2021 est.)
$99.488 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 91

Real GDP growth rate

4.59% (2022 est.)
3.54% (2021 est.)
2.95% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 90

Real GDP per capita

$2,300 (2022 est.)
$2,200 (2021 est.)
$2,200 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 200

GDP (official exchange rate)

$45.567 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.2% (2022 est.)
2.2% (2021 est.)
3.31% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 115

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B+ (2015)

Moody's rating: B2 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2014)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 28.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.1% (2017 est.)

services: 50.7% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 176; industry 140; agriculture 21

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

plantains, sugarcane, maize, cassava, milk, sweet potatoes, beans, vegetables, rice, coffee (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

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

Industrial production growth rate

5.13% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 57

Labor force

18.243 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 36

Unemployment rate

2.94% (2022 est.)
3.42% (2021 est.)
3.81% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 38

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 4.3% (2021 est.)

male: 3.4%

female: 5.3%

comparison ranking: total 192

Population below poverty line

20.3% (2019 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

42.7 (2019 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 34

Average household expenditures

on food: 44.2% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 0.9% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.4%

highest 10%: 34.5% (2019 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

2.79% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.67% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.82% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $5.088 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $6.896 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Public debt

51.3% of GDP (2021 est.)
44.19% of GDP (2020 est.)
38.48% of GDP (2019 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 102

Taxes and other revenues

12.46% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 167

Current account balance

-$3.821 billion (2022 est.)
-$4.095 billion (2021 est.)
-$3.657 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 165

Exports

$6.058 billion (2022 est.)
$6.174 billion (2021 est.)
$5.563 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 131

Exports - partners

UAE 31%, India 12%, Hong Kong 9%, Kenya 8%, Italy 7% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

gold, coffee, fish, milk, raw sugar (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$11.145 billion (2022 est.)
$10.686 billion (2021 est.)
$10.209 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 115

Imports - partners

China 23%, Kenya 15%, India 13%, UAE 7%, Tanzania 6% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

vaccines, packaged medicine, plastic products, cars, motorcycles and cycles (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.359 billion (2018 est.)
$3.721 billion (2017 est.)
$3.098 billion (2016 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 112

Debt - external

$13.85 billion (2019 est.)
$12.187 billion (2018 est.)
$6.241 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 128

Exchange rates

Ugandan shillings (UGX) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
3,689.817 (2022 est.)
3,587.052 (2021 est.)
3,718.249 (2020 est.)
3,704.049 (2019 est.)
3,727.069 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 47.1% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 72%

electrification - rural areas: 35.9%

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 2.436 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 3.971 billion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 336.98 million kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 23 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.101 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 102; imports 120; exports 85; consumption 134; installed generating capacity 116

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 2.5% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 89.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 7.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Coal

exports: 85.4 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: (2022 est.) less than 1 metric ton

proven reserves: 799.999 million metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

refined petroleum consumption: 43,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

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

Natural gas

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

Carbon dioxide emissions

6.19 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 6.19 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 131

Energy consumption per capita

2.248 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 117,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2022 est.) less than 1

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 132

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 33.068 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 70 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 46

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; in line with the regulator’s licensing requirements by which Uganda-based companies should be broadly owned by Ugandans by mid-2022; 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; 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 is 66 per 100 persons (2021)

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

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: 4.6 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 10% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 102

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 58,594 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 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

39 (2024)

comparison ranking: 105

Railways

total: 1,244 km (2014)

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

comparison ranking: total 85

Roadways

total: 20,544 km (excludes local roads)

paved: 4,257 km

unpaved: 16,287 km (2017)

comparison ranking: total 113

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)

comparison ranking: 74

Military and Security

Military and security forces

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

Ministry of Internal Affairs: Uganda Police Force (2024)

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

note 2: the Uganda Police Force includes air, field, territorial, and marine units, as well as a presidential guard force

note 3: 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

2.2% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.7% of GDP (2019 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 56

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 45-50,000 active-duty troops (2023)

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; in recent years, Belarus and Russia have been the leading supplier of arms to the UPDF; Uganda has a small but growing defense industry that can manufacture light armored vehicles and perform maintenance on some military equipment, including its Russian-made helicopters (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military duty for men and women; 18-30 for those with degrees/diplomas in specialized fields such as medicine, engineering, chemistry, and education, or possess qualifications in some vocational skills; 9-year service obligation (2024)

Military deployments

as many as 6,000 Somalia (625 for UNSOM; the remainder under ATMIS; note - foreign troop contingents in Somalia under ATMIS are drawing down towards a final withdrawal in December 2024) (2024)

Military - note

the UPDF’s missions include defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, assisting the civilian authorities in emergencies and natural disasters, and participating in socio-economic development projects; it supports the police in maintaining internal security and participates in African and UN peacekeeping missions; it is a key contributor to the East Africa Standby Force; the UPDF also has considerable political influence; it is constitutionally granted seats in parliament and 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 

the UPDF is viewed as a well-equipped force with considerable operational experience; from 2012-2017, it 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; 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 2023; it is also conducting operations along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) against the Allied Democratic Front (ADF), which has been designated by the US as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham in the DRC (see Appendix T); in December 2022, Uganda sent about 1,000 UPDF troops to the DRC as part of a regional force to assist the DRC Government in combating the M23 rebel group; in addition, elements of the UPDF are deployed in the northeast region of Karamoja against cattle rustlers and criminal gangs

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 UPDF was established in 1995 from the former rebel National Resistance Army following the enactment of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda

(2023)

Space

Space program overview

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 34,368 (Eritrea), 23,388 (Rwanda), 8,936 (Ethiopia), 5,776 (Sudan) (2023); 931,666 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 512,445 (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 40,326 (Somalia), 40,326 (Burundi) (2024)

stateless persons: 67,000 (2022)