Kampala (, ) is the Capital city and largest city of Uganda. The city proper has a population of 1,680,000 and is divided into the five political divisions of Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division.
In 2015, this metropolitan area generated an estimated nominal GDP of $13.80221 billion (constant US dollars of 2011) 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. Mercer (a New York-based consulting firm) has regularly ranked Kampala as East Africa's best city to live in, ahead of Nairobi and Kigali.
Before the British construction of Fort Lugard, the hill was a hunting reserve of the Kabaka (King) of Buganda Kingdom and had several species of antelope, especially the impala. As a result, when the British colonial officials were allocated this hill by the then Kabaka (King) of Buganda, they referred to it as "The Hill of the Impala".
The Baganda, in whose territory this British settlement was located, then translated "Hill of the Impala" as Akasozi ke'Empala. This was then shortened to K'empala and finally Kampala. Kasozi means "hill", ke "of", and empala the plural of "impala". Hence the name "Kampala" came to refer to this initial British colonial settlement that would later on spread out from the occupied Old Kampala hill near the pre-existing Kibuga (capital) of the Buganda Kingdom.
In 1862, when explorer John Speke arrived in Buganda, the Kibuga (capital) was at Bandabarogo, present-day Banda Hill, and the reigning Kabaka (King) was Mutesa I.
In 1875, explorer Henry Morton Stanley reported the capital as being at present-day Lubaga Hill where he met the same Kabaka, During this visit, Henry M. Stanley wrote a letter that was published in the Daily Telegraphy, inviting missionaries to come to Buganda. He also described the Kibuga in his 1870s dispatches to The New York Herald, thus:
In 1877, the first missionaries from the Church Mission Society, who were of the Protestant faith, arrived from the United Kingdom and were allocated Namirembe Hill. Two years later, in 1879, the Catholic White Fathers also arrived, first settling at the present day village of Kitebi near Lubaga; subsequently, they would be allocated Lubaga Hill. The arrival of these two missionary groups laid the ground for the religious wars of 1888 to 1892 between their new converts, and forced the missionaries from Great Britain to then lobby for the British government to take over Buganda/Uganda as a protectorate.
In 1890, Frederick Lugard, an agent of the Imperial British East Africa Company, arrived in Buganda during the reign of Ssekabaka Mwanga II, with whom he signed a treaty of protection by the British government over Buganda, and the Kibuga (capital) was located at Mengo Hill. Captain Lugard would, later on, be allocated the hill that would soon be known as Old Kampala, and on which he built a fort.
In 1895, Mengo Senior School, the first school offering Western education in Kampala, was opened by the Church Missionary Society at Namirembe hill, where mostly the children of chiefs and pages of the royal palaces were students.
In 1897, Ssekabaka Mwanga launched a rebellion but was defeated and was subsequently captured and , in 1899, to the Seychelles alongside Omukama Kabalega, and his 3-year-old son was made Kabaka by the combined forces of the European officers leading Nubian and Baganda Colonial troops. This state of affairs later culminated in the signing of the Buganda Agreement (1900) that formalised British colonial rule in Buganda.
Also in 1897, Kampala's first Western-style health facility, Mengo Hospital, was opened on Namirembe hill by British doctor and missionary Sir Albert Ruskin Cook. In addition, Sir Albert Ruskin Cook would in 1913 found Mulago Hospital, the current National Referral Hospital, at Mulago hill.
The land in Buganda's Kibuga (capital), including Mengo Hill and Makerere Hill, was allocated to the young Kabaka, the Baganda colonial collaborators, etc., under mailo and freehold. The religious missions were also formally allocated land they were previously occupying. Thus, the Catholic White Fathers got Lubaga Hill, the Protestant Church Missionary Society got Namirembe Hill, the Muslims under Prince Nuhu Mbogo's leadership received Kibuli Hill, the British Catholic Mill Hill Missionaries received most of Nsambya Hill. The Uganda Protectorate government obtained land classified as Crown lands in the area such as Old Kampala Hill, Nakasero Hill, etc..
To legalise the above changes, the following laws and ordinances were subsequently passed: The Crown lands Ordinance of 1903, The Land Law of 1908, The Registration of Land Titles ordinance of 1922, and the Busulu and Envujo law of 1928.Mukwaya, A.B (1953). "The Land Tenure System in Buganda: Present day Tendecies". The Eagle Press. pp.1-22.
