The Republic of Uganda, roughly the size of Oregon and with an estimated population of 41 million, lies along the equator and is located in the center of the African continent. The country is divided into three principal geographic areas: a fertile plateau, lowland swamps, and a semi-desert region. The capital is centrally located in Kampala on the shores of Lake Victoria, which forms part of the southern border. English is the official language.
President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986, after decades of internal strife, and was most recently re-elected in 2016 to a five-year term. Under Museveni, Uganda has experienced relative political stability and economic growth. However, Uganda faces numerous challenges that could affect future stability, including explosive population growth, power and infrastructure constraints, corruption, underdeveloped democratic institutions, and an increase in human rights abuses.
The NRM government has increasingly restricted civil society activity, freedom of expression and association, political competition, and the media. Economic and political pressures on the government to create jobs and allow for fair political competition have led to violent political unrest in recent years. Uganda's exponential population growth and high poverty rates continue to strain government services, particularly in the education and health sectors.
Uganda is ethnically very diverse, with over fifty-six different ethnic groups and more than forty languages, most of which fall into three major language families - Bantu, Nilotic, and Central Sudanic.
Uganda has several established universities. However, the U.S. embassy is committed to contributing to the growth of the newer and less established universities, which have a number of short- and long-term challenges. The U.S. Embassy is dedicated to improving the quality of instruction and delivery at these institutions, while at that same time, helping to build long-term collaborations between Ugandan and U.S. universities. Academic semesters normally run from August through December and January through May or June. Ugandan universities currently face a shortage of qualified and experienced faculty to help teach and develop the programs they currently offer.
US Mission in Uganda provides overall oversight of the program in the country. We offer airport pick on initial arrival. We make it a point to involve our Fulbrighters in our American Center programs where relevant.