Ugandan Community in S.Korea

Uganda: History, people and culture

Location

Uganda is located in the East African Region, its neighboring Kenya in the East, Sudan in the North, Tanzania in the South, Congo (DRC) in the West; Uganda covers 197,100 square kilometers of land and 43,938 square kilometers of water, making it the 81st largest nation in the world with a total area of 241,038 square kilometers. The population of Uganda is 40,873,253 (2012) and the nation has a density of 182 people per square kilometer. The currency of Uganda is the Uganda Shilling (UGX).

Most of Uganda is situated on a plateau, a large expanse the drops gently from about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) in the South to approximately 3,00 feet (900 meters) in the north. The limits of Uganda’s plateau region are marked by mountains and valleys. To the west a natural boundary is composed of the Virunga (Mufumbiro Mountains, the Rwenzori range and Western Rift Valley. The volcanic Virunga Mountain rise ti 13,549 feet (4,125METRES), where it borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda meet. The country is crossed by the Equator and is a landlocked.

History of Uganda

Uganda has a rich history ranging from the ancient migration of the Bantu and Nilotic people to coming of European missionary, and the arrival of the Indians to work on Uganda's railway network. The history of Uganda comprises the history of the territorial lands of present day Uganda in East Africa and the peoples inhabiting therein. Uganda was a colony of Britain, the country gained indepedence in 1962, and the first elections were held on 1, March 1961. Dr. Milton Obote became the first president of the Republic of Uganda. In 1971, Idi Amin overthrew the government in a military coup, and under his brutal rule, the country suffered a moral and economic collapse; however, he was defeated in 1979 by Milton Obote, and a combined forces of Tanzania Army and Ugandans exilees, Obote took over power (1979-86), killings by the army continued. In the 1980, there was elections, but the election did not well; in 1982, Yoweri Museveni formed a National Resistance Army (NRA) and waged a rebellion against the Obote regime, Obote was overthrown and NRA under Yoweri Museven took over power in January 1986.

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President Yoweri Musevni appointed a government from across ethnic lines, re-established the rule of law and set up a Human Rights Commission. Foreign investment and tourism were encouraged and Uganda’s economy began to grow. The monarchies of key Ugandan regions were also restored.Yoweri Museveni won a presidential election in 1996 and again in 2001. In 2006, full democracy returned with multi-party elections, Yoweri Museveni has remained a president by popular vote. President Museveni won a fourth term of office in the February 2011 and 2016 elections, making him the longest-serving leader in Uganda and the East African history.

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Climate

The tropical climate of Uganda is modified by elevation and locally, by the presence of lakes. The major air currents are northeasterly and southwesterly. Its location in the equatorial area gives little variation in the suns declination at midday, and the length of daylight is nearly 12 hours. All of these factors combined with a fairly costant cloud cover, ensure an equable climate throughout the year. Uganda is endowed with plentiful natural resources, a vast diversity of wildlife and a varied geography. Situated on the equator where the West African Jungle meets the East African Savannah in the African Great Lakes region with several major lakes including a large portion of Lake Victoria, it has a tropical climate with plentiful rainfall and fertile land. 

For most of the year, Uganda is sunny with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees. The average temperature is about 26 degrees C, with a maximum of 18-31 degrees and minimum of 15-23 degrees depending on the part of the country. The rain season is March-May. Light rain season is November and December. Wet seasons are March –May and October-November; dry seasons are December to February and June to August. Rainfall ranges between 500mm to 2500 mm and the relative humidity is 70 - 100%. The rainfall regime allows two planting and harvesting seasons a year in most parts of the country, without the use of irrigation

Culture, People, Food, and Language

Uganda has a very strong cultural heritage. Uganda still features monarchical kingdoms such as the Buganda Kingdom, which is one of the strongest kingdoms still in existence in Africa. Its heritage includes the Kasubi royal tombs which have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There are also many other kingdoms such as the Busoga, Bunyoro, Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu (Rwenzururu Kingdom), and Toro Kingdom.

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Ugandans are remarkably hospitable and hail from a diversity of rich cultures and life styles each tribe has its own traditional dance; The Banyankole perform their Kitagururo dance, the Banyoro have their Runyege , Acholi have the Bwora and Otole dances. The Alur people from the West Nile have the traditional Agwal dance, Bagisu have the Imbalu dance during circumcision ceremonies. Uganda is comprised of majorly the Bantu speaking in Central Uganda, and more decentralized Nilotic and Sudanic peoples to the north plus the Hamites in the West. One fact will remain true that Ugandans are authentic African people, lauded to be friendly, hospitable and warm–hearted. The Drum being the common instrument in Africa, also dominates Uganda in symbolism to African culture. Millet and sorghum are common in the northern region. Cassava, sweet potatoes and plantains are common in the southern and central Uganda. When you arrive in Uganda, you will be received with “welcome to Uganda” which really implies warmth, hospitality, and genuine happiness at meeting you. Uganda is also widely-considered to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming nations in the world. Although Uganda is inhabited by a large variety of ethnic groups; Bantu speakers form the largest porton of Uganda’s population; of these, the Ganda remain the largest single ethnic group, consisting of one- sixth of he total national population. Other Bantu speakers are the Soga, Gwere, Gisu, Nyole,Samia, Toro,Nyoro, Kiga, Nyankole, Amba, and the Konzo in the Rwenzori. A sizable population of Rwanda (Banyarwanda) speakers, who had fled Rwanda in he late 1960’s and early 70s also lives in Uganda.

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Uganda the food basket for the region

Uganda's fertile soils and the favorable climate has made Uganda the food basket country in the region, providing food to countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda and then Democratic Republic of Congo. Investors consider Uganda's agricultural potential to be among the best in Africa, with low temperature variability and two rainy seasons in the southern half of the country leading to multiple crop harvests per year.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Uganda's fertile agricultural land has the potential to feed 200 million people. 

Most Ugandan farmers continue to produce raw commodities such as coffee, tea, cotton, maize, beans, bananas, coco, livestock, and fish. While staples such as bananas, tea, maize, and beans see strong domestic demand, cash crops such as coffee and spices generate strong revenue in export markets. Uganda’s favorable climate supports vanilla production, the second most valuable spice in the world.  With 70 years of cultivation, Uganda has a reputation for having a good quality product, but yields remain low. While Uganda traditionally exports raw commodities, the GOU is advocating for foreign investment in agricultural processing in order to increase export earnings.  One of Uganda’s leading exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act is casein protein, a processed dairy product.

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