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Facts About Uganda

Culture

The culture of Uganda is made up of a diverse range of ethnic groups. Lake Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking people, who dominate much of East, Central, and Southern Africa. In Uganda, they include the Baganda and several other tribes.

In the north, the Lango and the Acholi peoples predominate, who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the Iteso and Karamojong, who speak a Nilotic language, whereas the Gishu are part of the Bantu and live mainly on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. They speak Lumasaba, which is closely related to the Luhya of Kenya. A few Pygmies live isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda.

Christians make up 85.2 percent of Uganda’s population. There were sizeable numbers of Sikhs and Hindus in the country until Asians were expelled in 1972 by Idi Amin, following an alleged dream, although many are now returning following an invitation from President Yoweri Museveni. Muslims make up 12 percent of Uganda’s population.

Football is the national sport in Uganda. The Uganda national football team, nicknamed “The Cranes” is controlled by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations. They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals. Their best finish in the African Cup of Nations was second in 1978.
Cricket is one of the major sports in Uganda, where the country qualified for the Cricket World Cup in 1975 as part of the East African cricket team.
There is also a national basketball league played by college students and a few high school students. Uganda hosted a regional tournament in 2006, which its national team, nicknamed The Silverbacks won.

Rugby union is also a growing sport in Uganda, and the Uganda national rugby union team has been growing stronger as evidenced by more frequent victories and close games against African powerhouses like Namibia and Morocco

Architecture

In Uganda the round hut is historically the predominant architectural form. The hut could be of mud and/or grass. The buildings were arranged in homestead clusters. In Africa in general, the spiritual world was viewed as richer than the physical world and so the built environment is rather scanty but infused with cosmic meaning. Architecture was mainly residential. Among a few tribes like the Baganda, however, there were of signs of monumentality, for example, as evidenced by Kasubi tombs. But society was more or less egalitarian. Every man knew how to build as skills were handed from generation to generation. There were homesteads forming villages strewn all over the landscape, and looking homogenous and very much part of nature.
The colonialists changed the built environment drastically. They introduced a capitalistic economy, and new technology and building materials. Urbanisation started with towns as centres of administration and commerce. Urban areas in Uganda were established complete with administration buildings, a court building, and maybe a hotel (part of the Uganda Hotels chain). The administration facilities were augmented by Indian dukas. The duka, an arcade building with 3 – 5 rentable shops and residential facilities at the backside, was an Indians creation that has become the quintessential building in Ugandan townships

Tourism

Tourism in Uganda is focused on Uganda’s landscape and wildlife. It is a major driver of employment, investment and foreign exchange, contributing 4.9 trillion Ugandan shillings (US$1.88 billion or €1.4 billion as of August 2013) to Uganda’s GDP in the financial year 2012-13.

Tourism can be used to fight poverty in Uganda. There are the tourism companies which employ people directly as drivers, guides, secretaries, accountants etc. These companies sell products to tourist for example art and crafts, traditional attire. Tourism can also be operated online by the online based companies. Tourist attractions in Uganda include national game parks, game reserves, traditional sites, natural tropical forests. Traditional occasions like Mbalu in eastern Uganda, boat riding, waterfalls etc.

History

In the late 1960s, Uganda was visited by 100,000 international tourists each year. Tourism was the country’s fourth largest earner of foreign exchange. The tourist industry ended in the early 1970s because of political instability. By the late 1980s, Uganda’s political climate had stabilised and conditions were suitable for reinvestment in Uganda’s tourist industry.

However, the loss of charismatic wildlife in previously popular safari parks such as Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park prevented these parks from competing with similar tourist attractions in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda’s tourist industry instead promoted its tropical forests. The keystone of the new industry became Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With more than 300 mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.

In October 2014 the Ugandan government’s Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities released the 2014-2024 Tourism Development Master Plan with support from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme. Among other strategies, the Plan divides the country up into several geographical “Tourism Development Areas.”

Cuisine

  1. The Vietnamese believe in Three Kitchen Gods or Tao Quan, who live with and observe each family’s actions. They depart at the end of the Lunar Year to report their findings to Ngoc Hoan, The Jade Emperor.
  2. Their cuisine is well known for its balance of the five Asian elements; spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet.
  3. The principle of yin and yang is also applied in composing a meal, to provide contrasts in spiciness and temperature of the food.
  4. Tiet Canh is a traditional Vietnamese dish made from fresh animal blood.
  5. When cooking a pig, the entire animal is used including the innards.
  6. Snake wine, which is made by steeping whole snakes in rice wine for their venom or essence, is commonly drunk for health, vitality and restorative purposes.
  7. Vietnam’s street food culture is quite popular and considered by many to be one of the best in the world.
  8. Noodles or “pho” are the second most popular food in Vietnam, after boiled rice.

Events & Economy

Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, and mineral deposits, it is thought that Uganda could feed all of Africa if it were commercially farmed. The economy of Uganda has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development.
Chronic political instability and erratic economic management since self-rule has produced a record of persistent economic decline that has left Uganda among the world’s poorest and least-developed countries. The national energy needs have historically been more than domestic energy generation, though large petroleum reserves have been found in the west.
After the turmoil of the Amin period, the country began a program of economic recovery in 1981 that received considerable foreign assistance. From mid-1984 onward, overly expansionist fiscal and monetary policies and the renewed outbreak of civil strife led to a setback in economic performance.