The earliest human inhabitants in Uganda were hunter-gathers. Remnants of these people are today to be found among the pygmies in western Uganda. Approximately 2000 to 1500 years ago, Bantu speaking populations from central and western Africa migrated and occupied most of the southern parts of the country. The migrants brought with them agriculture, ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization, that by the 15th - 16th century resulted in the development of centralized kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara and Ankole.
In 1888, control of the emerging British "sphere of interest" in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to William Mackinnon's Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEACO), an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. The high cost of occupying the territory caused the company to withdraw in 1893, and its administrative functions were taken over by a British commissioner. In 1894, Uganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.
Early independent Uganda
Britain granted independence to Uganda in 1962, and the first elections were held on 1st March 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda became a republic the following year when it gained its independence on 9th October 1962 thus acquiring its Commonwealth membership. Sir Edward Mutweesa II was appointed as the first president..
In succeeding years, supporters of a centralized state vied with those in favor of a loose federation and a strong role for tribally-based local kingdoms. Political maneuvering climaxed in February 1966, when Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote suspended the constitution and assumed all government powers, removing the positions of president and vice president. In September 1967, a new constitution proclaimed Uganda a republic, gave the president even greater powers, and abolished the traditional kingdoms.
Uganda under Idi Amin Dada
On 25 January 1971, Obote's government was ousted in a military coup led by armed forces commander Idi Amin Dada. Amin declared himself 'president,' dissolved the parliament, and amended the constitution to give himself absolute power.
Idi Amin's eight years' rule produced economic decline, social disintegration, and massive human rights violations. In 1978, the International Commission of Jurists estimated that more than 100,000 Ugandans had been murdered during Amin's reign of terror; some authorities place the figure as high as 300,000--a statistic cited at the end of the 2006 movie "The Last King of Scotland", which chronicled part of Amin's dictatorship.
A border altercation involving Ugandan exiles camped close to the Ugandan border of Mutukula resulted in an advance by the Ugandan army into Tanzania. In October 1978, Tanzanian armed forces countered an incursion of Amin's troops into Tanzanian territory. The Tanzanian army, backed by Ugandan exiles waged a war of liberation against Amin's troops and the Libyan soldiers sent to help him. On 11 April 1979, Kampala was captured, and Amin fled with his remaining forces.
Uganda between 1979 - 1986
After Amin's removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president and Jeremiah Lucas Opira as the Secretary General of the UNLF and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga. The December 1980 elections returned the UPC to power under the leadership of President Milton Obote, with Muwanga serving as vice president. Under Obote, the security forces had one of the world's worst human rights records. In their efforts to stamp out an insurgency led by Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA), they laid waste to a substantial section of the country, especially in the Luwero area north of Kampala.
Post Liberation war (1986 - 2000)
Negotiations between the Okello government and the NRA were conducted in Nairobi in the fall of 1985, with Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi seeking a cease-fire and a coalition government in Uganda. Although agreeing in late 1985 to a cease-fire, the NRA continued fighting, and seized Kampala and the country in late January 1986, forcing Okello's forces to flee north into Sudan. Museveni's forces organized a government with Museveni as president.
Since assuming power, the government dominated by the political grouping created by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his followers, the National Resistance Movement (NRM or the "Movement"), has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial political liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted broad economic reforms after consultation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and donor governments.
List of Presidents of Uganda since 1962
List of presidents and period in power
|Sir Edward Mutesa II
||1962 - 1966
|Apollo Milton Obote (Obote I)
||1966 - 1971
|Idi Amin Dada
||1971 - 1979
|Yusuf Kironde Lule
||13 April 1979 - 20 June 1979
|Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa
||1979 - 1980
||12 May 1980 - 22 May 1980
|Apollo Milton Obote (Obote II)
||1980 - 1985
|Tito Okello Lutwa
||1985 - 1986
|Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
||1986 to date
Set at the equator, Uganda is made up of four regions(Central, Eastern, Northern and Western) on an area of 236, 580 sq km, with its capital at Kampala. The country is fortunate to harbour Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world forming the source of the Nile, the second longest river in the world.
Approximately 35,000, 000 (2014 est) with a 3.6 percent population growth.
People and culture
Uganda has long been a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of more than 30 different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts.
- English(Official language)
- Runyankole,Rukiga or Rutoro
- Roman catholic (41%)
- Anglican (40%)
- Islam (5%)
- Other beliefs (14%)
Uganda experiences a temperate climate even though the majority of the country is within the Tropics with temperatures between 16oC - 26oC for the majority of the year (April - November). However, during the warmer months (December - March) temperatures reach in excess of 30oC.
The Republic of Uganda is a sovereign democratic state governed by the 1995 Constitution. The President is Head of State and the Executive comprising of 26 government Ministers. Voting qualifications are universal, for those above 18 years of age.
Economic profile and Currency
Consistently ranked among Africa's fastest growing economies since 1986, Uganda has experienced a steady expansion of infrastructure and a corresponding increase in international investment and tourism.
We use the Ugandan Shilling (UGX).
- New Year's Day - 1 January
- NRM Liberation Day - 26 January
- Women's Day - 3 March
- Easter Sunday, Good Friday - March - April
- Labour Day - 1 May
- Martyrs' Day - 3 June
- Heroes Day - 9 June
- Independence - 9 October
- Christmas Day - 25 December
- Boxing Day - 26 December