corner graphic

Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Uganda (Addition)

Resource Toolbox

This article from the 1922 extension to the 1911 encyclopedia is an update of the information in the article Uganda.

UGANDA 27.557*). - The area of the protectorate, after taking into account an exchange of certain districts with the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in 1914, is some 110,300 sq. m., including 16,000 sq. m. of water (chiefly those parts of lakes Victoria and Albert Nyanzas within its limits). The pop., given as 2,843,325 at the 1911 census, was in 1919 officially estimated at 3,318,190 of whom 847 were Europeans and 3,516 Asiatics (mostly Indians). The most numerous races are the Baganda and Banyoro.

Industries, Trade and Communications

The economic resources of the protectorate greatly increased in the decade 1910-20. This period was marked by the rapid development of cotton-growing - an industry entirely in the hands of the natives - and by the acquisition of numerous plantations by Europeans, who engaged chiefly in the production of coffee and Para rubber. These, with ox-hides, goatskins and ivory formed the chief exports. Sesame seed, red chillies (which grow wild) and ground nuts were fluctuating crops. Cocoa, tea, tobacco and other plantations were started and a beginning was made in the export of timber. Ghee (clarified butter), in considerable quantities, was sold in Kenya Colony (British E. Africa).

At first the cotton produced was mainly ginned in the E. Africa Protectorate, but by 1919 ginneries established at Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja and other centres by European companies ginned and baled all the cotton exported. The value of the cotton exported (most of it taken by Indian merchants for the Bombay market), £165,000 in 1910-I, had increased to £965,000 in 1918-9. The lastnamed figure was, however, due to the inflation of prices and represented an export of 4,909 tons; in 1914-5 when 6,866 tons were exported the value was only £351,000. In 1919 a tax of 4 cents per pound on all cotton exported was imposed, the proceeds to be devoted wholly to the development of the industry. In 1920 the tax was reduced to 3 cents per pound, and was to so continue for three years. Progress made in the rubber plantations was shown in the increase of exports from 9 tons in 1914 to 113 tons in 1919. Coffee exports increased from 13 tons in 1910 to 2,716 tons (valued at £106,000) in 1919.

External trade is almost wholly through Kenya Colony by rail to Mombasa. The value of the imports, chiefly textiles and hardware, rose from £347,000 in 1910-I to £744,000 in 1916-7, exclusive of Government stores, specie and goods in transit. (The transit trade is almost entirely with the north-eastern part of Belgian Congo and consists largely in bullion from the Kilo gold mines.) In the same period the value of exports of domestic produce rose from £306,000 to £637,000. The Customs Depts. of the two protectorates were amalgamated in 1917, and since that date no separate statistics have been kept, except in regard to domestic produce. The value of such produce in 1918-9 was £5,247,000.

The development of trade and the work of administration was aided by a well-planned system of metalled roads suitable for motor traffic. A railway 61 m. long from Jinja (by the Ripon Falls) to Namasagali, the first navigable point on the Nile, was begun in 1910 and opened on Jan. I 1912. It was built entirely by Busoga natives and is called the Busoga Railway. It connects with a line of steamers which serves Lake Kioga and the Bukedi district, where a rich soil and well defined dry season provide excellent conditions for cotton growing. Besides the Busoga Railway there is a 7-m. railway (opened 1915) connecting Kampala, the capital of Buganda, with Port Bell on Victoria Nyanza. It was designed as the first stage in a main line to connect the Victoria and Albert Nyanzas; that is, Uganda and the Belgian Congo. Mechanical transport, introduced in 1908, is much developed. In 1919 Jinja became a station on the Cape to Cairo air route, and the first machines to use its aerodrome arrived in Feb. 1920, coming from Cairo.

The chief towns are Kampala (or Mengo), the capital of Buganda (pop. approx. 40,000); Entebbe, on Victoria Nyanza, the seat of government and 24 m. from Kampala (pop. 12,000); Jinja, chief town of Busoga and headquarters of the cotton industry; Masindi, capital of Bunyoro; Mjanji, a port at the mouth of the Sio river. Kampala, the headquarters of the Buganda Government and of the chief missionary societies, has a number of fine buildings; a new Anglican cathedral, a brick-built domed building with massive stone pillars, was consecrated in Sept. 1919.

Revenue, Administration and Education

The revenue in 1909-10 was £165,000 against an expenditure of £240,000, the balance being met by an Imperial grant in aid. In that year a poll tax was substituted for a hut tax, and the revenue thus increased. By 1915-6 the revenue had risen to £287,000, while the expenditure was £285,000. This was the first year in which income exceeded outgoings and in which no grant in aid was needed. In 1918-9 the revenue was £351,000 and the expenditure £ 323,000. The chief source of income is a poll tax on the natives; since April 1919 a poll tax has also been levied on Europeans and other non-natives. An ad valorem duty of io % on imports and an export duty on certain commodities are other sources of revenue.

The administration is on the line of a British Crown Colony. An Order in Council passed in 1911 provided, in effect, that the criminal law should be the Indian Penal code, the civil law generally that in force in England. Much of the protectorate consists, however, of native states governed by chiefs (four of whom bear a title equivalent to king) with the aid of a lukiko (council or Parliament). This system of local self-government was extended from 1910 onwards as new districts were brought under control.

Education is entirely in the hands of the missionaries, Anglican and Roman Catholic. The Native Anglican Church (formed by the efforts of the Church Missionary Society) had in 1918 some 40,000 scholars. There are elementary, secondary, high and medical schools as well as theological colleges. The Mill Hill (R. C.) Mission had over 18,000 children in its schools, the White Fathers Mission nearly 20,000. Education is most advanced among the Baganda, the majority of whom (400,000 out of 676,000) profess Christianity. The kings of Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro and Ankole, and their prime ministers, are all Anglicans.


