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Uganda Information - Page 2
Uganda has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Evidence of early man has been found in Nsongezi and Sango Bay.

Over the years Bantu people migrated to the area; later, other peoples settled in the region. By the fourteenth century various kingdoms were established including the Bantu kingdom of Buganda and those of Ankole and Toro.

Arab traders arrived in Uganda in the 1830s and in the 1860s British explorers crossed into the country looking for the source of the Nile. Missionaries followed and by the end of the 1880s the British East Africa Company was trading in Uganda.

An Anglo-German agreement was signed in 1890 assigning Uganda and Kenya to Britain; the British continued to rule Uganda until independence in 1962.

Soon after independence Dr Milton Obote took control of the country. Obote abolished the Buganda monarchy and exiled Kabaka Mutesa II, the Head of State.

In 1971, Obote's military Chief of Staff, Idi Amin, staged a coup exiling Obote to Tanzania. During Amin's rule many hundreds of thousands of people were killed and fifty thousand Asians were exiled.

The 1979 war between Uganda and Tanzania put an end to Amin's reign. Eventually Obote came back to power but was ousted by another coup in 1985. Museveni, who led the National Resistance Army, opposed to Obote, became Uganda's President in 1986.

In the years following independence Uganda suffered political instability, economic problems and the build up of a huge debt. The Ugandan economy also suffered loss of business expertise when Idi Amin expelled the Asian Ugandan community in 1972.

The agricultural sector provides a living for a large percentage of the working population. Coffee is the most important cash crop. Other crops include cassava, potatoes, corn, millet, pulses and cotton. Livestock is reared.

Uganda has large deposits of copper and cobalt. Industries are steel production, cement, textiles, tobacco, brewing, sugar and food processing.

Eco-tourism is seen as a way of developing the tourist industry but at the same time conserving the environment. (2008)

Music and dance are a traditional part of Ugandan culture; the oral tradition of story-telling is closely linked with music.

The work of Okot p'Bitek's is related to the oral tradition. Okot p'Bitek (1931-1982), born in Gulu in Northern Uganda was a famous poet and novelist. After attending university in the UK he taught at universities in Makerere, Nairobi, Iowa and Texas and was responsible for many initiatives in the arts.

Football is Uganda's most popular sport. Other popular sports are basketball, rugby, hockey and cricket.

Uganda competes successfully in the Olympic Games, especially track and field events.

Christmas, Easter and New Year (1 January) are public holidays. Muslim religious days include Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan) and Eid Al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

Other days which are celebrated include Independence Day, 9 October (1962) and National Heroes Day, 9 June.

News from Uganda is available from Newslink.

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