Kampala Commonwealth Walkway

Uganda / Africa

Uganda The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to the southwest by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania.  The southern part includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania.  Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region, lies within the Nile basin and has a varied but generally modified equatorial climate.  It has a population of over 42 million, of which 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city of Kampala.  Uganda is named after the Buganda kingdom which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country.  The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago when Bantu-speaking populations practising agriculture migrated to the southern parts of the country. Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the United Kingdom, which established administrative law across the territory.  Uganda gained Independence from the United Kingdom on 9 October 1962 with The Duke of Kent (born 1935) representing The Queen.   The later history of the country was troubled.  Milton Obote (1925-2005) became the first Prime Minister, having been selected by the then Governor, Sir Walter Coutts (1912-88).  When Coutts left in 1963, Obote was still Prime Minister and the Kabaka of Buganda, Mutese II (1924-69), known as King Freddie became President.  In 1964 there were a series of mutinees at which time Idi Amin (1924/25-2003) became Deputy Commander of the Ugandan Armed Forces.  In 1966 Obote suspended the constitution and declared himself President.   Buganda tried to break away at which time Obote and Amin attacked the Kabaka’s palace, driving the Kabaka into exile.  Uganda became a Republic.  In 1969 Obote declared himself supreme leader, but in 1971 he was ousted by Idi Amin, who became President.   In the next eight years, over 300,000 Ugandans were tortured and killed.  In 1979 Amin was ousted, Obote returned, and more lives were lost before he was overthrown in 1985. Uganda's current President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (born 1944) came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war.  Following constitutional amendments that removed term limits for the President, he was able to stand and was elected President of Uganda in 2011, 2016 and in the 2021 general elections. The official languages are English and Swahili. Luganda is widely spoken across the Central and South Eastern regions of the country and several other languages are also spoken, including Lango, Acholi, Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, Luo, Rutooro, Samia, Jopadhola, and Lusoga.   Fun facts: 
  • Uganda is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population.  
  • The country takes conservation very seriously.  
  • Uganda also has the tallest mountain range in Africa, which feeds the world’s longest river (Nile) and Africa’s largest lake (Lake Victoria). 
Kampala: Kampala is the capital and largest city.  It has a population of 1.7 million and is divided into five political divisions: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division.  Its metropolitan area consists of the city proper and the neighbouring Wakiso District, Mukono District, Mpigi District, Buikwe District and Luweero District.  It has a rapidly growing population that was estimated at 6.7 million people in 2019 by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, in an area of 8.5 kilometres.  In 2015 this metropolitan area generated an estimated nominal GDP of $13.8 billion, which was more than half of Uganda's GDP for that year, indicating the importance of Kampala to Uganda’s economy.  Kampala is reported to be among the fastest-growing cities in Africa, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03% by City Mayors.  Mercer (a New York-based consulting firm) has regularly ranked Kampala as the best city to live in East Africas.  Due to the diversity of habitats, which include wetlands and hills, Kampala has a tropical rainforest climate.

9 miles / 14.4 kilometres

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