Exploring Uganda on Independence Day
Oct 09, 2020 08:00AM
By Oga Africa
On Ugandan Independence Day, FunTimes takes a journey inside the history, struggles, jewels and tribulations that exist in the country.
This East African country is known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ for its lush landscapes, beautiful mountains, clear lakes, stunning wildlife and more.
Uganda gets its name from Buganda, a kingdom in the south-central part of the country that formed in 1401 and became the most powerful in the region in the 19th century.
(Giraffes in Uganda)
When the country gained independence from the British on October 99th, 1962, Buganda intended to maintain a status as independent, and due to tensions between the Bugandan King, Mutesa III and then prime minister, Milton Obote, Obote banned the Buganda kingdom and several other indigenous kingdoms in the country.
In 1971, the notorious dictator Idi Amin organized a coup d’etat and exiled Obote. He then assumed the presidency, and ravaged the country and its people until he was overthrown in 1979. He is estimated to have killed over 300,000 civilians during his reign.
The capital of Uganda, Kampala, is vibrant and bustling with youth and street food like Rolex, an omelette wrapped in bread. English and Swahili are the official languages of this country, and four main ethnic groups are dominant, which are the Bantu, Nilotics, NiloHamitics and Hamites. Of these four groups, sub-ethnic tribes include the Nkore, Toro, Iteso, Acholi, Madi, Lugbara, Karamojong and more.
(A seller roasts beef sticks in Kampala, Uganda)
With a population of 35 million, the World Bank reports that every year, 700,000 Ugandans reach working age while 75,000 jobs in the country are created yearly. This disparity indicates that job creation or entrepreneurship may be valuable in boosting the economy and its people.
In February of this year, Uganda experienced a serious locust invasion, which destroyed crops. On top of this agricultural disaster, COVID-19 has halted various income streams for the economy’s growth, including tourism, exports, foreign direct investment and more.
(Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni)
On Tuesday, October 6th, Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni announced that the country’s borders were open to international travel. By adhering to strict preventive measures, this reopening will hopefully bring economic gains to balance out the losses experienced by the country.
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