Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the southwest by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. Uganda is the world's second most populous landlocked country after Ethiopia. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate.
Before Uganda's independence in 1962, government-owned institutions dominated most banking in Uganda. In 1966, the Bank of Uganda (BoU), which controlled the issue of currency and managed foreign exchange reserves, became the central bank and national banking regulator. Uganda Commercial Bank, which had fifty branches throughout the country, dominated commercial banking and was wholly owned by the government. The Uganda Development Bank was a state-owned development finance institution, which channeled loans from international sources into Ugandan enterprises and administered most of the development loans made to Uganda.
The East African Development Bank (EADB), established in 1967, was jointly owned by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. It was also concerned with development finance. It survived the breakup of the East African Community in 1977 and received a new charter in 1980.
In the 1960s, other commercial banks included local operations of the Bank of Baroda, Barclays Bank, the Bank of India, Grindlays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and the Uganda Cooperative Bank.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, the number of commercial bank branches and services contracted significantly. Whereas Uganda had 290 commercial bank branches in 1970, by 1987 there were only 84, of which 58 branches were operated by government-owned banks. This number began to increase slowly the following year, and in 1989 the gradual increase in banking activity signaled growing confidence in Uganda's economic recovery.
By April 2011, the number of commercial banks had increased to 23. The bank branches in the country numbered over 400. The banking sector employed over 8,700 people. Total commercial bank assets in the country were valued at more than UGX: 11 trillion.
During 2012, the BoU closed the National Bank of Commerce (Uganda) (NBCU), a small indigenous operation with wealthy investors, some of whom held high-ranking government positions. NBCU's deposits were transferred to Crane Bank. In November 2012, the total number of commercial bank branches in the country reached 500.
In June 2012, the BoU estimated the total banking assets in the country at UGX: 14.4 trillion. In June 2013, the BoU estimated the total of all commercial bank assets in the country at UGX: 15.7 trillion. Those assets had increased to UGX: 18.6 trillion by 30 June 2014. As of 31 December 2015, total banking assets in the country were UGX: 21.7 trillion.
The Uganda Deposit Protection Fund became operational in 1997. It is funded by premiums charged to every licensed deposit-taking financial institution in the country. Each account is protected up to UGX: 5 million. The Depositor Insurance Law was enacted by Parliament and states that all depositors must be paid within 90 days of a bank failure and that the failing institution must be sold by the auctioning of its assets within six months of its seizure by the central bank. If the central bank determines that the failed institution will fetch a better economic return, if sold as a whole, then it will re-open under new ownership and management, provided the new owners and managers meet the approval of the BoU.
In 2008, a credit reference bureau was established for the first time in Uganda. The bureau, Compuscan, is based in South Africa and has subsidiaries in Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, and Uganda, with new ones planned in Kenya and Zambia.
With improved credit risk assessment afforded by the credit bureau, new products, including medium and long-term financing like car loans and mortgages, have been introduced by most Ugandan commercial banks. As of April 2014, interest rates that were formerly in the 20 to 30 percent range had dropped to as low as 10 percent for the best customers at some banks. In 2015, Ugandan regulators licensed an additional credit bureau, Metropol Credit Reference Bureau Limited. Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Metropol has operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
|Agriculture||Small grains, wheat, milk, maize, fruits, tobacco, cereals, wools.|
|Services (Including financial)||50% (2013 estimate)|
|ABC Bank (Uganda)||Financial|
|Bank of Africa Uganda Limited||Financials|
|ABC Bank (Uganda)||Financials|
|Hotel Africana||Consumer Services|
|Housing Finance Bank||Financials|
|Imperial Hotels Group||Consumer Services|
|International Medical Group (Uganda)||Health Care|
The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) is the principal stock exchange of Uganda. It was founded in June 1997. The USE is operated under the jurisdiction of Uganda's Capital Markets Authority, which in turn reports to the Bank of Uganda, Uganda's central bank.
The exchange opened to trading in January 1998. At that time, the exchange had just one listing, a bond issued by the East African Development Bank. Trading was limited to only a handful of trades per week.
As of July 2014, the USE traded 16 listed local and East African companies and had started the trading of fixed income instruments. The exchange is a member of the African Stock Exchanges Association.
The USE operates in close association with the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in Tanzania, the Rwanda Stock Exchange, and the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya. According to published reports in 2013, there were plans to integrate the four exchanges to form a single East African bourse.
A published report in February 2011 claimed that USE would increase trading to five days a week in March 2011.
