Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Nakasero, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division. Surrounding Kampala is the rapidly growing Wakiso District, whose population more than doubled between 2002 and 2014 and as of 2014 Wakiso was reported to stand at over 2 million.
Kampala was named the 13th fastest growing city on the planet, 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.
In 1905, the British government formally declared the entire territory to be a British colony. From that time until the independence of the country in 1962, the capital was relocated to Entebbe, although the city continued to be the primary economic and manufacturing location for Uganda. In 1922, the Makerere Technical Institute, now known as Makerere University, started as the first collegiate institution both within Kampala, and within the British colonies on the east coast of Africa.
Following the 1962 independence, Kabaka Edward Mutesa a Buganda king, became the became the first executive President of Uganda but later over thrown by Milton Obote who was then the prime minister and became president of Uganda, and held the position until 1971, when former sergeant Idi Amin deposed his government in a military coup.
Idi Amin proceeded to expel all Indian residents living within Kampala, and attacked the Jewish population living within the city. In 1978, he invaded the neighboring country of Tanzania, and in turn, the government there started the Uganda–Tanzania War, which caused severe damage to the buildings of Kampala. The city has since then been rebuilt with new construction of hotels, banks, shopping malls, educational institutions, and hospitals and the improvement of war torn buildings and infrastructure. Traditionally, Kampala was known to be a city of seven hills, but over time it has been proven to have a lot more.
A facet of Kampala's weather is that it features two annual wet season. While the city does not have a true dry season month, it experiences heavier precipitation from August to December and from February to June. However, it's between February and June that Kampala sees substantially heavier rainfall per month, with April typically seeing the heaviest amount of precipitation at an average of around of rain. Kampala has been frequently mentioned as a lightning-strike capital of the world.
Kampala also hosts the headquarters of the East African Development Bank on Nakasero Hill and the Uganda Local Governments Association on Entebbe Road.
Kampala was originally built on seven hills, but as its size has increased, it has expanded to more hills than seven.
The original seven hills are:
The first hill in historical importance is Old Kampala Hill on which Fort Lugard the first seat of the British colonialists in Uganda.
The second is Mengo Hill which was the then Kibuga(capital of Buganda kingdom at the start of British colonial rule
The fifth is Lubaga Hill, that was home to the White Fathers Catholic(Wafaransa) faction of the above mentioned Buganda religious wars.and also site of the Rubaga Catholic Cathedral.
The sixth is Nsambya Hill site of the former Cathedral of St Peter's Nsambya and allocated to the British Catholic Mill Hill Mission during the signing of the Uganda Agreement(1900).
The seventh is Nakasero Hill on whose summit is Fort Nakasero a British military installation built after relocating from Fort Lugard in Old Kampala also the hill was the site of European Hospital.
Other features of the city include the Uganda Museum, the Ugandan National Theatre, Nakasero Market, and St. Balikuddembe Market (formerly Owino Market). Kampala is also known for its nightlife, which includes several casinos, notably Casino Simba in the Garden City shopping centre, Kampala Casino, and Mayfair Casino. Port Bell on the shores of Lake Victoria is away.
The Ahmadiyya Central Mosque in Kampala is the central mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which has six minarets and can hold up to 9,000 worshippers.Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques Around the World, pg. 112
While more than 30 percent of Kampala's inhabitants practice urban agriculture, the city of Kampala donated to promote urban agriculture in the northeastern parish of Kyanja, in Nakawa Division.Wolfe, J. M., & McCans, S. (2009). DESIGNING FOR URBAN AGRICULTURE IN AN AFRICAN CITY: KAMPALA, UGANDA. Open House International, 34
Kampala has a diverse ethnic population. The city's ethnic makeup has been defined by political and economic factors. A large number of western Ugandans, particularly the Banyankole, moved to the capital in the new government of Yoweri Museveni.
Inter-tribal marriage in Uganda is still uncommon outside large urban centers. Although many Kampala residents have been born and brought up in the city, they still define themselves by their tribal roots and speak their ancestral languages. This is more evident in the suburbs, where tribal languages are spoken widely alongside English language, Luganda, and Swahili language (more recently introduced). In addition to the Baganda and Banyankole, other large ethnic groups include the Basoga, Kisoro, Toro Kingdom, Bakiga, Alur people, Bagisu (better known as Bamasaba), Banyoro, Iteso, Lango people, and Acholi people.
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The city hosted the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2017.
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.
(local motorbike transport) 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. (In Kampala, the term "taxi" refers to a 15-seater minibus used as public transport.) The bus service was expected to cover the greater Kampala metropolitan area including Mukono, Mpigi, Bombo, Entebbe, Wakiso and Gayaza. 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 (BRT) 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 (30 seated and 30 standing), 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 China transportation company signed a Memorandum of Understanding, that they would at some point begin embarking 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 (A4C) held its first Walk to Work protest near Kampala, in response to a comment by President Yoweri 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 (RVR) 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.