• Full name: Republic of Uganda
• Geographical Location 1 00 N, 32 00 E
• Population: 34.5 million (UN, 2011)
• Capital city: Kampala
• Area: 241,038 sq km (93,072 sq miles):
land: 197,100 sq km
water: 43,938 sq km
• Major languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Luganda, Luo, various Bantu and Nilotic languages
• Major religions: Christians 83.9%, Muslim 12.1%, Other 3.1%, None 0.9% (2002 census)
• Literacy rate: 73% (UBOS 2012)
• Monetary unit: 1 Ugandan shilling = 100 cents
• Main exports: Coffee, fish and fish products, tea; tobacco, cotton, corn, beans, sesame
• Industry: Sugar, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement
• Agriculture: Coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco; beef, milk
• GNI per capita: US $510 (World Bank, 2011)
• Internet domain: .ug
• International dialling code: +256
Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa. It is bordered by Kenya in the East, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, South Sudan in the North and Rwanda and Tanzania in the South. It consists mostly of savanna plateau, with mountains and lakes. The climate is tropical; generally rainy with two dry seasons (December to February and June to August). Average daily temperatures rarely exceed 29 Celsius (84 F).
Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister referred to Uganda as the "Pearl of Africa" for its "magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life" – in his book, “My African Journey”. These attributes make Uganda one of the most prime tourist destinations in the world.
Ugandan peoples have a very rich culture and amazing history.The country has some of the most impressive historical, political, sociological and anthropological monarchies in Africa that date way back to 16th century and before.
Historians say that the original occupants of present day Uganda were hunters/gatherers until about 2500 years ago when massive migration brought in groups looking for fertile land to grow crops and graze cattle.
These groups included the Bantu-speaking people believed to have migrated from Central Africa and settled in the southern and central parts of the country and particularly around the lakes and rivers and the Nilotic people, including the Luo and the Ateker, who are believed to have migrated from southern Sudan and settled in the northern part of the country.
Assimilation, inter-marriage, struggle for power and territorial expansion over time led to the birth of the kingdoms and chiefdoms. Dominant among them were the Buganda kingdom, Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom, Tooro kindom, Ankole kingdom, Busoga kingdom and Acholi Chiefdoms. The kingdoms developed into centralised native states headed by kings whose power was vested down to the chiefs and clan leaders to oversee and rule over ordinary Ugandan people. Under this structure, land was owned communally, which state of affairs was to change with the arrival of the foreign colonization in the 19th century. Uganda was colonized by Great Britain.
Uganda attained independence in 1962 (hitherto a British Protectorate). However, soon after independence the country was plunged into confusion and chaos under the brutal regimes of Apollo Milton Obote and Idi Amin Dada, when almost a million Ugandans were murdered. Between 1971 and 1985 Uganda witnessed the most turbulent periods in its political history; characterized by wanton killings, dictatorship, social and economic decline.
In 1986 Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, leader of the National Resistance Army (NRA), came to power and despite continued military and economic challenges in the initial years, he restored peace and stability to a large part of the country. Yoweri Museveni was elected President in May 1996 in the first popular election for presidency since independence. He has since been returned to power by popular mandate expressed through democratic elections. The last elections took place in 2011.
Uganda’s economy is fully liberalized. The economy is predominantly agricultural, with the majority of the population dependent on subsistence farming and light agro-based industries. The country is self-sufficient in food. Coffee,tea, fish and fish products, tobacco, gold , cotton, corn and legumes are the main foreign exchange earners for the country.
It should be recalled that during the 1970s through to the early 1980s, Uganda faced a period of civil and military unrest, resulting in the destruction of the economic and social infrastructure. Since 1986, however, the government introduced and implemented several reform programmes that steadily reversed many past setbacks and aimed the country towards economic prosperity. Between 2006 and 2011, Uganda’s growth in GDP varied between 5.6 % and 7.1 % per annum (UBOS). The country continues to register favourable economic indicators that have in turn resulted in improved standards of living for the Ugandan people.
The energy sector is one of the key sectors in Uganda’s economy. The country has a total energy consumption of approximately 11 million TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent) (2010). This consumption is partially met by a number of energy resources including solar power, biomass and fossil fuels. Biomass is the most important source of energy for 97% of the population, accounting for 90% of the total primary energy consumption, in form of firewood, charcoal or crop residues. Electricity contributes only 1.1% to the national energy balance (121,000 TOE), while oil products (mainly used for vehicles and thermal power plants) account for the remaining 8.9%.
Uganda imports energy to the tune of 1,075,356 TOE and exports up to 6,589 TOE. (Source: Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development, Energy Balance of Uganda 2010). In electrical power generation, hydro power accounts for about 80% of the installed capacity of 845 MW. It should be noted that actual capacity available is less by about 100 MW due to the sinking water level in Lake Victoria.
Uganda is richly endowed with abundant energy resources which are fairly distributed throughout the country. These include hydro, biomass, solar, geothermal, peat and fossil fuels. The energy resource potential of the country is estimated at 2000 MW of hydro power, 450 MW of geothermal, 460 million tonnes of biomass standing stock with a sustainable annual yield of 50 million tons, an average of 5.1 kWh/m2 per day of solar energy, and about 250 million TOE of peat. In addition, a substantial amount of petroleum and gas deposits have been discovered in the western part of the country. Production and refinery from these deposits are expected to start soon, after finalization of Production Sharing Agreements with multi-national oil companies as well as completion of the relevant legislation. The overall renewable energy power generation potential is estimated to be 5,300 MW. (Source: SE4ALL)