Uganda Country Report
Corruption and crippling bureaucracy remain endemic problems in Uganda, with the embezzlement of public funds and solicitation of bribes widespread, including at top government levels. Poor infrastructure constrains the development of business in the country. Some obstacles, such as power generation and transport infrastructure, are also priority areas for development. However, the government will likely continue to struggle to fully meet its funding commitments in joint projects. In July 2016, the Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy Secretariat claimed that state regulatory requirements and burdens cost the private sector over USD200 million annually.
The same under-funding, corruption, and politicisation that has impaired the Ugandan police in combating increasing violent crime has likely also undermined past-improvements to counter-terrorism efforts. Western intelligence co-operation and a lack of local Islamist affiliates contribute to keeping successful large IED attacks utilising unlikely, although Uganda remains an aspirational target for Al-Shabaab. Since its July 2010 attacks in Kampala, Al-Shabaab and its proxies have focused their attacks on neighbouring Kenya. There is an increased risk of attacks on security forces by 'traditional kingdom' militants in the southwest, and of armed raids into western Uganda by DRC-based militants, facilitated by growing co-operation with Ugandan criminal networks.
Military conflict with neighbouring states is unlikely. Sporadic violent incidents along the DRC-Uganda border (particularly Lakes Albert and Edward) are probable, but are unlikely to escalate into wider conflict. Rwanda-Uganda relations deteriorated during 2017 but will likely improve following Rwanda's October reshuffles that marginalised anti-Uganda officials. The risk of even localised fighting between Ugandan and Rwandan forces will remain very low as long as they are not both deployed into eastern DRC. A successful coup attempt in Uganda is unlikely, but security services cohesion and efficacy are slowly worsening, affected by President Museveni's strategy of fostering security-services rivalries to prevent threats to his rule emerging.
The likelihood of new mass anti-government demonstrations along the lines of the 2011 "Walk to Work" protests has decreased with the failure of independent MP Robert Kyagulanyi (alias "Bobi Wine") and his People Power movement to harness popular discontent and unify the opposition. Consequently, smaller protests that occur will likely be quickly suppressed by security forces, entailing only minor cargo and travel disruption, and with major property damage remaining unlikely. Protests are most likely in Kampala's Kamwokya (home of Bobi Wine), Kiseka Market, Namirembe, and Katwe neighbourhoods, and outlying areas; nearby Wakiso and Mpisi districts; and other towns.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Much of the country is vulnerable to flooding during the two rainy seasons (normally from March to May and October to November). The northeast of the country is particularly susceptible to flooding and there is a high risk of landslides in Bulecheke sub-county of Bududa district.
Road infrastructure in the country is often in a state of disrepair and the country reports high rates of traffic fatalities. Never travel by car at night, except on the Kampala-Entebbe road (e.g. to the airport), and exercise caution when doing so during the day. There is a risk of being violently attacked by surrounding crowds following a road accident; after a collision, remain in your vehicle and drive to a police station to report the incident.
Police checkpoints are common and may be used to extort bribes.
Public transportation should be avoided, including Matatu minibus taxis and Boda Boda motorcycle taxis, which are frequently involved in serious, and often fatal, road collisions. Foreigners have frequently been mugged while using Boda Bodas.
In the past several years, there have been several fatal ferry accidents on Lake Albert and Lake Victoria. Travelers are advised to ensure that they are using a reputable ferry company and to not board a ferry that seems overloaded or unseaworthy.
Uganda is located in a tropical zone but its climate is relatively temperate due to its high elevation. The hot season lasts from December until January, with temperatures higher in the north than in the south. There are two rainy seasons, from March until May and again from October until December.
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