According to justinshoes, Uganda (Republic of Uganda; Jamhuri ya Uganda) is a state of Central-Eastern Africa (241,551 km²). Capital: Kampala. Administrative division: districts (56). Population: 29,230,000 residents (2008 estimate). Language: English and Swahili (official), luganda. Religion: Catholics 41.9%, Anglicans 35.9%, Muslims 12.1%, Pentecostals 4.6%, others 5.5%. Currency unit: Ugandan shilling (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.493 (156th place). Borders: Sudan (N), Kenya (E), Tanzania (S), Rwanda (SW), Democratic Republic of Congo (W). Member of: Commonwealth, EAC, OCI, UN, AU and WTO, EU associate.
A state in Africa without access to the sea, Uganda derives its name from one of the Bantu kingdoms that at the time of European colonial penetration dominated the country on the basis of a rigidly royal and aristocratic organization: the kingdom of the Ganda (or BaGanda). Supported by the British, it affirmed itself over the other kingdoms (Nyoro, Ankole, Toro etc.) and became the nucleus around which the protectorate of Great Britain and, in 1962, the independent state was formed. However Uganda, as is usually the case for most African states, does not extend only to the land of the Ganda, but includes a whole large section where different populations live. The borders were defined by the British on the basis of their expansionist design in East Africa and delimit a territory which, Nile, occupied a key position in the context of black Africa: this was linked to the explorations aimed at looking for the sources of the river. The presence of various populations gives a “structural” fragility to the Ugandan state, which has nevertheless been able to maintain its unity thanks to a policy inspired by rigid centralism.
Northwestern section of the highlands of East Africa, the country is located for the most part at an altitude of 1000-1400 m and is formed by a plateau between the western and eastern branches of the Great Rift Valley (the East African trench), pushing S up to Lake Victoria and N on the other lands dominating the depression of the Nile. Structurally, it is a portion of the great East African plate, the lifting of which is closely related to the formation of the Rift Valley itself. The great upheavals suffered by the territory following these episodes, which took place in the Cenozoic era, determined its general configuration, characterized not only by the presence of the pit, but also by the succession of low-pressure areas and raised blocks and by the imposition of intrusive and effusive volcanic structures. Among the volcanic buildings the Elgon (4321 m), on the border with Kenya, and the Virungas stand out, also marginal with respect to the Ugandan territory, on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the most imposing element, connected to the formation of the Rift Valley, is the mighty Ruwenzori massif (5109 m), a sort of gigantic Horst rising between the depressions now occupied by lakes Alberto and Edoardo, in the western part of the country; finally on the northern and eastern sides a series of reliefs, which even exceed 2000 m, represent the border of the plateau above the Sudanese Nilotic depression. Apart from these marked orographic elements, all peripheral, the Ugandan territory is characterized as a penepian: that is, it is made up of crystalline archaeozoic surfaces, deeply eroded and therefore devoid of great harshness. These are represented by short depressions, by deepening river furrows and by residual reliefs that break the substantially tabular trend.
The country’s Cenozoic tectonic settlements have bequeathed an unstable hydrography. Characteristic is the presence, linked to the flat configuration of the plateau, of amphibious and difficult drainage areas, while the complex hydrography of the upper Nile basin, to which the Ugandan territory belongs almost entirely, is due to the tectonic upheavals caused by the Rift Valley. A striking hydrographic element, which however only partially falls within the Ugandan borders, is Lake Victoria (68 100 km², third of the world), which occupies a large depression between the two eastern and western branches of the Rift Valley. It has the Kagera as its main tributary, fed by the highlands of Rwanda and Burundi and considered the main spring branch of the Nile; its emissary is the Victoria Nile (Kabalega) which, through a complex hydrography including Lake Kyoga and large amphibious areas, after having formed the Kabalega waterfalls (formerly Murchison Falls) enters the pit that welcomes Lake Albert, from which it succeeds precisely with name of Nile Alberto, last section of the Nile before entering its middle section, Sudanese. The presence of lake basins and amphibious areas ensures the river a relatively constant regime, which is still subject to overflows.