In 1906, the Crown lands consisting of Old Kampala, Nakasero hills etc. and covering was consolidated and gazetted as Kampala Township.
In 1912, Kampala Township received its first land-use plan and had a European and Asian population of 2,850.Nyakwebara, C (2010). "Chronology of Planning in Kampala: Implications for Future Structure Planning". The Urban Planning Magazine. No. 1. pp. 3–6.
In 1922, Kampala's oldest university, Makerere, was founded as the Uganda Technical College at the present Makerere Hill and initially offered carpentry, building construction, mechanics, arts, education, agriculture, and medicine.
In 1930, the first sewerage plan was prepared to target a population of 20,000 people in the Nakasero and Old Kampala areas of the Kampala township. This plan guided sewerage development from 1936 to 1940 in planned urban areas of the Kampala Township and excluded the Kibuga area occupied by the Baganda and other natives.
In 1938, The East African Power & Lighting Company was granted a licence for thermal electric power generation and distribution for the towns of Kampala and Entebbe, and in the same year Sir Philip Mitchel, the Governor of Uganda, switched on Kampala and Uganda's first electric street lights.
In 1945, Ernst May, a German architect, was commissioned by the Uganda Protectorate Government to design a new physical plan for Kampala. Ernst May's plan of 1947 was intended to extend Kampala eastwards covering Kololo Hill and Naguru Hill, and with the commercial centre on the southern slopes of Nakasero Hill, an industrial zone in the southeast of Kampala, and, for the first time, a planned residential zone for the Ugandan natives.
In 1968, six years after Uganda attained independence, the boundaries of Kampala were expanded incorporating the Kibuga (then known as Mengo Municipality), Kawempe and Nakawa Townships, and areas including Muyenga and Ggaba. This increased the administrative area of Kampala from to the current .
In 1972, the fourth physical plan for Kampala was made covering the newly incorporated areas of Kampala's boundary extensions of 1968, but the subsequent political and economic turmoil of the 1970s and 1980s meant the plan was never implemented.
The Battle of Kampala during the Ugandan Bush War occurred in January 1986. It resulted in the capture of the city by the National Resistance Movement, led by Yoweri Museveni and the subsequent surrender of the Ugandan government.
Similarly, the fifth physical plan for Kampala, made in 1994, like the 1972 plan, was also never implemented.
On 11 July 2010, al-Shabaab suicide bomb killed 74 people.
Kampala is a hilly place with its valleys filled with sluggish rivers/ swamps. The highest point in the city proper is the summit of Kololo hill at , located in the center of the city and the lowest point at the shores of Lake Victoria south of the city center at altitude of .
The original seven hills are:
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 is 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.
Pre-primary education is offered only by private entities which are located in the various neighborhoods of Kampala, and is lightly regulated by the Ministry of Education and Sports and starts from age of 6 weeks. Education in Kampala city is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions offering a wide range of educational training that includes pre-primary, primary, secondary, vocational, technical undergraduate and post-graduate education.
Primary and secondary education in Kampala
Kampala has a number of both primary and secondary schools in every parish that are mostly privately owned and a handful that are state-owned and are also lightly regulated by the City Education directorate and Ministry of Education and Sports.
Some of the private institutions:
Vocational and technical education in Kampala
Kampala has a number of both private and state institutions offering training in a broad range of fields as indicated in the table below:
|St Mbaaga Major Seminary||Private||1976|
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,
Cross-cultural intimate relations in Kampala and even Uganda as a whole 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 (alongside Luganda and English) that are used at home, work places, and public spaces. 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.
Historical population data for Kampala
!Year !1948 !1959 !1969 !1980 !1991 !2002 !2014 !2019
|Kampala (city proper)||62,264|
David Parkin (2013). 9781136532412, Routledge. . ISBN 9781136532412
|British humanitarian and Aga Khan|
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 agriculture 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 to promote urban agriculture in the northeastern parish of Kyanja, in Nakawa Division.
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. 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 (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.
Among the places of worship are predominantly Christianity churches and temples: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala (Catholic Church), Church of Uganda (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church in Uganda (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Baptist Union of Uganda (Baptist World Alliance), and Assemblies of God.