The Social -Cultural Environment of Uganda
Uganda is a pluralistic society with a complex social order characterized by a multitude of ethnic, linguistic, and religious divisions. Roman Catholics are the majority and comprise about 46% of the population with the Protestants at 42% (Anglican 35. 9%, Pentecostal 4. 6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1. 5%), Muslim 8%, other 3. 1%, and none 0. 9% . They stand not evenly distributed across regions in the country. Most of the rural areas across the country are dominated by Roman Catholics while they share the urban centers with the Protestants almost the same percentage and very few Muslims.
Uganda is also made up of various ethnic groups; Baganda 16. 9%, Banyakole 9. 5%, Basoga 8. 4%, Bakiga 6. 9%, Iteso 6. 4%, Langi 6. 1%, Acholi 4. 7%, Bagisu 4. 6%, Lugbara 4. 2%, Bunyoro 2. 7% and other 29. 6% (2002 census). All these groups subscribe to different customs and traditions. About 70% of the Ugandan people live in villages that continue to be under developed and backward. Lack of civic amenities, employment opportunities, roads, transport facilities, electricity, hospitals and schools in rural areas is a hard reality.
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The gains of industrialization and development during the past 50 years have mostly been cornered by the urban areas. On an average a city dweller earns nearly 2. 5 times more than a ruralite. The gains of technological back-through and industrialization are yet to reach the villages. Poverty of the masses is an important feature of the Ugandan social system despite the fact of having made considerable progress in the fields of agriculture and industrialization.
Poverty levels in Uganda decreased significantly between 2002 and 2005, but the African Development Bank still estimates that 51 percent of Ugandans live in extreme poverty (less thanUS$1 per day or 2,100 Uganda shillings). Disadvantaged households have the least access to health, social, and financial services and other basic products required by human beings. Illiterates constitute a major part of the Ugandan social system. A large number of Ugandans are still illiterate. Nearly 64 % of the population continues to be illiterate.
Despite the spread of the educational network and adoption of ideal like free and compulsory education for children at both primary and O ‘levels, the rate of illiteracy is still high in the country. The population explosion and poverty combined with inadequate resources and efforts have all combined to maintain the problem. However, even the 30% of the population that is literate are no better than the illiterates as majority of the university graduates are and continue to be unemployed especially the youth.
After decades of instability and civil conflict, Uganda has enjoyed relative stability, sustained economic growth, and great improvements in health over the last 20 years. Notable among these have been decreases in infant and child mortality, increased life expectancy, and great strides to reduce the prevalence and spread of HIV/AIDS. During the same period, Uganda’s population has grown rapidly, and in 2009 surpassed 30 million people. This rapid population growth is contributing to the degradation of Uganda’s natural resources, the backbone of Uganda’s economy and household livelihoods.
Over 80 percent of the population relies directly upon land, agriculture, and fishing for their livelihoods, but environmental indicators reveal trends of degrading agricultural lands, soil erosion, deforestation, drainage of wetlands and increased pollution as businesses’ operations compete with the population growth rate. This has seen the disappearance of the country’s most natural resources like forests, fish in the lakes and wetlands, exhaustion of some minerals such as cooper in the upper layer of Kilembe mines and reduced agricultural output due to reduced or infertility of soils coming from soil erosion.
Communalization of language is another factor which is polluting the social environment of Uganda. On the basis of language, the Ugandan society stands divided into linguistic groups. Uganda has over 40 languages as mother languages spoken by its people. Language has emerged as key factor of social and political tension in Uganda. For instance, many Petro Stations, shops and commuter buses perceived to be belonging to the people hailing from the same region with the President were burnt to ashes during the Buganda riots.
Luganda has failed to get support as the National Language though it’s the most spoken local language. The social styles of many Ugandans are changing with many young people today preferring either to live a single life or to get married and have few children. This trend has made family planning practices very popular especially among the urbanites that are usually the ones aware of their existence and can afford the services. By nature, majority of the Ugandans prefer taking part in leisure activities or entertainment events and have less interest in work.
The Population of female (% of total) in Uganda was last reported at 52% in 2011, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Female population is the percentage of the population that is female against males in the country. Uganda’s society is mainly made up of young people with the babies taking 48. 4 %, the youth, 49% and elderly 2. 5%. Uganda’s social – cultural environment is widespread since it comprises a vast of factors within which business enterprises operate.