Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya in the east, Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south.
Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq km. About 37,000 sq km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania.
Uganda is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) above sea level. The plateau generally slopes downwards towards Sudan explaining the northerly tendency of most river flows in the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform since the altitude modifies the climate.
Uganda’s elevation, soil types and predominantly warm and wet climate impart a huge agricultural potential to the country. They also explain the country’s large variety of forests, grasslands and wildlife reserves. Uganda has a total population of about 32 million people.
Over 80 per cent of the population live in rural areas and directly survive off the environment and natural resource base.
Population: Uganda’s population has continued to grow rapidly over time. It increased from 9.5 million in 1969 to 24.2 million in 2002. Between 1991 and 2002, the population growth rate was 3.2 percent. The population is projected to have increased to 32.9 million by mid 2011
Ethnic groups: Baganda, Banyankole, Bahima, Bakiga, Banyarwanda, Bunyoro, Batoro, Langi, Acholi, Lugbara, Karamojong, Basoga, Bagisu, and others.The Baganda are the largest ethnic group in Uganda and comprise approximately 17% of the population.
Christian, Muslim, others.
Languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Luganda, and numerous other local languages.
Uganda’s weather conditions are ideal, ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas to the coolness of the highlands in the South West Kigezi. For most of the year, Uganda is sunny with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees. The average temperature is about 26 degrees C, with a maximum of 18-31 degrees and minimum of 15-23 degrees depending on the part of the country.
The rain season is March-May. Light rain season is November and December. Wet seasons are March –May and October-November; dry seasons are December to February and June to August.
Rainfall ranges between 500mm to 2500 mm and the relative humidity is 70 - 100%. The rainfall regime allows two planting and harvesting seasons a year in most parts of the country, without the use of irrigation.
About 34% of the country is covered in wetlands with a dense network of rivers, lakes and swamps.
Generally, the country is endowed with fertile soils. Uganda has some of the largest lakes on the continent including Lake Albert and Lake Victoria
Uganda is a presidential republic, in which the President of Uganda is both head of State and head of Government; there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with universal suffrage for all citizens over 18 years of age.
In a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence, political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by the current
President Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist but could not campaign in elections or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum cancelled this 19-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005. General elections are held every five years.
Branches: Executive--president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--parliament. Judicial--Magistrates' Courts, High Court, Court of Appeals (Constitutional Court), Supreme Court.
Political parties: 38 registered parties. Major political parties include the National Resistance Movement (NRM, the ruling party), Forum for a Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), among others.
National holiday: Independence Day, October 9.
Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation and adopted policies that have promoted rapid economic development
Uganda suffered political turmoil and devastating economic drawbacks between 1971 and 1986. This extended period of regression left Uganda as one of the world’s poorest countries. Under Museveni's leadership the country initiated a broad range of economic reforms including the notable liberalisation of market prices and privatisation of public enterprises. These reforms have improved economic performance and sustained economic growth at an average of 7% per annum for the last ten years.
Bank of Uganda
Bank of Uganda (BoU) is the Central Bank of the Republic of Uganda. The primary purpose of the Bank is to foster price stability and a sound financial system. Together with other institutions, it also plays a pivotal role in upholding international best practice in creating a conducive environment for macro-economic stability I
nvestment and Trade
Uganda Investment Authority
The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is a semi-autonomous government agency operating in partnership with the private sector and Government of Uganda to drive national economic growth and development. The Authority was setup by an Act of Parliament (Investment Code 1991, which was later revised to the Edition 2000 Laws of Uganda) with the aim of promoting and facilitating private sector investment in Uganda.
Chamber Of Commerce
The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) was set up in 1933. It is the oldest and largest nation-wide umbrella organization of the private sector in Uganda. UNCCI was formed as a private sector body and has grown to become a vibrant and credible business association, owned by members from the Ugandan business community. It was formally registered in 1978 as a company limited by guarantee without share capital. UNCCI enjoys a diverse membership and nationwide outreach with its 10 regional and over 80 district branches and draws its membership from the entire private sector, particularly the sectors of ; tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, import- export, transport, financial services, Small and Medium Enterprises etc.
Wondering why it is called 'The Pearl of Africa'? Where else can you see lions prowling across the open savanna as day breaks before white water rafting down the Nile; then the next day set off into the misty mountains in search of the majestic mountain gorillas before settling in to watch a local cultural evening around the camp fire?
Uganda has been ranked the number one destination for tourists for the year 2012 by Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide and media publisher in the world.
The following week, Qatar Airways, a member of the five star alliance, announced that it would be launching a service to Uganda's international hub, Entebbe Airport.
Invest in Uganda
Why Uganda is the Best Investment Location in Africa Uganda enjoys a unique location at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa within the East African
region and lies astride the equator. The country is bordered by Sudan in the north, Kenya in the east, the United Republic of Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. This land linked position, gives the country a strategic commanding base to be a regional hub for trade and investment. Uganda enjoys pivotal trade partnerships that create a viable market for business.
A potential investor considering investing in Uganda, will find a well regulated highly liberalized economy in which all sectors are open for investment and there is a free movement of capital to and from the country.
The 2013 Index of Economic Freedom ranked Uganda, the 8th freest economy out of the 46 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The business operating environment allows the full repatriation of profits after the mandatory taxes have been paid, as well as 100% foreign ownership of private investments. The incentive regime is structurally embedded in the country’s tax laws making them non-discriminatory and accessible to both domestic and foreign investment depending on the sector and level of investment.
The minimum capital investment required for a foreign investor to be eligible to invest in the country in virtually any sector, apart from those that may compromise the country’s security, is US$100,000.
Uganda’s labour is highly trainable, English speaking and the cost compares favourably in Africa.
Return on investment is about 5% projected to increase to about 7% due to ongoing and planned infrastructural (roads, railway, energy) development that will ensue from the developments in the oil sector (refinery and crude oil export). Uganda’s GDP is between US$25 billion to US$26 billion, with stable economic growth averaging 5 to 7%.
Inflation has now stabilized to 6.6% after the global economic downturn against which the Uganda economy was resilient and continued to attract foreign direct investment during the period.
The country’s political and economic environment has been consistently improving and stable since 1986. Under the leadership of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda has been able to be a political stabilising force in the region, which has provided a secure environment for business to thrive. Security of investment is also guaranteed under the Constitution of Uganda and the Investment Code 1991, as well as the major international investment related agreements / treaties to which Uganda is signatory.
In order to provide a conducive environment for doing business in Uganda, the government of Uganda has created a One Stop Centre (OSC) for business registration and licensing at the Uganda Investment Authority. The OSC also assists in tax advice and registration, immigration and work permit issues, land acquisition and verification, as well as environmental compliance and approvals. Accessing all these services under one roof saves the investor both time and money to have their projects licensed and implemented expeditiously.