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The Republic of Uganda is located in East Africa and borders Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Rwanda and Tanzania to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. In the southeast, the country shares Lake Victoria. With an area of about 240 000 km², the country is about as large as Great Britain.

A plateau (about 1 000 to 1 500 m above sea level) forms the largest part of the country and slopes slightly to the north-west. In the west, the plateau is bounded by the Central African Rift Valley. Here lies the chain of Edward, George and Albert lakes. In the Ruwenzori mountains the Margherita summit is the highest elevation with 5,109 m. In the east lies the Mount-Elgon massif (with altitudes of up to approx. 4,300 m), in the south the Rwandan highlands with the Virunga volcanoes, which rise up to 4,100 m. The Ruwenzori mountain range is the highest in the world.

Uganda’s most important river is the Victoria Nile, which rises at Jinja from Lake Victoria and connects it with Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert. Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa with an area of 68,800 km², in which the neighbouring countries Tanzania and Kenya also have a share. The capital Kampala (since 1962) in the south of the country is with about 1.34 million inhabitants the largest city of the country, followed by Gulu (140 000 inhabitants) and Lira (113 000).

Political System

Uganda is a presidential republic, the current constitution dates from 1995. The president (since January 1986 Yoweri Kaguta Museveni) is elected by the people for five years. The prime minister (since September 2014 Ruhakana Rugunda) only supports the president in leading the cabinet. Parliament has 375 members elected for five years (350 direct, 25 indirect). Uganda is divided into four regions with 112 districts.


Since the early 1990s, Uganda has seen a significant improvement in its economic situation. The country has large reserves of raw materials and fertile soils. A quarter of the population still lives below the poverty line; in 1992 it was more than half.

More than 80% of the working population is employed in agriculture. The main crops are coffee, tobacco, tea and cotton for export, as well as millet, manioc, bananas, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, maize and peanuts for personal consumption (a large part of the population is subsistence farmers). Livestock farming (cattle, goats, poultry) also plays a role here. Forestry is important due to the export of precious woods such as mahogany.

In the Ruwenzori Mountains copper is mined for export and cobalt is mined. Further deposits of mineral resources (e.g. large oil and gas reserves, as well as phosphates, tin and gold) are not yet mined. The industry is poorly developed (especially in the vicinity of Jinja and Kampala) and there are, for example, cement works, food and textile processing plants and breweries.

Exports are made to Kenya, Congo, Rwanda and Switzerland. Uganda has to import industrial goods, fuels, machinery and vehicles and obtains these mainly from India, China and Kenya. The country can almost completely cover its energy needs with its own hydroelectric power plants.

Since the domestic political situation has stabilised, the tourism industry has again recorded high growth rates. The main attractions are the country’s national parks. The Ugandan schilling is the currency.