Case study 5 Ugunda

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Uganda is a landlocked country in Eastern Africa, west of Kenya and east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda ranks 161 out of 186 in terms of human development, making it low in comparison to other countries (UNDP, 2013). The United Nations Development Programme also report that the average life expectancy is 54.5 years and the mean years of schooling that an adult receives is 4.7 years. The GNI per capita is $1,168 and Uganda has a population of just over 35 million.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, 2013) reports that the most important sector of the economy is agriculture, where over 80% of the workforce is employed, and its primary export is coffee. Approximately 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.


Uganda gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Political instability ensued in the years following independence. The dictatorial regime of Idi Amin (1971–79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents, and under Milton Obote (1980–85) at least another 100,000 lives were lost due to guerrilla war and human rights abuses. Since 1986, there has been relative stability and economic growth to Uganda. However, ‘Uganda is subject to armed fighting among hostile ethnic groups, rebels, armed gangs, militias, and various government forces that extend across its borders’ (CIA, 2013).

Answer the following key questions: Why is Uganda considered to have low human development? From a post-colonial perspective, what impact do you think Uganda’s colonial past has had on its current development situation? Why do you think the average number of years of schooling an adult has is only 4.7 years?