Country Summary



British influence in Uganda began in the 1860s with explorers seeking the source of the Nile. The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. These differences complicated the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962.



total: 241,038 sq km
land: 197,100 sq km
water: 43,938 sq km


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

Natural resources

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

People and Society


47,729,952 (2023 est.)

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.)


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


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.)

Population growth rate

3.22% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Kampala

Executive branch

chief of state: President Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI (since 26 January 1986); Vice President Jessica Rose Epel ALUPO (since 21 June 2021)
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); note - the prime minister is appointed by the president, with the approval of parliament, to coordinate the work of the cabinet and advise the president.    


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)


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)

$103.007 billion (2021 est.)
$99.488 billion (2020 est.)
$96.636 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,200 (2021 est.)
$2,200 (2020 est.)
$2,300 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

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


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


$6.177 billion (2021 est.)
$5.562 billion (2020 est.)
$6.172 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

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


$10.705 billion (2021 est.)
$10.197 billion (2020 est.)
$9.795 billion (2019 est.)

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)

Exchange rates

Ugandan shillings (UGX) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
3,587.052 (2021 est.)
3,718.249 (2020 est.)
3,704.049 (2019 est.)
3,727.069 (2018 est.)
3,611.224 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024