Uganda, The Pearl of Africa
The second presidential election was held on 12th March 2001. H.E. President Yoweri Museveni won a second term in office. Considerable progress has been made in restoring peace across Uganda and in rebuilding infrastructure shattered by civil war. Uganda’s first multi-party elections since 1980 were held on 23rd February 2006. H.E. President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected for a third term.
The country is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1100 metres (3,250 ft) above sea level, and this slopes very steadily downwards to the Sudanese Plain to the north. However, much of the south is poorly drained, while the centre is dominated by Lake Kyoga, which is also surrounded by extensive marshy areas. Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin. The Victoria Nile drains from the lake into Lake Kyoga and thence into Lake Albert on the Congolese border. It then runs northwards into Sudan.
Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform as the altitude modifies the climate. Southern Uganda is wetter with rain generally spread throughout the year. At Entebbe on the northern shore of Lake Victoria, most rain falls from March to June and the November/December period. Further to the north a dry season gradually emerges; at Gulu about 120 km from the Sudanese border, November to February is much drier than the rest of the year.
The northeastern Karamoja region has the driest climate and is prone to droughts in some years. Rwenzori in the southwest on the border with Congo (DRC) receives heavy rain all year round. The south of the country is heavily influenced by one of the world’s biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands.
It prevents temperatures from varying significantly and increases cloudiness and rainfall. Most important cities are located in the south, near Lake Victoria, including the capital Kampala and the nearby city of Entebbe.
Although landlocked, Uganda contains many large lakes, besides Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, there are Lake Albert, Lake Edward and the smaller Lake George
According to the census of 2002, Christians made up about 84% of Uganda’s population. The Roman Catholic Church has the largest number of adherents (41.9%), followed by the Anglican Church of Uganda (35.9%). The next most reported religion of Uganda is Islam, with Muslims representing 12% of the population.
The census lists only 1% of Uganda’s population as following traditional religions, and 0.7% are classified as ‘other non-Christians,’ including adherents of sects. Judaism is also practiced in Uganda by a small number of native Ugandans known as the Abayudaya. One of the world’s seven Bahá’í Houses of Worship is located on the outskirts of Kampala.
Of the Christian population, the Roman Catholic Church has the largest number of followers, followed by the Anglican Church, while Evangelical and Pentecostal churches claim the rest. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches are very active. The Muslim population is primarily Sunni. Traditional indigenous beliefs are practiced in some rural areas and are sometimes blended with or practiced alongside Christianity or Islam. Indian nationals are the most significant immigrant population; members of this community are primarily Ismaili (Shi’a Muslim followers of the Aga Khan) or Hindu. The northern and West Nile regions are predominantly Catholic, while Iganga District in eastern Uganda has the highest percentage of Muslims. The rest of the country has a mix of religious affiliations.
The Flag and the meaning
From the top, a total of six horizontal stripes of black, yellow, red, black, yellow, red.
Black symbolises our African heritage and Uganda’s fertile soil. Yellow is for the glorious sunny days, so characteristic of Uganda. Red symbolises the red blood that runs in our veins, forming a common bond to all humankind. The majestic crested crane (Regulorum gibbericeps) is Uganda’s National Bird.
Coat of Arm
Standing on a green mound is a shield and two crossed spears. The green symbolizes Uganda’s lush, green vegetation.s. Supporting the shield are the Uganda Kob (Adenota kob Thomasi), symbolizing abundance of wildlife; and the Crested Crane (Regulorum gibbericeps), Uganda’s national bird.
The shield and spears symbolize our readiness to defend our motherland against all enemies. Across the top of the shield are the waves of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake on earth.
In the centre of the shield is the sun, representing Uganda’s glorious sunny days. At the bottom of the shield is the traditional African drum, used for dancing, ceremonial rituals, and for summoning the people to rally.
Coffee and cotton, Uganda’s main cash crops, are displayed on the green mound; together with the River Nile, the world’s longest river; which starts its 8000 km (5 000 mile) journey in Uganda.