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Uganda lies in Central West-Africa with Lake Victoria as its only water source. Besides the lake and many rivers, Uganda is a landlocked country surrounded by Kenya, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Currently Uganda is going through a crisis with HIV/AIDS epidemic that has spread across its land. Because of this disease, the mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and various other ratios have increased while life expectancy as well as the standard of living has decreased. Other crisisís facing Uganda deal with the Tutsi, Hutu, and other ethnic groups, political rebels, and various government forces continue fighting in Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda
There is no main religion is Uganda because an equal number of people are Roman Catholic or Protestant. Both of these religions comprise 66% of the total population. The rest of the population is evenly divided between Islam and indigenous beliefs, each comprising 18% of the population. The official national language is English because it is taught in grade schools, used in courts and government, and used for mass-communication. Other languages spoken are Ganda or Luganda, which are the most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages and is preferred in many native language publications in the capital. Various other languages spoken include other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, and Arabic
the religion aspect, there are no main groups comprising Uganda.
The Baganda group comprises the majority of the groups with 17% of
the population, but the other groups are evenly split amongst the
population. These groups are the Ankole,
Basoga, Iteso, Bakiga, Langi ,
Rwanda, Bagisu, Acholi, Lugbara, Batoro, Bunyoro, Alur, Bagwere, Bakonjo,
Jopodhola, Karamojong, and the Rundi.
Many of these groups each comprise 2-8% of the population with no one
group being the majority. The only other groups currently in Uganda come from Europe,
Asia, and from various Arab countries.
political situation in Uganda has been rough since its independence from
England in 1962. In 1971-79 the
dictatorial regime of Idi Amin was responsible for the deaths of some
300,000 opponents, and from 1980-1985 a guerrilla war and human rights
abuses under Milton Obote claimed
another 100,000 lives. As a result of these two major atrocities, the
government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections
during the 1990ís. After a
period of relative peace and calm, the government restored the legal system
to one based on English common law and customary law in 1995.
Also during this time, the government dissolved the Constituent
Assembly upon the promulgation of the constitution.
The Constituent Assembly was an interim, 284-member Assembly that was
charged with debating the draft constitution that had been proposed in May
the political situation has not improved.
The current president is Lt. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta, who seized power in
1986 and has maintained control since by becoming the chief of state and the
head of government. The
president was elected to a five-year term in the 2001 during the first
general elections held since 1962 and the first elections since the
president seized power in 1986. Other
members of the government include the president-appointed Prime Minister,
Apollo Nsibambi, who assists the president in supervising the
in Uganda there are many political organizations but they are not allowed to
sponsor candidates. Currently there is only one political organization that is
allowed to operate without any restrictions.
President Museveni who has stated that NRM is not a political party
but a movement that claims the loyalty of all Ugandans chairs the
organization, the National Resistance Movement or NRM.
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Coffee is the major export crop and accounts for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1986, the government - with the support of foreign countries and international agencies - has acted to rehabilitate and stabilize the economy by undertaking currency reform, raising producer prices on export crops, increasing prices of petroleum products, and improving civil service wages. The policy changes are especially aimed at dampening inflation and boosting production and export earnings. During 1990-2001, the economy turned in a solid performance based on continued investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure, improved incentives for production and exports, reduced inflation, gradually improved domestic security, and the return of exiled Indian-Ugandan entrepreneurs. Ongoing Ugandan involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, corruption within the government, and slippage in the government's determination to press reforms raise doubts about the continuation of strong growth
The literacy rate in Uganda is 56.5% and 30.7% for females
and males respectively. The
rates for primary school enrollment are rather high, with 63% for females
and 79% for males. This
percentage drops to 10% for females and 17% for males for the secondary
The government spent only 2% of the 2000 annual budget on education, down from 3% in 1995. This is a direct result from the ongoing political instability which results in less funding and less focus on improving the education system in Uganda.
The main problem facing Uganda right now is HIV/AIDS. More than 1.1 million people, or 4% of the population, are currently living with AIDS. This epidemic leads to a high mortality rate as well as a lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, and lower population and growth rates. The infant mortality rate exceeds 89 deaths per 1000 births mainly due to the AIDS epidemic and only 38% of the births attended by a skilled health attendant.
Another problem facing people in Uganda is lack of food and health services. This is another direct result from the political instability and the AIDS epidemic. Many people do not receive adequate amounts of food nor do they receive the medical attention they deserve when faced with severe health issues. The only positive point seems to be that children in Uganda do have regular immunization against DPT and measles with immunization programs reaching 55% of the population for DPT and 56% of the population for measles.
|Food & Diet|
The number of calories consumed daily is 2,337 calories with only 166 calories coming from animal sources. The main staples of the diet are various types of vegetables like cereals and starchy roots. Maize and millet are the main cereals consumed and they comprise 451 calories of the total caloric intake. Starchy roots consist of cassava and sweet potatoes, but they do not comprise as much of a percentage as cereals. In addition to these staples, sorghum is occasionally consumed but it is not one of the main products.
Currently more than 23% of the population is malnourished and 28.3% of the population is under height for their age. This is mainly due to the fact that 35% of the people live below the poverty line ($1/day), therefore they do not have adequate access to food. The malnutrition and under height epidemic could also be attributed to the AIDS epidemic which is destroying the people of Uganda.
|Food & Diet|
Europa World Year Book 2001, 42nd edition, 2nd volume