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The Republic Of Uganda

Uganda which also goes by the Pseudo name ‘Pearl of Africa’  is East Africa’s third largest economy.

Key facts

Population: 39.0 million (2019 Statistics)

GDP: US$ 233.4 Billion (2019 Statistics)

Official language: Kiswahili, English

Timezone: GMT + 3hr

Currency: Ugandan Shilling (Ush)

Geography

Area: 236,000 sq. km

Coastline: None

Capital city: Kampala

Population density (per sq. km): 173

Uganda is a landlocked country lying astride the equator. It is bordered (clockwise from north) by Sudan, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Languages

The official languages are English and Kiswahili. Luganda is widely spoken and there are several other African languages.

Communications

Communication in Uganda is controlled by Uganda Communication Commission which regulates all channels of information including Newspapers, Radio, Television, Telecommunication and the Internet.

The country’s code 256. It has no area codes. Uganda’s internet domain ‘.ug’.

Public holidays

New Year’s Day, Liberation Day (26 January associated with the current regime), International Women’s Day (8 March), Labour Day (1 May), Uganda Martyrs’ Day (3 June), National Heroes’ Day (9 June), Independence Day (9 October), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Easter Monday, Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

Transport

Some 70,750 km of roads radiate from Kampala, 23% of which are paved.

The railway network extends over some 260 km. At the end of 1993, passenger services between Kampala and Kenya were resumed after a break of 15 years.

Entebbe International Airport is 35 km south-west of Kampala.

International relations

Uganda is a member of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, African Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, The Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, United Nations and World Trade Organization. Uganda is also a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, which was established in 1986 by the six countries in the Horn of Africa to combat drought and desertification and promote food security in the region.

Topography

Water, with swampland, covers nearly 20% of the earth surface area. The largest lakes include Lake George, Lake Kyoga, and parts of Lakes Victoria, Albert and Edward.

From its source in Lake Victoria, the White Nile flows northwards through the country. Mountains include the high Rwenzori range in the west (Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley is 5,110 metres) and Mount Elgon (4,253 metres) in the east.

Climate

Equatorial, tempered with breezes and showers. Cooler in the higher areas. Heavy rain from March to May, and in October and November; little rainfall in the north-east.

Environment

The most significant issues are: draining of wetlands for agricultural use; overgrazing, soil erosion and deforestation; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; and poaching.

Vegetation

Much of the country, being so well-watered, is richly fertile. Uganda has an arid semi-desert in the north-east.

Most of the country’s vegetation is savannah with tropical forests in areas of high rainfall. Drought-resistant bush, grasses and succulents grow in the north-east. Forest covers 14% of the land area, having declined at 2.3% p.a. 1990-2010. Arable land comprises 35% and permanent cropland 11% of the total land area.

Wildlife

Uganda has 7,200 sq. km of national parks and game reserves, reflecting the extraordinary diversity of the country which comprises lakes, swamps, dense grassland, woodland, rolling plains, forests and mountains, there is a rich variety of wildlife.
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