During the first quarter of 2010, the USE adopted the Settlement and Clearing Depository electronic trading system. According to a published report in January 2011, other electronic modalities were being considered for the exchange. In 2010, the USE was the best performing stock exchange in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an All-Shares Index return of 74 percent between January and November 2010. On 20 July 2015, the USE initiated its electronic trading platform, backed by three independent data servers, cutting to three days (previously five days) the time it takes to settle trades.
The global economic downturn hurt Uganda's exports; however, Uganda's GDP growth has largely recovered due to past reforms and sound management of the downturn. Oil revenues and taxes will become a larger source of government funding as oil comes online in the next few years. Instability in South Sudan is a risk for the Ugandan economy because Uganda's main export partner is Sudan, and Uganda is a key destination for Sudanese refugees. Unreliable power, high energy costs, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and corruption inhibit economic development and investor confidence.
Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country.
Beginning in 1894, the area was ruled as a protectorate by the British, who established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962. The period since then has been marked by intermittent conflicts, including a lengthy civil war against the Lord's Resistance Army in the Northern region, which has caused tens of thousands of casualties and displaced more than a million people.
The official language is English. Luganda, a central language, is widely spoken across the country, and several other languages are also spoken including Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, and Luo. The president of Uganda is Yoweri Museveni, who came to power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war.
The ancestors of the Ugandans were hunter-gatherers until 1,700-2,300 years ago. Bantu-speaking populations, who were probably from central Africa, migrated to the southern parts of the country. These groups brought and developed ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization.
According to oral tradition, the Empire of Kitara covered an important part of the great lakes area, from the northern lakes Albert and Kyoga to the southern lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. Bunyoro-Kitara is claimed as the antecedent of the Buganda, Toro, Ankole, and Busoga kingdoms.
The Luo invasion is believed to have led to the collapse of the Chwezi Empire. The twins Rukidi Mpuuga and Kato Kintu are believed to be the first kings of Bunyoro and Buganda after the Chwezi Empire collapsed, creating the Babiito and Bambejja Dynasty. Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu there, establishing the Babiito dynasty of the current Omukama (ruler) of Bunyoro-Kitara.
Arab traders moved inland from the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa in the 1830s. They were followed in the 1860s by British explorers searching for the source of the Nile. British Anglican missionaries arrived in the kingdom of Buganda in 1877 (a situation which gave rise to the death of the Uganda Martyrs) and were followed by French Catholic missionaries in 1879. The British government chartered the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) to negotiate trade agreements in the region beginning in 1888. From 1886, there were a series of religious wars in Buganda, initially between Muslims and Christians and then, from 1890, between ba-Ingleza Protestants and ba-Fransa Catholics. Because of civil unrest and financial burdens, IBEAC claimed that it was unable to "maintain their occupation" in the region. British commercial interests were ardent to protect the trade route of the Nile, which prompted the British government to annex Buganda and adjoining territories to create the Uganda Protectorate in 1894.
The Bank of Uganda is the central bank of Uganda and handles monetary policy along with the printing of the Ugandan shilling. Uganda's economy generates export income from coffee ($466.6 million annually), tea ($72.1 million), fish ($136.2 million), and other products. The country has commenced economic reforms and growth has been robust. In 2008, Uganda recorded 7 percent growth despite the global downturn and regional instability.
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, and sizeable mineral deposits of copper and cobalt. The country has largely untapped reserves of both crude oil and natural gas. While agriculture accounted for 56 percent of the economy in 1986, with coffee as its main export, it has now been surpassed by the services sector, which accounted for 52 percent of GDP in 2007. In the 1950s, the British colonial regime encouraged some 500,000 subsistence farmers to join co-operatives. Since 1986, the government (with the support of foreign countries and international agencies) has acted to rehabilitate an economy devastated during the regime of Idi Amin and the subsequent civil war
In 2000, Uganda was included in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative worth $1.3 billion and Paris Club debt relief worth $145 million. These amounts combined with the original HIPC debt relief added up to about $2 billion. In 2012, the World Bank still listed Uganda as on the HIPC list. Growth for 2001–2002 was solid despite a continued decline in the price of coffee, Uganda's principal export. According to IMF statistics, in 2004 Uganda's GDP per capita reached $300, a much higher level than in the 1980s but still at half the Sub-Saharan African average income of $600 per year. Total GDP crossed the 8 billion dollar mark in the same year.
Economic growth has not always led to poverty reduction. Despite an average annual growth of 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2003, poverty levels increased by 3.8% during that time. This has highlighted the importance of avoiding jobless growth and is part of the rising awareness in development circles of the need for equitable growth not just in Uganda, but across the developing world.
