Uganda is a pioneer in the liberalisation of the media in Africa. Private radio and TV mushroomed after the government loosened controls in 1993. Radio is the most popular medium. Public UBC covers the country in English and vernacular languages.
The central region around Kampala is home to dozens of private radio and TV stations. Rural radios serve ethnic groups and there is a cluster of religious stations. A digital TV switchover is planned.
Although the print media are led by the state-owned New Vision newspaper, it enjoys considerable independence and often publishes articles which criticise the government.
US-based Freedom House classifies Uganda’s media as “partly free”. In 2012, it reported biased election coverage by state-run media in 2011 and attacks on journalists reporting on protests.
Landlocked Uganda has transformed itself from a country with a troubled past to one of relative stability and prosperity.
Since its independence from Britain in 1962, the east African nation has endured a military coup, followed by a brutal military dictatorship which ended in 1979, disputed elections in 1980 and a five-year war that brought current President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986.
The country has also had to contend with a brutal 20-year insurgency in the north, led by the Lord’s Resistance Army.
While the country has won praise for its vigorous campaign against HIV/AIDS it has also attracted international attention for its hardening stance against the LGBT community.
The Republic of Uganda
Population: 35.6 million
Major Languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Luganda, various Bantu and Nilotic languages
Life expectancy: 54 years (men), 55 years (women)
Currency: Ugandan Shilling (1 ZAR = 266.2 UGX)
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