Uganda - At a glance


A graceful Ugandan kob appears on a national coat of arms along with the crowned crane by Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Uganda at a glance

Area 235,796km² (91,041 square miles), similar to Great Britain or the state of Oregon

Location Equatorial Africa between latitudes 4°12’ N and 1°29’ S and longitudes 29°35’ W and 25°E. Bordered by Rwanda (169km) and Tanzania (396km) to the south, Kenya (933km) to the east, South Sudan (435km) to the north and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for 765km to the west

Altitude 85% of the country lies between 900m and 1,500m above sea level. The lowest region is the Lake Albert basin (612m) and the Albert Nile. The highest point is Mount Stanley (Rwenzoris) at 5,109m

Population 34.9 million (2014 census), 17% urban. Previously 34.5 million (2011), 28 million (2002), 16.7 million (1991), 12.6 million (1980), 9.5 million (1969), 6.5 million (1959), 5 million (1940), 3.5 million (1931), 2.9 million (1921) and 2.5 million (1911)

Capital Kampala (estimated population 1.5 million in the 2014 census)

Other major towns Towns with populations of more than 100,000, in descending order, are Kira, Mbarara, Mukono, Gulu, Hoima, Masaka, Kasese, Lira and Mbale

Language English, the official language, is spoken by most reasonably educated Ugandans. Among the country’s 33 indigenous languages, Luganda is the closest to being a lingua franca

Religion Christian (85%), Islam (11%), also some Hindu and Jewish, while tribes such as the Karimojong adhere to a traditional animist faith.

Currency Uganda shilling (Ush). Exchange rates in August 2016 are US$1= Ush3,383, GB£1 = Ush4,415, €1= Ush3,752. For up-to-date rates, see www.xe.com.

Head of State President Yoweri Museveni (since 1986)

Time zone GMT+3

International dial code +256 (Kampala: 414)

Electricity 240 volts at 50Hz

Mineral resources Copper, cobalt, limestone, salt, alluvial gold, oil

Major exports Coffee (55%), fish (7.5%), tea (5%), tobacco (4%)

Other crops Bananas, maize, millet, sorghum, cotton, rice, cassava, groundnuts, potatoes

GDP US$27 billion in 2014, with a recent annual growth rate of around 6%

Human development Average life expectancy 58.5 years; under-five mortality rate 5.7%; adult (age 15–49) HIV/AIDS prevalence 7.3% (estimate); primary school completion 56%; secondary school enrolment 27%; adult literacy 65%; access to safe water 66%; access to electricity 15% 

Land use Arable land 25%; agriculture 9%; pasture 9%; forest and woodland 28%; open water 18%; marsh 4%; other 7%

National flag Two sets of black, yellow and red horizontal stripes, with a white central circle around the national bird, the grey crowned crane

National anthem

Oh! Uganda, May God uphold thee, We lay our future in thy hand,
United, free, for liberty, Together, We always stand.
Oh! Uganda the land of freedom, Our love and labour we give,
And with neighbours all at our country’s call, In peace and friendship we’ll live.
Oh! Uganda the land that feeds us, By sun and fertile soil grown,
For our own dear land we’ll always stand, The Pearl of Africa’s crown.

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