With the Uganda securities exchanges established in 1996, several equities have been listed. The government has used the stock market as an avenue for privatization. All government treasury issues are listed on the securities exchange. The Capital Markets Authority has licensed 18 brokers, asset managers and investment advisors including: African Alliance Investment Bank, Baroda Capital Markets Uganda Limited, Crane Financial Services Uganda Limited, Crested Stocks and Securities Limited, Dyer & Blair Investment Bank, Equity Stock Brokers Uganda Limited, Renaissance Capital Investment Bank and UAP Financial Services Limited. As one of the ways of increasing formal domestic savings, pension sector reform is the Centre of attention (2007).
Uganda traditionally depends on Kenya for access to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. Efforts have intensified to establish a second access route to the sea via the lakeside ports of Bukasa in Uganda and Musoma in Tanzania, connected by railway to Arusha in the Tanzanian interior and to the port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean. Uganda is a member of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.
Uganda has a large diaspora, residing mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom. This diaspora has contributed enormously to Uganda's economic growth through remittances and other investments (especially property). According to the World Bank, Uganda received in 2014 an estimated $994 million in remittances from abroad. Uganda also serves as an economic hub for a number of neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Rwanda.
The shilling (code: UGX) is the currency of Uganda. Officially divided into cents until 2013, the shilling now has no subdivision. The first Ugandan shilling (UGS) replaced the East African shilling in 1966 at par. Following high inflation, a new shilling (UGX) was introduced in 1987 worth 100 old shillings.
The shilling is usually a stable currency and predominates in most financial transactions in Uganda, which has a very efficient foreign exchange market with low spreads. The United States dollar is also widely accepted. The pound sterling and increasingly the euro are also used.
The Bank of Uganda cut its policy rate to 22% on 1 February 2012 after reduction of inflation for 3 consecutive months. In 1966, coins were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 shillings. The 5, 10 and 20 cent coins were struck in bronze, with the higher denominations struck in cupro-nickel. The 2 shilling was only issued that year. In 1972, cupro-nickel 5 shilling coins were issued but were withdrawn from circulation are now very rare. In 1976, copper-plated steel replaced bronze in the 5 and 10 cent and cupro-nickel-plated steel replaced cupro-nickel in the 50 cents and 1 shilling. In 1986, nickel-plated-steel 50 cent and 1 shilling coins were issued, the last coins of the first shilling.
In 1987, copper-plated-steel 1 and 2 shilling and stainless-steel five and ten shilling coins were introduced, with the five and ten shilling curved-equilateral heptagonal in shape. In 1998, coins for fifty, 100, 200 and 500 shillings were introduced. Denominations currently circulating are 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shillings. In 1966, the Bank of Uganda introduced notes in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 100 shillings. In 1973, 50 shilling notes were introduced, followed by 500 and 1000 shillings in 1983 and 5000 shillings in 1985.
In 1987, notes were introduced in the new currency in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 shillings. In 1991, 500 and 1000 shilling notes were added, followed by 5000 shillings in 1993, 10,000 shillings in 1995, 20,000 shillings in 1999, 50,000 shillings in 2003 and 2000 shillings in 2010. Banknotes currently in circulation are 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 shillings. In 2005, the Bank of Uganda was considering whether to replace the low-value notes such as the 1000 shilling with coins. The lower denomination notes take a battering in daily use, often being very dirty and sometimes disintegrating.
On 17 May 2010, the Bank of Uganda issued a new family of notes featuring a harmonized banknote design that depict Uganda’s rich historical, natural, and cultural heritage. They also bear improved security features. Five images appear on all the six denominations: Ugandan mat patterns, Ugandan basketry, the map of Uganda (complete with the equator line), the Independence Monument, and a profile of a man wearing Karimojong headdress. Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said the new notes did not constitute a currency reform, nor were they dictated by politics. The redesign, he said, was driven by the need to comply with international practices and to beat counterfeiters. Uganda is the first African country to introduce the advanced security feature SPARK on a regular banknote series. SPARK is an optical security feature recognized by central banks worldwide and is used on a number of banknotes for protection against counterfeiting. As of 22 August 2011, one US Dollar (USD) = 2800 Ugandan Shillings (UGX). The exchange rate dropped to USD 1 = UGX 2901 in September 2011, and it bounced back to USD 1 = UGX 2303 on 13 February 2012.
|National Song||"Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty"|
|Currency||Ugandan shilling (UGX)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||84.976 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||5 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$2068.225 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
President – Yoweri Museveni[α]
Prime Minister – Ruhakana Rugunda
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||36.872 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||2.281 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|