U.S. Relations With Uganda

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 2, 2016

More information about Uganda is available on the Uganda Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1962, following Uganda’s formal independence from the United Kingdom. In the post-independence period, the country endured despotism and near economic collapse. The human rights abuses of several Ugandan governments strained U.S. relations with Uganda.

President Museveni came to power in 1986, after decades of internal strife. Under Museveni, Uganda has experienced relative political stability, democratic progress, and economic growth. The country has made strides in reducing HIV/AIDS, experienced economic growth, and stabilized its north, where the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) operated for 20 years. Uganda faces numerous challenges, however, including population growth, power and infrastructure constraints, corruption, underdeveloped democratic institutions, and human rights deficits.

Uganda is a key U.S. strategic partner, particularly through its contribution to the African Union Mission in Somalia. In addition, Uganda and other governments of the region, under the leadership of the African Union and with the support of the United States, have made progress in weakening the LRA and reducing its threat to central Africa.

U.S. Assistance to Uganda

The United States is Uganda’s largest bilateral donor. U.S. assistance enhances social and economic well-being throughout the country, and U.S. support improves the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans. Development programs foster Ugandan-managed delivery of services and support national development priorities to build national and local capacity. More than 700,000 Ugandans receive life-saving antiretroviral treatment funded by U.S. assistance. In post-conflict northern Uganda, the United States has shifted its support from emergency humanitarian assistance to longer-term development programs that provide for reconciliation, basic services, and security.

U.S. assistance includes promoting good governance, human rights, multiparty democracy, and free and fair elections; professionalizing police and military institutions for better service delivery and adherence to human rights; addressing health threats including malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative, and HIV/AIDS through the Global Health Initiative, as well as improving maternal and child health and addressing Uganda’s fast population growth through family planning; supporting the Ugandan government's plans in agricultural productivity, food security, and nutrition through the President’s Feed the Future Initiative; and addressing environmental issues such as global climate change and biodiversity through the President’s Global Climate Change Initiative.

Since 2011, the United States has provided a small number of military advisers to the LRA-affected region to enhance the capacity of the Ugandan and other regional militaries to pursue the LRA and protect civilian populations. The United States supports the efforts of Uganda and its regional partners to bring the LRA’s top leaders to justice, promote defections from the LRA’s ranks, and assist affected communities. Over the past several years, the United States has provided significant military, development, and humanitarian resources to support this effort. As part of our comprehensive counter-LRA strategy, the United States provides assistance that empowers LRA-affected communities, expands information networks, delivers humanitarian relief, and supports vulnerable populations.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Uganda is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Uganda include machinery, optical and medical instruments, wheat, and aircraft. U.S. imports from Uganda include coffee, cocoa, base metals, and fish and seafood. The United States has committed to signing trade and investment framework agreements with the East African Community and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa; negotiations are underway. Uganda is a member of both regional organizations.

Uganda's Membership in International Organizations

Uganda and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The current U.S. Ambassador to Uganda is Deborah Malac. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List. Uganda maintains an embassy in the United States at 5911 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 (tel. 202-726-7100).

More information about Uganda is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Uganda Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Uganda Page
U.S. Embassy: Uganda
USAID Uganda Page
History of U.S. Relations With Uganda
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information