Fun Facts About Uganda – The Pearl of Africa!

World-Famous Heroes

Did you know- John Akii-Bua put Uganda, an obscure country which had never won an Olympic award, on the world map when he, surprisingly, captured the gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the Summer Olympics in West Germany. In Munich’72, Mr. Ing. Akii-Bua set a historic world record which remained unbeaten until 1976. This award was a surprise in West Germany because no other non-European / American hurdler had ever managed to capture the gold medal. Prior to the Olympics, he was not favorite to win an Olympic medal. Meanwhile, Uganda finished 24th in the medal count, ahead of Canada, South Korea and Brazil. At the 1980 Summer Games in the Soviet Union / USSR, he retired after 11 years in athletics. Since Akii-Bua’s win, no other Ugandan athlete has won an Olympic title. Today Uganda’s Olympic champ Akii-Bua is respected around the globe as one of the most notable African athletes, alongside world-famous icons like Abebe Bikila and Kipchoge Keino.

A New Country

Did you know-This English-speaking, a former European colony between 1894 and 1962, is one the region’s most stable nations, along with Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland and other black republics. In the past, it underwent more than three decades of tyranny. During that period, up to 400,000 people were slaughtered by dictators, among them Idi Amin Dada (1971-79), and other warlords.

Pope John Paul II

Did you know- After arriving in Uganda, in February 1993, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in front of more than 50,000 people.

Natural Wonders

Did you know- The landlocked republic is home to some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders: Lake Victoria, the third-largest lake on Earth, after Lake Caspian Sea and Lake Superior. Secondly, the African republic holds the longest river in the world: the Nile (6,650 km / 4,132 mi.). This river is slightly longer than the Amazon, which is the second longest on Earth.

Notable Women

Did you know- This English-speaking nation holds many notable women, among them: Bernadette Olowo (diplomat) and Elizabeth Baagaya of Toro (former Minister of Foreign Relations), as well as Dorcus Inzikuru (won gold medals at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Finland and at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia), and Specioza Kazibwe (the first Ugandan female to be named Vice President).

Winston Churchill

Did you know – In the past century, the nation’s scenery impressed Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who later called it “The Pearl of Africa”. Without a doubt, Uganda is one of the Continent’s most beautiful nations.

Anti-AIDS policy

Did you know- Since the end of the 20th century, the former British colony, under the leadership of Yoweri Museveni, the country President, holds one of the most successful anti-AIDS programs on Earth. Due to these programs, Uganda, backed by the United States, has one of the lowest AIDS / HIV rate on the continent of Africa. For many experts on HIV and AIDS, Uganda, a country about the size of the state of Oregon, is an example in the world.

The FIFA World Cup

Did you know- The FIFA World Cup is the nation’s most watched television event. Curiously, the English-speaking nation has not competed in this tournament as yet.

Woman & Power
Did you know- In the 1970s, Princess Elizabeth Baagaya of Toro, a former black model, was appointed Minister of Foreign Relations. She was one of the few female ministers on the African mainland.

Coffee

Did you know- Coffee is a key source of foreign exchange. It contributes more income to Uganda’s economy than any other single economic activity. Otherwise, the African country, traditionally a farming nation, was one of the world’s largest producers of coffee during the 70s. Due to this, it boasted one of the Continent’s fastest growing economies.

Commonwealth Games

Did you know- In addition to being one of the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Uganda is a competitor for the Commonwealth Games. In 1974, the Ugandan Olympic team, led by world champ Ayub Kalulu, participated in the Commonwealth Games, gaining more than 7 medals, ahead of Wales, Trinidad-Tobago, and Jamaica.

Uganda & Washington

Did you know- Over the last decades, the former British colony has been visited by two American leaders. Bill Clinton came to the country in March 1998; George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush arrived in Entebbe on July 11, 2003. Since 1980s, Uganda is one of the America’s African allies.

Uganda’s Independence

Did you know- The country gained its full independence from the United Kingdom on October 9, 1962. Uganda had been conquered by the Britons in 1894.

Wildlife

Did you know- A number of tropical areas, among them national parks, wildlife refuges, and natural sanctuaries, are filled with a host of animals, including the “Big Five”, reptiles, insects, exotic butterflies, wild birds, rare plants and unique flowers.

The Last King of Scotland

Did you know- Kampala, the country capital, and other major places provided the setting for the 2007 movie “The Last King of Scotland”, a film which won an Academy Award.

Diplomacy

Did you know- By 1974, Bernadette Olowo became the nation’s ambassador to the Holy See. Curiously, she was one of the few female ambassadors to the State of Vatican in the latter half of the 20th century.

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