Uganda is Africa's second-leading producer of coffee, which accounted for about 17% of the country's exports in 2009 and 2010. Exports of nontraditional products, including apparel, hides, skins, vanilla, vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, and fish, are growing, while traditional exports such as cotton, tea, and tobacco continue to be mainstays.
The service sector was the largest contributor to GDP in 2010 (at 50%). Manufacturing and agriculture contributed 26% and 24%, respectively. Despite their dwindling shares of Uganda’s GDP, the agriculture and fishing sectors provide approximately 80% of employment in Uganda.
The trade weighted average tariff rate is quite high at 8.2 percent, and non-tariff barriers further constrain freedom to trade. The investment regime is complex and non-transparent, although foreign investment is allowed in most sectors of the economy. The financial system is dominated by banking, which is increasingly open to competition. Access to financial services has expanded gradually across the country.
The rule of law remains weak, and the legal system is too inefficient to provide strong protection of property rights. The issue of land rights and titles is complicated by the existence of four different land tenure systems. The judiciary continues to be subjected to political interference, and the court system is prone to delays. Widespread corruption undermines the government’s capacity to provide basic public services efficiently.
Uganda is governed under the constitution of 1995 as amended. The president, who is both head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The unicameral legislature consists of the 332-seat National Assembly, whose members also serve for five years; 215 of the members are directly elected, and the rest are nominated from women, the army, and other groups. Administratively, the country is divided into 80 districts, grouped into four regions (Northern, Western, Central, and Eastern).
Uganda, twice the size of Pennsylvania, is in East Africa. It is bordered on the west by Congo, on the north by the Sudan, on the east by Kenya, and on the south by Tanzania and Rwanda. The country, which lies across the equator, is divided into three main areas—swampy lowlands, a fertile plateau with wooded hills, and a desert region. Lake Victoria forms part of the southern border.
Uganda has won praise for its vigorous campaign against HIV/Aids. This has helped to reduce the prevalence of the virus - which reached 30% of the population in the 1990s - to single-digit figures.
Since the late 1980s Uganda has rebounded from the abyss of civil war and economic catastrophe to become relatively peaceful, stable and prosperous.
Uganda experienced two great waves of migration. The first brought the Bantu-speaking peoples from further west in Africa, and the second, the Nilotic people from Sudan and Ethiopia. These broad families are still geographically split today, the Bantu in the centre and south of the country and the Nilotic peoples in the north. Until the 19th century, landlocked Uganda saw few outsiders compared with its neighbours.
Uganda is home to the highest mountain range in Africa, the Mountains of the Moon in the Rwenzori National Park. It is the source of the mighty Nile, and around Jinja offers the best white-water rafting in the world. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the majestic mountain gorilla, one of the rarest animals on the planet.