Uganda Facts

The Big Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Uganda
  • Capitol: Kampala
  • National Anthem: Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty
  • Motto: "For God and My Country"
  • Official Nickname: dubbed "The Pearl of Africa" by Sir Winston Churchill 
  • Official Languages: English and Swahili 
    • English in Uganda is referred to as Uglish due to the heavy Ugandan dialect
  • Other Languages: Luganda, Bantu, Nilotic
  • Major religions: Christianity, Islam
  • Population: almost 38 million 
  • Area: over 93,000 sq miles

Country

  • Landlocked by 5 countries: Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Around a quarter of Uganda's surface is made up of lakes and rivers. 
    • One of the largest lakes in the world, Lake Victoria, is along the southern border or the country and aids the country is transportation, vegetation and tourism. 
  • The climate is tropical with two dry season that run from December - February and June - August
  • There are 60 protected areas in Uganda, ten of which are national parks
  • The Equator runs through Uganda
  • Natural Resources: copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, arable land, gold
  • Land Use: agricultural land 71%, arable land 34%, permanent crops 11%, pasture 25%, forest 14%, other 14%
  • Natural Hazards: droughts, floods, earthquakes, landslides, hailstorms

People

  • There are an estimated 52 practicing tribes in Uganda
  • Women in Uganda are the ones who traditionally construct and build the walls of the houses while the men construct the roof
  • About half of Uganda's population is under the age of 14. It is the youngest country in the world
  • Average life expectancy is 55 years
  • 1.3 million people are living with HIV/AIDS
  • Approximately one third of people in Uganda own a mobile phone
  • 22% of the total population have electricity
  • Ugandans are known for their warmth and hospitality, the African Economist called Uganda one of Africa's friendliest countries 

Policies/Manners/Rules

  • Ugandans refer to foreigners as “mzungu” 
  • When greeting a Ugandan, it is impolite to say "Hi", rather one should as "How are you?"
  • When crossing the street, pedestrians do not have the right of way
  • The primary mode of transportation is bicycle
  • Punctuality is not very important in Uganda - it is customary for someone to arrive maybe 30 minutes or even two hours after they were expected
  • Ugandan woman are expected to dress modestly and should cover their legs
  • Uganda man should always wear pants, even in hotter temperature. Only boys and foreigners wear shorts
  • Pointing at a Ugandan with an index finger in an insult, when pointing one should extend the whole arm
  • Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Uganda
  • "I need to make a short call" is what someone may say to excuse themselves to go to the restroom

Food

  • Pan-fried grasshoppers are considered a delicacy and offered to local guests
  • Matooke is a staple food in Uganda made from mashed unripened bananas 
  • A Rolex is a type of fast food rather than a watch
  • Peanuts are known as "g-nuts" or "ground nuts"
  • Banana is very popular 
  • Ugandans are one of the top consumers of alcohol in all of Africa

Agriculture

  • About 66% of the population works in the farming industry
  • Agriculture is responsible for about a quarter of the country's GDP
  • The main export in Uganda is coffee
    • coffee from Uganda rarely makes it to America, most of it is sent to other countries in Africa
  • Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas in the world producing about 11 million tons annually 
  • Agriculture products: avocado, pineapple, coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), potatoes, corn, millet, pulses, cut flowers, beef, goat meat, milk, poultry and fish
  • Industries: sugar processing, brewing, tobacco, cotton textiles, cement, steel production

Environment & Wildlife

  • The national animal: Grey Crowned Crane, this bird is featured on the flag
  • Home to many endangered species such as mountain gorillas and hippos
  • Current Environmental Issues: draining of wetland for agriculture, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, water pollution from industrial discharge, widespread poaching
  • Malaria carrying mosquitoes can be found in Uganda. They are typically active from midnight to 5am
  • There are about 5,000 chimpanzees that call Uganda home - more than any other African nation
  • Uganda is a tree loving nation and has a rule that states if you cut down a tree you must plant three more