Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city proper was estimated to have a population of 1,680,800 people on 31 July 2019 and is divided into the five boroughs of Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division. Kampala's metropolitan area consists of the city proper and the neighboring Wakiso District, Mukono District, Mpigi District, Buikwe District and Luweero District. It has a rapidly growing population that is estimated at 6,709,900 people in 2019 by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in an area of 8,451.9 km2 .
It occupies a series of hills at an elevation of about 3,900 feet and is situated in the southern part of the country, just north of Lake Victoria. Kampala lies just north of Mengo, the capital of the kingdom of Buganda in the 19th century. It was selected in 1890 by Capt. Frederick Lugard as the headquarters of the Imperial British East Africa Company. Lugard’s fort on Old Kampala Hill remained the Ugandan colonial administrative headquarters until 1905, when it was moved to Entebbe. In 1962 Kampala became the capital of independent Uganda. Parliamentary and commercial buildings, industry, and residential areas are separated into sectors.
In 2015, this metropolitan area generated an estimated nominal GDP of $13.80221 billion according to Xuantong Wang et al. which was more than half of Uganda's GDP for that year, indicating the importance of Kampala to Uganda's economy. Kampala is reported to be among the fastest-growing cities in Africa, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent, by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa ahead of Nairobi and Kigali by Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City.
Data and Facts
- Kampala city proper contains an area of 73 square miles (189 square kilometers) within which an estimated 1.7 million people live
- English might be the official language, but Luganda is the lingua franca
- Makerere University Kampala can be found in the city. It is Uganda's largest and second-oldest higher institution of learning, established in 1922
- There are two annual wet seasons in Kampala: a long rainy season from August to December and a short rainy season from February to June
- Kampala has one of the only seven Baha'i houses of worship in the world. It is known as the Mother Temple of Africa
Kampala Capital City Authority is the legal entity, established by the Ugandan Parliament, that is responsible for the operations of the capital city of Kampala in Uganda. It replaced the Kampala City Council .The headquarters of KCCA are located on Nakasero Hill in the central business district of Kampala. The headquarters are immediately south-west of the Uganda Parliament Building. The main entrance to the KCCA Complex is located on Kimathi Avenue, which comes off of Parliament Avenue. The coordinates of this building are 0° 18' 54.00«N, 32° 35' 9.00»E .The affairs of the capital city of Kampala were brought under the direct supervision of the central Ugandan government. The city clerk, formerly the highest financial officer in the city, was replaced by the executive director, who is answerable to the Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, currently Beti Kamya-Turwomwe. The elected mayor became the lord mayor, now a largely ceremonial position. In addition to the politically elected councilors, the expanded KCCA Council has members from the following professional bodies as full voting members:Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers, Uganda Society of Architects, Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, and Uganda Law Society. As of January 2020, the key officials responsible for KCCA affairs were: Beti Amongin, Cabinet Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, since December 2019 Benna Namugwanya, Minister of State for Kampala Capital City Authority, since 2016 Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala since 2011 Sarah Kanyike, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala, since 2016 Andrew Kitaka, the Acting Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority since December 2018 Samuel Sserunkuuma, the Acting Deputy Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority, since May 2017.Kampala is divided into five divisions, each headed by a popularly elected mayor. Those divisions are preserved under the new KCCA Law. It is not yet clear what the roles of those five mayors will be in relation to the Lord Mayor and the KCCA Executive Director.As of February 2019, KCCA employed 1,113 staff, of whom 391 were permanent employees appointed by the public service commission.In February 2015, Rift Valley Railways, in collaboration with KCCA, began testing commuter passenger railway service in Kampala and its suburbs, with a view to establish regular scheduled service beginning in March 2015.Uganda and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an elevated 35 kilometres light rail network.
Situated in the country’s most prosperous agricultural section, Kampala exports coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco, and sugar. Although second industrially to Jinja , the city has numerous food, metal-products, and furniture enterprises and a tractor-assembly plant. It is the headquarters for most of Uganda’s large firms and the chief market for the Lake Victoria region.
Efforts are underway to relocate heavy industry to the Kampala Business and Industrial Park, located in Namanve, Mukono District, approximately 14 kilometres east of the city's central business district, thereby cutting down on city traffic congestion. Some of the businesses that maintain their headquarters in the city center include all of the 25 commercial banks licensed in Uganda; the New Vision Group, the leading news media conglomerate and majority owned by the government; and the Daily Monitor publication, a member of the Kenya-based Nation Media Group. Air Uganda maintained its headquarters in an office complex on Kololo Hill in Kampala. Crown Beverages Limited, the sole Pepsi-Cola franchise bottler in the country, is situated in Nakawa, a division of Kampala, about 5 kilometres east of the city centre.The informal sector is a large contributor to Kampala's GDP. Citizens who work in the formal sector also participate in informal activities to earn more income for their families. A public servant in Kampala, for example, may engage in aviculture in addition to working in the formal sector. Other informal fields include owning taxis and urban agriculture. The use of Kampala's wetlands for urban farming has increased over the past few decades. It connects the informal rural settlements with the more industrialized parts of the city. The produce grown in the wetlands is sold in markets in the urban areas.In December 2015, Google launched its first Wi-Fi network in Kampala.While more than 30 percent of Kampala's inhabitants practice urban agriculture, the city of Kampala donated 13 hectares to promote urban agriculture in the northeastern parish of Kyanja, in Nakawa Division.
