The British in Uganda

In 1875 the explorer Henry Stanley (Born 1841 Denbigh Wales) reached Uganda. Shortly afterwards the first missionaries came to Uganda. The first Anglican missionaries arrived in Uganda in 1877. The first Roman Catholic missionaries arrived in 1879. Catholics, Protestants and Muslims all tried to convert the Ugandans.

However there was much hostility to the new religions. In 1885 James Hannington (Born 1847 Hurstpierpoint Sussex) the first bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa was murdered in Busoga, not far from Jinga. Nevertheless, in the wake of missionaries came trade. In 1888 the British government gave the British East Africa Company control of Uganda. Meanwhile the European powers decided to divide up Africa among themselves. In 1890 Germany and Britain signed an agreement confirming that Uganda was in the British sphere of influence.

Gradually the company took control of Uganda and the local chiefs were reduced to being puppet rulers.

Uganda Becomes Independent

Yet a 'wind of change' was blowing through Africa in the early 1960s and Uganda became independent from Britain on 9 October 1962. The first constitution was federalist. The first president of Uganda was Mutesa, King of Buganda and the first prime minister was Milton Obote.

However Milton Obote had no intention of sharing power with the president. In 1966 he staged a coup and the president fled abroad. Obote became dictator. However in January 1971 when Obote was in Singapore attending a meeting Idi Amin staged a coup.

Coup by Idi Amin (1972-1979)

Amin turned out to be one of the worst tyrants of the 20th century. The number of people he murdered was at least 100,000 and possible many more. Apart from those Ugandans who were shot others were tortured to death or bludgeoned to death with sledgehammers or iron bars.

Amin also decided to help himself to the Ugandan Asian's wealth. There were about 70,000 Asians in Uganda in 1972 many of them shopkeepers and businessmen. Amin gave them 90 days to leave the country. They were forced to leave most of their property behind and it was shared among Amin's cronies. However as a result of the loss of the Asian's skills and the murders of many professional Ugandans the economy collapsed. Infrastructure such as roads and water supply deteriorated.

In order to distract attention from the terrible economic situation in Uganda Amin decided to invade Tanzania on 30 October 1978. However the war turned into a disaster for Amin. Early in 1979 the Tanzanians invaded Uganda and Amin's forces fled. Unfortunately Amin was never brought to justice for his terrible crimes. He fled abroad and died in 2003.

1980 General Election

After the war elections were held and Obote became prime minister again. However the election was rigged so Obote's opponents formed a guerrilla army to fight him. It was called the National Resistance Army and soon it controlled a large part of western Uganda.

Meanwhile, Obote attempted to make himself a dictator once again. He introduced a repressive regime, imprisoning anyone who opposed him and muzzling the press. Western journalists were expelled from Uganda.

However the National Resistance Army took more and more territory. Finally in 1986 they entered the capital and took over all of Uganda apart from parts of the north. Yet Obote's supporters in the north were eventually persuaded to lay down their arms.

With the return of political stability economic growth began again in Uganda and during the 1990s Uganda prospered. Many of the Asians who had fled to Britain were persuaded to return to Uganda

Uganda in the 21st Century

Today Uganda is still mainly an agricultural country and its main export is coffee. Yet the economy of Uganda is growing strongly and there is every reason to be optimistic about its future. Today the population of Uganda is 35 million.

Colonial Tanzania

In the 19th century Europeans began to explore inland Tanzania. In the 1840s two Germans, Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann reached Mount Kilimanjaro. In 1857 tow Britons, Richard Burton and John Speke reached Lake Tanganyika. In the 1860s missionaries arrived in Tanzania.

Then in 1885 the Germans began taking over the region. The Germans were led by Karl Peters. He formed a company called the German East Africa Company (Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft). Peters persuaded African chiefs to make treaties with his company. Legally Peters acted independently of the German government. Nevertheless his government approved his actions.

Meanwhile, the British had taken control of the island of Zanzibar. In 1890 Britain and Germany signed a treaty dividing the area between them. Britain took Zanzibar and Germany took mainland Tanzania. Then in January 1891 the German government took direct control of Tanzania.

However from the start the Germans faced resistance in Tanzania. The first uprising was the Abushiri revolt of 1888. The people on the coast of Tanzania resented German interference and they rose in revolt led by a man named Abushiri bin Salim al-Harth. However the Germans eventually crushed the revolt.

From 1891 to 1898 the Germans fought a war with a people called the Hehe. Eventually the Hehe were defeated and their leader, Mkwawa, killed himself.

