NORTHERN UGANDA/ ACHOLILAND
The administrative region of Northern Uganda consists of 30 districts with a population of about 5.2 million people belonging to different ethnic groups such as Madi, Lugbara, Acholi, Langi, Karamojong, etc. Acholiland also known as Acholi sub-region is an inexact term that refers to the region traditionally inhabited by the Acholi, an ethnic group with a population of approximately 1.2 million from the districts of Agago, Amuru, Gulu, Kitgum, Nwoya, Lamwo, and Pader in Northern Uganda. There are also Acholi people living in Magwe County in South Sudan.
The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. Set at the equator, Uganda is divided into districts, spread across four administrative regions: Northern, Eastern, Central and Western on an area of 236, 580 sq. km, with its capital at Kampala. There are over 100. Each district is divided into sub-districts, counties, sub-counties, parishes and villages. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria which also is shared by Kenya and Tanzania. Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world forming the source of the Nile, the second largest river in the world.
Uganda has a population of about 35 million people with a 3.6 percent population growth. It has a young population with median age 15.1 years. The age structure based on estimates from 2011 is as follows: 0-14 years: 49.9% (male 8,692,239/female 8,564,571) 15-64 years: 48.1% (male 8,383,548/female 8,255,473) 65 years and over: 2.1% (male 291,602/female 424,817)
Culture Uganda is a cultural smorgasbord, as evidenced by the existence of more than 30 different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts. The official language is English. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October in 1962 but maintained its Commonwealth membership.
Economy Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile well-watered arable land, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, cobalt, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80% of the work force. Instability in southern Sudan poses a risk for the Ugandan economy because Uganda’s main export partner is Sudan, and Uganda is a key destination for Sudanese refugees. Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 37.7 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. Despite making enormous progress in reducing the countrywide, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country’s rural areas, which are home to more than 85 per cent of Ugandans. Geographical inaccessibility, lack of transport and financial burdens are constraints to accessing health and other services in rural regions of the country. People in rural areas of Uganda depend on farming as the main source of income and 90 per cent of all rural women work in the agricultural sector. In addition to agricultural work, rural women also have the responsibility of caretaking within their families. The average Ugandan woman spends 9 hours a day on domestic tasks, such as preparing food and clothing, fetching water and firewood, and caring for the elderly, the sick as well as orphans. To supplement their income, rural women may engage in small-scale entrepreneurial activities such as rearing and selling local breeds of animals. Nonetheless, because of their heavy workload, they have little time for these income-generating activities. Gender inequality is a main hindrance to reducing women’s poverty. Women must submit to an overall lower social status than men. For many women, this reduces their power to act independently, participate in community life, become educated and escape reliance upon abusive men.
The system of education in Uganda has a structure of 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education (divided into 4 years of lower secondary and 2 years of upper secondary school), and 3 to 5 years of post-secondary education. The present system has existed since the early 1960s. Although some primary education is compulsory under law, in many rural communities this is not observed as many families feel they cannot afford costs such as uniforms and equipment. The poor cannot support their children at school and in most cases, girls drop out of school to help out in domestic work or to get married. Other girls engage in sex work. As a result, young women tend to have older and more sexually experienced partners and this puts women at a disproportionate risk of getting affected by HIV, accounting for about 57 per cent of all adults living with HIV. State schools are usually run by the Church of Uganda and are built on land owned as such. In primary education, children sit exams at the end of each academic year in order to discern whether they are to progress to the next class; this leads to some classes which include a large range of ages. Upon completing the final year of primary education, many children from poorer rural communities will return to their families for subsistence farming. Secondary education is focused mainly in larger cities, with boarding optional. Children starting secondary schools are usually presented with an equipment list which they are to obtain at the beginning of their time at secondary school. This list classically includes items such as writing equipment, toilet roll and cleaning brushes, all of which the student must have upon admission to school.
Uganda is rated among countries perceived as very corrupt by Transparency International. It is rated at 2.4 on a scale from 0 (perceived as most corrupt) to 10 (perceived as clean).