Uganda obtained independence from the United Kingdom in October 1962. However, Uganda's myriad of ethnic groups, each with their own political system and culture, stymied attempts to create a cohesive and functioning polity. A dark period of history followed under dictatorial regimes of Idi Amin (1971-79); who was responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people, and the dictatorship of President Obote (1980-85), who was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Ugandans. Following a coup in 1986, Yoweri Museveni came to power. In 2005 Museveni removed term limits and, in 2011, he was elected for a fourth term, gaining 68 per cent of the vote. Following elections in February 2016, Museveni assumed the Presidency for a fifth term in office.
Agriculture employs over 80 per cent of the Ugandan work force, with coffee accounting for the bulk of export revenues. Since 1990, the Government's economic reforms have led to solid economic growth. The Government has been engaged in regional integration efforts through the East African Community, including initiatives to build cross border trade through the construction of crucial transport infrastructure. However, unreliable power, high energy costs and inadequate infrastructure remain barriers to greater economic growth and foreign investment.
There are at least 32 languages spoken in Uganda, but English and Swahili—both official languages—and Ganda are the most commonly used. Uganda is a member of the Commonwealth, East African Community, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the African Union and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Uganda contributes peacekeepers to the United Nations mandated mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and others.
Australia's diplomatic representation to Uganda is from the High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya and an Honorary Consulate in Kampala, Uganda. Uganda is represented in Australia by a High Commission based in Canberra.
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