Y.E.S. Uganda
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Uganda

Republic of Uganda - General Information

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a country in East Africa, bordered on the east by Kenya, the north by Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, within which it shares borders with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.

Uganda achieved independence from the UK in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections. The President of Uganda, currently Yoweri Museveni, is both head of state and head of government. The president appoints a prime minister who aids him in his tasks.

Uganda has substantial natural resources. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force, with coffee accounting for the bulk of export revenues.

Uganda is home to many different ethnic groups, none of whom form a majority of the population. Around forty different languages are regularly and currently in use in the country. English became the official language of Uganda after independence. In September 2005 Swahili was made the country's second official national language.

Uganda has been hailed as a rare success story in the fight against HIV and AIDS, widely being viewed as the most effective national response to the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. President Museveni established the AIDS Control Program (ACP) within the Ministry of Health (MOH) to create policy guidelines for Uganda's fight against HIV/AIDS. Uganda quickly realized that HIV/AIDS was more than a 'health' issue and in 1992 created a 'Multi-sectoral AIDS Control Approach.' In addition, the Uganda AIDS Commission, also founded in 1992, has been instrumental in developing a national HIV/AIDS policy. A variety of approaches to AIDS education have been employed, ranging from the promotion of condom use to 'abstinence only' programmes. Uganda was the first country to open a VCT clinic in Africa and pioneered the concept of voluntary HIV testing centers in Sub-Saharan Africa.