Life in Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in east Africa about the same size as the UK but with half the UK's population of some 30 million people. Whilst Uganda was a relatively prosperous country on independence from the UK in 1962, decades of misrule until 1986, left hundreds of thousands of its people dead and its economy severely damaged.

Today, life in Uganda is promoted as a mild society with an expanding tourist industry. Whilst to some extent this is true, it overlooks the ongoing strife in the north of the country where ethnic hostilities continue and various armed gangs make the territory largely out of governmental control.

Life in UgandaJust under 50% of the population is aged 14yrs or younger and life expectancy is around 54 years. Uganda continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world with sub standard health care, high rates of malnutrition and diseases such as malaria rampant, assisted by less than half of those living in Uganda having access to safe drinking water.

There are an estimated 1.2 million children orphaned through AIDS/HIV, that's nearly one in fourteen of the country's child population. Literacy rates are relatively high for males at 77% however this falls to just 57% for females.

80% of people in Uganda are engaged in agriculture where coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco and beef are the main products with coffee being the country's main export. Its other main exports are fish, tea, gold and cotton.

Recent oil discoveries are likely to boost the economy further however Uganda borders on the newly established Republic of South Sudan and the potential for instability there particularly if north Sudan switches off South Sudan's oil pipelines that run through its territory make cause an influx of refugees in a country that that already provides shelter for 215,000 Sudan refugees alongside 28,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a further 24,00 refugees from neighbouring Rwanda.

The video documentary below provides further insights into daily life in Uganda and gives a good look and feel of life in Uganda today.


Life in Uganda

Life in Uganda

Life in Uganda

Life in Uganda


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Life in Uganda

Although now a few years out of date, a recent survey shed some light on life in Uganda for most of its people. 92% of the population (given that only 12% live in urban areas), don't have electricity at home and nearly all use firewood as their main source of heating and cooking with tadooba (kerosene candles) being the main source of light. Around half of all households have a radio but just 5% have a television set and most rural houses are of traditional build with earth floors although an increasing number now have iron roofs. The picture is very different in urban areas such as Kampala where internet use and mobile phone possession is increasingly common.

Human Development Index Uganda

Human Development Index for Uganda 1985 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. Uganda is in 164th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and the chart above shows how levels of poverty and living standards in Uganda remain below other sub Saharan countries and also below low human development.



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