Uganda, landlocked republic in east-central Africa. Covering 93,070 sq mi (241,040 sq km), Uganda is bordered by Tanzania and Rwanda in the south, Sudan in the north, Zaire in the west, and Kenya in the east. The capital is Kampala.
Land and People
More than 80% of the land area of Uganda consists of a fertile plateau some 3,000 to 5,000 ft (914–1,524 m) above sea level, with highlands to the east and west. About 16,386 sq mi (42,440 sqkm) of Uganda consists of freshwater lakes and swamps. At the center of the plateau that dominates the country is Lake Kyoga. Other lakes are lakes Edward, Albert, George, and Victoria. Although Uganda is a tropical country, crossed by the equator, its altitude ensures a comparatively mild climate. Almost all Ugandans are black Africans, the majority belonging to one of several Bantu-speaking groups. The Baganda people of the south are the most numerous of these. More than half of the people are Christians, with a small minority of Muslims; the rest of the people adhere to animist beliefs. The official languages are English and Swahili.
Uganda's economy is agricultural and most farms are small, growing subsistence crops and raising livestock. Despite severe economic dislocation under Idi Amin Dada, Uganda remained one of the world's major producers of coffee, which accounts for almost all of its export earnings. Copper is the principal mineral.
The Bunyoro Kingdom of Bantu-speaking people that flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and dominated Uganda was succeeded by the Baganda Kingdom, which came under the British in 1894. The British protectorate was gradually extended to other kingdoms, and by 1914 the present boundaries of Uganda became fixed. In 1962, Uganda became independent and was governed by Milton Obote until he was deposed by Maj. Gen. Idi Amin Dada in 1971. In 1972, Amin expelled Uganda's Asian population and established a brutal and bizarre reign of terror that cost some 300,000 Ugandans their lives and brought the nation to near total ruin. In 1979, Tanzania invaded Uganda and Idi Amin fled. By 1980, Milton Obote had been returned to power only to be replaced, 3 years later, by Gen. Tito Okello. Okello was overthrown by the National Resistance Army of Yoweri Museveni, who was sworn in as president in 1986. At the end of the 1990s, Ugandan troops were involved in armed conflicts in southern Africa.