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What Should I Know About Uganda?

Uganda is a country located in Eastern Africa, situated near Kenya and Tanzania.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2014
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Located in Eastern Africa, the Republic of Uganda or Jamhuri ya Uganda, is a small country covering a total area of 91,136 sq mi (236,040 sq km). With a total population of 27,616,000, it is a well-populated country, placing in the 39th place in the world when it comes to growing population. The nation is situated near some of the best-known and better developed African countries, including Kenya and Tanzania. The capital is Kampala, a rather developed city that includes a university, a series of theaters and nightclubs, and the main airport.

Uganda became a democratic republic in 1962 after gaining independence from Britain. The current president, Yoweri Museveni, has been in power since 1986. Most of the businesses of the state are handled by the prime minister and the parliament, who are appointed directly by the president. Uganda has suffered through a series of civil wars that devastated the country, and in the early 1990s, it was involved in war with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and later with the Lord's Resistance Army.

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Of the country's revenue, 80% is obtained through agriculture, which is also the main area of employment. Coffee is especially important, but the nation also exports cotton, tobacco, and potatoes. Uganda produces some products like soap and soft drinks, but this mainly for national consumption, as foreign trade in these areas is limited. The country's industry was severely damaged during the decade of civil war, and it is now undergoing a serious rehabilitation process with the help of the government.

The population of the country is extremely diverse, with the Bantu and Nilotic ethnic groups making up a slightly larger percentage of the total population number. English is the official language, but over 40 African dialects are spoken in the different districts. Only 1% of the citizens follow traditional African religions. More than 80% are Christians and 16% are Muslims.

Uganda is one of few African countries with an AIDS Control Program (ACP) in place. The nation has a history of child soldiers, mostly children who were kidnapped and trained as soldiers by the revolutionary army.

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