In 1905-07 came the Maji Maji rebellion. Africans were forced to work on cotton plantations and eventually southern Tanzania rose in rebellion. The rebellion was crushed after the Germans adopted a 'scorched earth' policy. At least 100,000 people died both as a result of the fighting and as a result of starvation.

Between 1909 and 1913 250 tonnes of dinosaur bones were discovered at Tendaguru, north of Lindi. The bones were shipped to a museum in Berlin.

In 1914 came the First World War. In Tanzania a small German force was led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. He was a very able man. When a British force landed at Tanga in November 1914 it was defeated and fled leaving many weapons in German hands. The British invaded again in 1916 but they were unable to defeat the Germans.

However by 1917 the Germans in Tanzania were running out of food and ammunition so they turned to guerrilla warfare. They continued to fight until Germany itself surrendered in November 1918. After the war Tanzania was handed over to the British. It was called Tanganyika. In 1925 Sir Donald Cameron became the first governor. In 1926 a legislative council met. Under British rule Tanzania exported cash crops like cotton. Much was grown on European owned plantations. However some was also grown by Africans.

Meanwhile, the Africans began to organize themselves. In 1929 they formed the African Association in Dar Es Salaam. Yet in Tanzania the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s were fairly uneventful. However things began to change rapidly in the 1950s.

In 1953 Julius Nyerere was elected president of the Tanganyika African Association. In 1954 it was renamed the Tanzania African National Union. It campaigned for independence with the slogan Freedom and Unity (Uhuu na Umoja). The National Union participated in elections for the legislative council in 1958 and 1959. However two-thirds of the seats were reserved for non-Africans.

In 1960 that restriction was removed and in an election TANU won almost all the seats. The move to independence was now unstoppable and Tanzania became independent on 9 December 1961 with Nyerere as prime minister. On 9 December 1962 Tanzania became a republic and Nyerere became president.

Modern Tanzania

Unfortunately in 1967 Nyerere adopted a policy of socialism. He made the Arusha declaration in which he outlined his vision of a socialist Tanzania. However in Tanzania, as in other countries, socialism proved to a complete failure.

The cornerstone of that policy was called Ujamaa (family hood). Nyerere planned to create huge collective farms. The people were encouraged to move into large villages in which food and other goods would be produced collectively for the whole community. However the policy proved disastrous for Tanzania. Agricultural production slumped and the Tanzanian economy was wrecked.

Furthermore by 1973 only about 20% of the population had moved to Ujamaa villages. So Nyerere forced people to move and by 1977 about 80% of the population had been resettled. Meanwhile in 1975 Tanzania became a one-party state. At that time Uganda was ruled by the tyrant Idi Amin. In October 1978 Amin invaded the Kagera region on Tanzania. In January 1979 a Tanzanian force counterattacked and rapidly overran Uganda. The Tanzanians withdrew in 1981.

Meanwhile Nyerere was re-elected president in 1980. However the Tanzanian economy was in tatters and corruption was endemic. Furthermore Tanzania sank heavily into debt. International donors demanded reform in return for help but Nyerere was unwilling to change his policies. So in 1985 he resigned. He was replaced by Ali Hassan Mwinyi. He spent the next 10 years trying to repair the economy of Tanzania. Mwiyini privatized business and tried to purge corruption. He also encouraged foreign investment. As a result the economy of Tanzania began to grow steadily. In 1992 Tanzania became a multi-party democracy and in 1995 Benjamin Mkapa became president. In 2005 Jakaya Kikwete was elected president of Tanzania.

Meanwhile in 2001 school fees were abolished in Tanzania and as a result attendance at school greatly increased.

Tanzania still relies on agriculture. There are also plantations in Tanzania, which grow tea and coffee, tobacco, cotton and cashew nuts. Tanzania also has considerable mineral resources. Today the economy of Tanzania is growing rapidly. Tanzania is still a poor country but it is developing fast. Along the coast of Tanzania fishing is important. Tanzania also has great potential for tourism. It has several national parks with animals like lions, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes and hippopotamus. Today the population of Tanzania is 48 million.


Rwanda officially the Republic of Rwanda (Kinyarwanda: Repubulika y'u Rwanda; French:République du Rwanda), is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is highly elevated; its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate of the country is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.


The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are composed of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people descended from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. Scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe differences are derived from former social castes, while others view them as being ethnicities or tribes. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with French and English serving as official languages. Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), who took office in 2000.

Rwanda today has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five provinces delineated by borders drawn in 2006. Rwanda has the world's highest proportion of females in government positions in proportion to the population.Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed later by Bantu peoples. The population coalesced first into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power, and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962.

The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.

Economy of Rwanda

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, and visitors are prepared to pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, particularly drums and the highly choreographed intore dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including imigongo, a unique cow dung art.