With a young and rapidly growing population, extremely productive agricultural lands, a nascent oil sector, and a strategic location in the heart of East and Central Africa, Uganda offers great economic potential.Ranked among the world’s most enterpreneural and competitive city, Kampala offers plenty of advantages for expanding international companies which include welcoming population, political and social stability,Trainable and fast adaptable workforce, business opportunities for growth and consistently improving infrastructuresGovernment offices are open from 08:00hrs to 17:00hrs, Monday to Friday, closing for lunch from 13:00hrs to 14:00hrs. Bank hours vary from bank to bank but most are open from 08:30hrs – 14:30hrs Monday to Friday. Only some are open on Saturdays. Shops are generally open from 08:00hrs to 19:00hrs, Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 13:00hrs on Saturdays.Although many businesses maintain headquarters in the city centre, there have been moves in recent years to relocate heavy industry to the Kampala Business and Industrial Park about 14 kilometres east of the city’s central business district.
Kampala is served by Entebbe International Airport, which is the largest airport in Uganda. Boda-bodas are a popular mode of transport that gives access to many areas within and outside the city. Standard fees for these range from USh:1,000 to 2,000 or more. Boda-bodas are useful for passing through rush-hour traffic, although many are poorly maintained and dangerous.In early 2007, it was announced that Kampala would remove commuter taxis from its streets and replace them with a comprehensive city bus service. The bus service was expected to cover the greater Kampala metropolitan area including Mukono, Mpigi, Bombo, Entebbe, Wakiso and Gayaza. As of December 2011 the service had not yet started.Having successfully completed the Northern Bypass, the government, in collaboration with its stakeholders, now plans to introduce the Bus Rapid Transit system in Kampala by 2014. On 12 March 2012, Pioneer Easy Bus Company, a private transport company, started public bus service in Kampala with an estimated 100 buses each with a 60-passenger capacity , acquired from China. Another 422 buses were expected in the country in 2012 to complement the current fleet. The buses operate 24 hours daily. The company has a concession to provide public transport in the city for the next five years. The buses were impounded for back taxes in December 2013. The company expected to resume operation in February 2015.
In 2014, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and a Chinese transportation company signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to embark at some point on building a light rail system in Kampala, similar to the one recently completed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On 11 April 2011, the pressure group Activists for Change held its first Walk to Work protest near Kampala, in response to a comment by President Museveni on the increased cost of fuel, which had risen by 50 percent between January and April 2011. He said: «What I call on the public to do is to use fuel sparingly. Don't drive to bars». The protest, which called on workers to walk to work to highlight the increased cost of transport in Uganda, was disrupted by police, who fired tear gas and arrested three-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye and Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao. In the course of the protest, Besigye was shot in the right arm by a rubber bullet. The government blamed the violence on protesters.In 2016, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium and Kampala Capital City Authority established passenger rail service between Namanve and Kampala and between Kampala and Kyengera. Those services were temporarily discontinued after RVR lost its concession in Uganda in October 2017. However, when Uganda Railways Corporation took over the operations of the metre gauge railway system in Uganda in 2018, the service was restored in February that year. A new Kampala to Port Bell route is being planned to be added in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Kampala is a hotbed for young African tech entrepreneurs. The current government has set the conditions for economic growth and has encouraged the growth of small businesses. There are four business incubators in Kampala including Hive CoLab.Hive CoLab was the first tech-focused business incubator in Uganda. It was founded in 2010 through the efforts of Jon Gosier and Teddy Ruge. In 2008, Teddy was in the United States writing about the emerging tech sector in Africa and was introduced to Jon who was working in Kampala. At the time in Kampala, tech-focused entrepreneurs were congregating in Internet cafes that were not good for creativity. Jon and Teddy discussed the idea of generating a «next generation» Internet cafe and they established their first «co-working» space.Hive CoLab is a large open space with reliable internet connection, a back-up power source, and a conference space for one-on-one meetings. It is a community-owned, collaborative, co-working space for the Uganda’s Technology community. Membership is open to all and is free. The only requirement for membership is that the applicant must be working on a project or must be looking for a project to work on. The incubator offers in-house consultants to mentor members and the mission is to provide the new companies the much-needed visibility in order to promote its offerings and eventually find funding or investment capital.
