The modern history of Uganda is a complex one that arose from the desire of powerful European countries to seize African territories as part of their industrial empires. It took many decades for Uganda to attain independence after it was colonized by the United Kingdom. Here’s a brief historical timeline of how the country of Uganda came to be formed and established as a sovereign nation.
- 1884: Berlin Conference. On November 15, 1884, the Berlin conference took place. This was the high point of European competition for African lands. During the meeting, the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Portugal, and Belgium negotiated for territories and agreed on free trade between their colonies. No African leaders were consulted on the meeting or its outcomes. The conference paved the way for further European colonization; by 1900, Europe had claimed almost 90% of Africa.
- 1888-1894: Buganda falls under British control. In 1888, the kingdom of Buganda (part of current-day Uganda) fell under the charter of the British East Africa Company. From 1894 onward, the UK controlled Buganda as a protectorate.
- 1900-1914: Buganda gains autonomy. In 1900, the UK granted Buganda autonomy (not independence), transforming it into a constitutional monarchy. The UK added further territories until the geographical region now known as Uganda was established in 1914.
- 1921: Uganda is granted a legislative council. The legislative council was allowed to pass its own laws, although no Africans were allowed to be members of it until 1945.
- 1958-1961: Uganda is granted internal self-government. In 1958, Colonial Administrative secretary J.V. Wild chaired a committee to set up structures for elections as part of the path to Uganda’s independence. Two political parties emerged: the Democratic Party (DP) and the Uganda People’s Conference (UPC). In 1961, Uganda’s first election was held, although Buganda boycotted the proceedings. The DP won and formed Uganda’s first internal government.
- 1962: Uganda becomes independent. On October 9, 1962, Uganda achieved independence from the UK. Another election was held in which Buganda was represented in the manner it desired. UPC won and allied itself with Buganda; a federal constitution was adopted in April. Milton Obote became Uganda’s prime minister, and Edward Frederick Mutesa II, the king of Buganda, was elected president in October of 1963. October 9 has been the Ugandan Independence Day ever since.
Unfortunately, Uganda has been troubled by violent political conflicts and health crises almost since its inception as an independent nation. An excellent way to help the Ugandan people today is to support African schools, which provide children with the tools they need to build a more promising future.
Help Provide Educational Support and Essential Supplies for Children in Uganda
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for all Ugandan students in our care.