The history of the protectorate since 1910 was one of steady development, in which the missionaries continued to play a leading part. The World War of 1914-8, though it entailed a serious drain on the man-power of the country, only temporarily checked (and that not to a great extent) its progress. In March 1911 Mr. (afterwards Sir) F. J. Jackson became governor, holding that post till April 1917. During his governorship some few hundreds of planters and commercial men were added to the European residents, hitherto almost entirely Government servants and missionaries, but as Uganda is not, and can never be, a "White Man's Country," the problems presented in lands where large numbers of whites and blacks live side by side did not arise.

The readjustment of the south-western and western frontiers in accordance with agreements made in 1910 and 1911 with Belgium and Germany was completed in 1912. The western shores of Albert Nyanza with the adjacent strip of territory were transferred to the Belgian Congo, while to Uganda was added the district of Kigezi (2,056 sq. m.), a highland region (much of it over 6,000 ft.) containing some of the peaks of the Mfumbiro range of active volcanoes. The northern part of Ruanda lies within the district. The formal transfer of the part of Kigezi which had belonged to German E. Africa took place in Jan. 1912. Two years later Kabale was chosen as headquarters of the district.

In April 1914 another territorial change was effected when the northernmost part of the protectorate E. of the Nile was transferred to the Sudan Government, whose administration was extended S. to Nimuli, this giving the Sudan control of the whole of the stretch of the Nile navigable from Khartum. In return the Sudan surrendered to Uganda some 4,000 sq. m.

W. of the Nile and N. of Albert Nyanza, an area which had been part of the Lado enclave, leased to Leopold II. of Belgium. These arrangements tended to make the Uganda Protectorate more compact and manageable. By 1915 effective control had been established over the whole protectorate except the district lying W. of Lake Rudolf - an arid region sparsely inhabited by Turkana and other warlike nomads who owned no paramount chief. This remote district was the scene of an extensive gunrunning trade with Abyssinians and Somalis, and of raids on peaceful tribes, involving punitive measures. The most important of these expeditions was carried out during April-June 1918 by a combined force from British E. Africa, Uganda and the Sudan. The operations showed the Turkana that though supported by Abyssinian marauders they could not escape punishment, but they were inconclusive, as neither the Sudan Government nor that of Uganda was prepared effectively to administer their portions of the disturbed area.

The outbreak of the World War found Uganda wholly unprepared. At that time, Aug. 1914, the protectorate troops (4th Batt. King's African Rifles) were engaged against the Turkana. For 180 m. W. of Victoria Nyanza the Uganda frontier marched with that of German E. Africa, and for some time it was defended only by a few policemen and mobs of undisciplined spearmen. The Germans, however, let the opportunity pass, and only outpost actions were fought. With the launching of the Belgian offensive in April 1916 Uganda ceased to be in the sphere of active operations. The chief service rendered by Uganda in the E. Africa campaign was the raising of over io,000 African soldiers, the formation of a native medical corps-this corps was formed through the efforts of Sir Apollo Kagwa, prime minister of Buganda-the supply of over 60,000 trained carriers and some Ioo,000 "job porters" (see East Africa Campaign).

The Baganda, Banyoro, Busoga and other races, throughout, gave the British authorities prompt and continuous aid. The Buganda Government at once mobilized every militarily-fit man. This was done by direction of the Kabaka (King) Daudi Chwa (b. 1896), who "came of age" four days after war began.

During the war some trouble was caused in the Kigezi district by the Nabingi, an anti-white society, which took a sheep as totem, put 2,000 warriors in the field and attacked impartially British, Belgian and German troops. The trouble originated in Ruanda, then under German rule. It was temporarily stopped by the sacred sheep being captured, shot and burnt, but in 1920 the Nabingi, with a new leader and a new sacred sheep, again gave trouble. This society was the only instance of anti-white feeling in Uganda, and affected only a minute part of the protectorate.

On Sir F. J. Jackson's retirement after 23 years' service in E. Africa, Mr. (afterwards Sir) R. T. Corydon was appointed governor (Nov. 1917). A notable event in 1920 was a visit by the Rev. John Roscoe, the chief authority on Baganda ethnology, to study the lesser known tribes of the protectorate.

The problems with which Sir R. T. Corydon had to deal were largely economic and social. The rise in the value, in 1919, of the rupee and the decision of the Colonial Office in 1920 to fix its exchange at 2S. sterling affected Uganda less perhaps than Kenya Colony, but caused a disturbance of trade, while the great fall in the price of cotton from the middle of 1920 onward seriously affected the industry. The introduction by order of the Colonial Office of the differential treatment of Indians enforced in Kenya was another disturbing influence. (See Kenya Colony.) A step forward in the political status of the protectorate was the creation of a Legislative Council, to which various sections of the community nominated members. The first session of the Council was held on March 23, 1921. The Indian community, in view of the action of the Colonial Office, declined to send a representative to the Council.

See H. R. Wallis, The Handbook of Uganda (2nd ed. 1920), an excellent monograph, by a former chief secretary to the Uganda Government, with bibliography; Maj. E. M. Jack, On the Congo Frontier (1914); Rev. J. Roscoe, The Northern Bantu (1915); R. Kmunke, Quer durch Uganda (1913); R. Lorimer, By the Waters of Africa (1917). (F. R. C.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Uganda (Addition)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

Search for…
Enter query in the box:
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

Prev Entry
Next Entry
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology