Straddling the equator in East Africa, Uganda earned the nickname “Pearl of Africa.” During the civil wars of the 70’s and the 80’s, Uganda suffered great losses in both economic and social capital. Since 1986, Uganda has had relative peace and stability in most parts of the country—with the exception of Northern Uganda— allowing the government to implement policies to stimulate economic development.
More than 85 percent of the population live in rural areas. Up to 49 percent of Uganda’s population are children under 15 years, and 1.8 million are orphans as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the civil strife experienced over the last two decades.
More than two-thirds of the total population is literate (76 percent men compared to 61 percent women). However, despite the significantly high levels of literacy, up to five million Ugandans above 10 years of age are illiterate.