Uganda is named after 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 UK, which established administrative law across the territory. Uganda gained independence from the UK on 9 October 1962. The period since then has been marked by violent conflicts, including an eight-year-long military dictatorship led by Idi Amin.
The official languages are English and Swahili, although “any other language” may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law.” Luganda, a central region-based language, is widely spoken across the Central and South Eastern regions of the country, and several other languages are also spoken, including Lango, Acholi, Runyoro, Runyankole, Rukiga, Luo and Lusoga.
Uganda’s current president is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who took power in January 1986 after a protracted six-year guerrilla war. Following constitutional amendments that removed term limits for the president, he was able to stand and was elected president of Uganda in the 2011, 2016 and in the 2021 general elections.
The residents of Uganda 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.
Some Luo invaded the area of Bunyoro and assimilated with the Bantu society 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 for trade and commerce. In the late 1860s, Bunyoro in Mid-Western Uganda found itself threatened from the north by Egyptian-sponsored agents. Unlike the Arab traders from the East African coast who sought trade, these agents were promoting foreign conquest. In 1869, KhediveIsmail Pasha of Egypt, seeking to annex the territories north of the borders of Lake Victoria and east of Lake Albert and “south of Gondokoro,” sent a British explorer, Samuel Baker, on a military expedition to the frontiers of Northern Uganda, with the objective of suppressing the slave-trade there and opening the way to commerce and “civilization.” The Banyoro resisted Baker, and he had to fight a desperate battle to secure his retreat. Baker regarded the resistance as an act of treachery, and he denounced the Banyoro in a book (Ismailia – A Narrative Of The Expedition To Central Africa For The Suppression Of Slave Trade, Organised By Ismail, Khadive Of Egypt (1874)) that was widely read in Britain. Later, the British arrived in Uganda with a predisposition against Bunyoro and siding with Buganda which eventually would cost the kingdom half of its territory given to Buganda as a reward from the British. Two of the numerous “lost counties” were restored to Bunyoro after independence.