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Uganda 2017



After a boisterous musical performance in their school in the southwestern Uganda city of Kabale, these lively children proudly display the results of their special afternoon treat.
Rhiannon Elms ©2016 | PCV Uganda 2008–2010 | Community Health

Republic of Uganda
East Central Africa

Area 241K km²

Population 37.1M (154/km²)

Gov’t Republic

Capital Kampala (1.9M)

GCP/capita $2,100

Unemployment 3%

In poverty 20%

Life expectancy 55 yrs

Infant Mortality 59/K live births


Literacy 78%

Languages English, Luganda, other Niger-Congo languages

Religions Catholic 42%, Protestant 42%, Muslim 12%, other 3%, none 1%

Labor Force Agriculture 82%, industry 5%, services 13%

PCVs 1964–1972, 1991–1999, 2001–present CURRENT: 166, Health, Education, Agriculture; TTD: 1,505

Adult Books

The Last King of Scotland
Giles Foden, 1999

Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (1999)
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0375703314
ISBN-13: 978-0375703317

Summary: Shortly after his arrival in Uganda, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan is called to the scene of a bizarre accident: Idi Amin, careening down a dirt road in his red Maserati, has run over a cow. When Garrigan tends to Amin, the dictator, in his obsession for all things Scottish, appoints him as his personal physician. And so begins a fateful dalliance with the central African leader, whose Emperor Jones-style autocracy would become a reign of terror.

In The Last King of Scotland Foden's Amin is as ridiculous as he is abhorrent: a grown man who must be burped like an infant, a self-proclaimed cannibalist who, at the end of his 8 years in power, would be responsible for 300,000 deaths. And as Garrigan awakens to his patient's baroque barbarism—and his own complicity in it—we enter a venturesome meditation on conscience, charisma, and the slow corruption of the human heart. Brilliantly written, comic and profound, The Last King of Scotland announces a major new talent.

Publishers Weekly: A vivid journey to the turbulent heart of 1970s Uganda, British journalist Foden's bracing first novel chronicles the strange career of a fictional Scottish physician, Nicholas Garrigan, who serves as the personal doctor and occasional confidante of dictator Idi Amin. Having sequestered himself on a remote island in Scotland, Garrigan reflects, through a fog of self-deception and regret, on his stint as Amin's sidekick, from their first unlikely encounter after a back-road accident (Amin's red Masarati sideswipes a cow) to his installation in the capital as the ruler's house physician. Enjoying the perks of this position, Garrigan ponders an affair with the British ambassador's wife, tends to Amin's sometimes comical afflictions (in a memorable scene, he coaxes a burp from the dictator as if he were a giant infant) and even admits to a "sneaking affection" for him. Garrigan grows so detached from the gradually mounting atrocities of the regime that it takes a visit to the dictator's torture chambers and a harrowing trek across the war-torn countryside for him to glimpse the extent of his own complicity. Expertly weaving together Amin's life story (intertwined with Scottish history for reasons that remain rather vague, though the novel's title is a moniker Amin gave to himself), Foden writes with steely clarity and a sharp satirical edge, allowing serious questions to surface about the ethical boundaries of medicine and the crumbling Western influence in Africa. Garrison is the perfect foil for Amin, whose overwhelming physical presence, peacock-ish rhetoric and cold-blooded savagery are so well captured as to make this novel more than a mesmerizing read: it is also a forceful account of a surrealistic and especially ugly chapter of modern history. Agent, A.P. Watt.

This book has also been made into a film.

Kids' Books

War Brothers: the graphic novel
Sharon E. McKay, 2013, 15+ years

Publisher: Annick, Toronto, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1554514886
ISBN-13: 978-1554514885

Summary: A graphic novel adaptation of the author's novel about a group of boys in Uganda who are kidnapped and forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, and their desperate escape, only to return home to discover that their friends and family are afraid of them.


Film: State Research Bureau
Director: Matt Bish , 2010
Languages: English
Summary: State Research Bureau, also marketed as S.R.B., is a Ugandan action film directed by Matt Bish. It's a story based on Uganda's dark past and exposes the brutality of the president's secret intelligence police that ran safe houses.

In this look at what really happened in the so-called “safe houses” before 1986, a family tries to flee the troubled country but is intercepted along the way...they are to meet face-to-face with the notorious captain Yusuf, who runs one of these units. It's the 80's and what he calls “his unit” is a reflection of the 70s: "State Research Bureau."

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