In 2013, manufacturing contributed 10% of GDP, compared to 21% for industry as a whole and 25% for agriculture. Half of GDP came from the services sector. However, African leaders meeting in Equatorial Guinea failed to resolve the debate on establishing a common standard of measurement for the 10% target.In 2014, Uganda was ranked 36th out of 52 countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Some 16% of the population had access to internet and 44% a mobile phone subscription in 2013. One in four Ugandans had access to sanitation, 42% to improved water and 15% to electricity in 2011. The government spent 4.3% of GDP on health and 1.9% of GDP on the military in 2013. Inflows of foreign direct investment amounted to 4.8% of GDP in 2013.
In 2013, the population was growing at a rate of 3.31% per year. In sub-Saharan Africa, only Niger and South Sudan recorded faster growth rates.Public expenditure on education amounted to 3.3% of GDP in 2012. Of this, 11% was earmarked for higher education. Uganda has achieved universal primary education but only one-quarter of pupils attend secondary school and 4.4% university.
The National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy dates from 2009. Its overarching goal is to ‘strengthen national capability to generate, transfer and apply scientific knowledge, skills and technologies that ensure sustainable utilisation of natural resources for the realisation of Uganda’s development objectives.’ The policy precedes Uganda Vision 2040, which was launched in April 2013 to transform ‘Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years,’ in the words of the Cabinet. Uganda Vision 2040 vows to strengthen the private sector, improve education and training, modernize infrastructure and the underdeveloped services and agriculture sectors, foster industrialization and promote good governance, among other goals. Potential areas for economic development include oil and gas, tourism, minerals and information and communication technologies .In 2007, the National Council for Science and Technology launched the Millennium Science Initiative , which was co-financed by the World Bank. At a time when the economy's formal sector was expanding rapidly and real investment was rising sharply, the Council considered that continued economic progress would require more and better use of knowledge and more and better qualified human resources for science and technology. The fund became operational in July 2010. It covered the cost of modernizing laboratories and the implementation of ten projects at the university. It also financed undergraduate science and engineering programmes, academia–private sector partnerships, student internships, science policy formulation and science popularization in schools and communities.Business incubation and innovation are being promoted by several Ugandan institutions, including the Uganda Industrial Research Institute and the Uganda Investment Authority. The latter is a parastatal agency which works in conjunction with the government to facilitate private sector investment. One of the authority's most flourishing sectors is ICTs. This sector has seen major investment in recent years to develop Uganda's backbone infrastructure network, which consists of fibre-optic cables and related equipment, as well as mobile broadband infrastructure.Uganda has an innovation hub named Hive Colab, which was launched in 2010 by AfriLabs and is headed by Barbara Birungi. It serves as a collaborative space to facilitate interaction among technology entrepreneurs, web and mobile app developers, designers, investors, venture capitalists and donors. Hive Colab provides facilities, support and advice to members to help them launch successful start-up enterprises. The hub offers a virtual incubation platform that is intended to assist entrepreneurial activity, particularly in rural areas. Its three programme focus areas are ICTs and mobile technologies, climate technologies and agribusiness innovation.
Start-ups need to scale fast in order to create more jobs and unlock income opportunities across emerging markets. As start-ups scale, capital and expertise from investors is critical, support from the donor community is vital in de-risking unproven business models, government support in building enabling laws is paramount, and private sector participation is pivotal.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
The population of Kampala city proper has been rapidly increasing from 62,264 in 1948 to 1,189,142 in 2002 then 1,507,080 in 2014. In 2019 the population was estimated to be 1,650,800.Kampala, being the capital city and economic engine of Uganda, has a diverse ethnic population drawn from all parts of the country and also from neighboring countries such as Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and even from countries as far away as India and China.Cross-cultural intimate relations in Kampala and even Uganda generally speaking are still unusual. Although many of Kampala's residents live and work in close contact, they still define themselves by their ethnic origins. This is more evident in the native languages used at home, work places and even in public spaces alongside Luganda and English. In addition to the Baganda and Banyankole, other large ethnic groups include the Basoga, Bafumbira, Batoro, Bakiga, Alur, Bagisu , Banyoro, Iteso, Langi, and Acholi.
A prominent cultural centre in the Kampala area of Kisasi that aims to promote Ugandan and African cultural expressions through music, dance, and drama. The name Ndere is derived from the noun 'endere', which means flute. As an instrument found in all cultures, it is chosen as a peaceful symbol of the universality of cultural expressions. The Ndere centre is famous for its Ndere troupe, a music and dance troupe that perform several nights every week at the centre showcasing music and dance from all over Uganda as well as Rwanda and Burundi.