Set at the equator, Uganda is made up of four regions (Central, Eastern, Northern and Western) on an area of 236, 580 km2, with its capital at Kampala. The Republic of Uganda is a sovereign democratic state governed by the 1995 Constitution. The President is Head of State and the Executive comprising of 26 government Ministers.
The earliest human inhabitants in Uganda were hunter-gatherers. Remnants of these people are today to be found among the pygmies in western Uganda. Approximately 2000 to 1500 years ago, Bantu speaking populations from central and western Africa migrated and occupied most of the southern parts of the country. The migrants brought with them agriculture, ironworking skills and new ideas of social and political organization, that by the 15th – 16th century resulted in the development of centralized kingdoms, including the kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro-Kitara and Ankole.
In 1888, control of the emerging British “sphere of interest” in East Africa was assigned by royal charter to William Mackinnon’s Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEACO), an arrangement strengthened in 1890 by an Anglo-German agreement confirming British dominance over Kenya and Uganda. The high cost of occupying the territory caused the company to withdraw in 1893, and its administrative functions were taken over by a British commissioner. In 1894, Uganda was placed under a formal British protectorate.
Britain granted independence to Uganda in 1962, and the first elections were held on 1st March 1961. Benedicto Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party became the first Chief Minister. Uganda became a republic the following year when it gained its independence on 9th October 1962 thus acquiring its Commonwealth membership. Sir Edward Mutweesa II was appointed as the first president.
Around forty different languages are regularly and currently in use in the country. These fall into three main language families: Bantu, Nilotic and Central Sudanic. English became the official language of Uganda after independence, and Ugandan English is a local variant dialect. According to the census of 2002, Christians made up about 84% of Uganda’s population.