Uganda Population, Politics and Economy

By | August 19, 2021

Population in Uganda

In 2015 Uganda counted 35 million residents, who are divided into ethnic groups of over 60 peoples, each with their own language, culture and, in some cases, their own religions.

According to directoryaah, the main ethnic groups are the Bantu peoples in the south of the country and the Nilotes and Nilohamites in the north. The Bantu make up the largest ethnic group in Uganda with 17% of the population. The means of communication are very diverse with over 40 languages in the country. English and Swahili are the two official languages. However, Swahili is mainly used by the police and the military and is also of little importance in civil administration. In addition, Luganda is the official language of the autonomous kingdom of Buganda in central Uganda, which has existed since the pre-colonial period. In everyday life, on the other hand, the national languages are used, such as other languages of the Niger-Congo language area, as well as Nilo-Saharan languages and, to a lesser extent, Arabic.

The average age of the population is 15.5 years, making Uganda the youngest population on average in the world. At the same time, the country has a rapid population growth of 3.3%. Very few Ugandans have paid work; most of the residents struggle to survive on a daily basis.

Politics and economy in Uganda

The Ugandan leadership uses authoritarian and democratic elements in government. Only one ruling party, the National Resistance Movement Organization, is still politically effective in parliament. In addition, the military also plays a major role in government. In 2005 a clear majority of Uganda’s voters voted for the opening of the political arena for the first time. This was an important step on the way to a democratic, multi-party system.

Uganda Politics

Tutsi, Hutu, Lendu, Hema (Hima) and other ethnic groups, associated rebels, armed gangs and various government forces operate in the Great Lakes region between Uganda, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to take control of populous areas and economic resources. One danger here is that individual ethnic groups dominate, which in turn leads to rebellion among the disadvantaged. Uganda’s government is also involved in this dispute with money, military aid, trainers and, in some cases, open military operations.

According to ebizdir, despite promising raw material deposits of copper, cobalt, limestone, nickel, rock salt and the energy sources crude oil and natural gas, only gold production contributes to the country’s export economy among the natural resources of Uganda. Otherwise Uganda’s prosperous economy is mainly limited to agricultural products. As was the case during the British Protectorate, the main export is coffee with 20-30% of export earnings. In addition, tea, fish from Lake Victoria, tobacco, cocoa and bananas are exported, whereby the share of banana cultivation in world production is 11%.

Cities and regions in Uganda

The structure of the administrative units in Uganda with the former provinces of Nile, Northern, Karamoja, Western, Eastern, North Buganda, Busoga, Central, Southern and South Buganda is after several reforms (most recently in 2018), which took into account the former areas of distribution of the different ethnic groups, has now grown to 127 districts and the city of Kampala. The districts, which are mainly named after their capital, are grouped according to their cardinal points in four regions: North, East, West and Central, which, however, are of no particular administrative significance.


In the north-west of Uganda is the city of Gulu, Uganda’s second largest city with around 150,000 residents (2014). It is the capital of the Gulu district and one of the centers of the Acholi. Gulu is connected to the capital via a railway line to the Kenyan border and Uganda’s second largest airport, which also serves international flights. Gulu is also the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Gulu and has one of five public universities in Uganda.


Lira (also called Lila) is the third largest city in the country with an estimated 120,000 residents (2005) and is located in northern Uganda. The district of the same name is the settlement center of the Langi people. The city is theoretically connected to the Uganda railway from Pakwach to Mbale and can be approached by domestic airlines via an airplane runway. There are daily buses to Kampala and other larger cities in Uganda.

Lira is also the Roman Catholic bishopric and has an ecclesiastical university. During the 20-year civil war, Lira was repeatedly the scene of clashes between the hostile ethnic groups and during the dictatorial reign of terror there was regular violence between the Ugandan government army and rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army.


The fourth largest city in Uganda has an estimated 100,000 residents (2008) and is located in the south of the country on Lake Victoria. Jinja is connected by a railway line with Nairobi and Mombasa on the Indian Ocean as well as with the capital Kampala, which is only used for freight transport. The city has one of the few inland ports in Uganda that is used for goods traffic across Lake Victoria.


Entebbe was the capital of Uganda until 1962 and today has around 70,000 residents (2014). The city is about 40 km south of Kampala and is scenic on a peninsula on Lake Victoria. Entebbe has the largest airport in Uganda, which is also regularly served by international airlines. A special attraction in Entebbe is the botanical garden.