Buganda

The Buganda Kingdom is one of the most powerful monarchs in Africa and is located in Central Uganda. It was founded over 800 hundred years ago. The kingdom of the Ganda people, Buganda is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda, comprising all of Uganda's Central Region, including the Ugandan capital Kampala, with the exception of the disputed eastern Kayunga District. The 5.5 million Baganda (singular Muganda; often referred to simply by the root word and adjective, Ganda) make up the largest Ugandan ethnic group, representing approximately 16.9% of Uganda's population.

The image is of the Kabaka Palace in Kampala, Uganda. Credit: NatureDan.

Buganda has a long and extensive history. Unified in the fourteenth century under the first king Kato Kintu, the first Muganda, Buganda became one of the largest and most powerful states in East Africa during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the Scramble for Africa, and following unsuccessful attempts to retain its independence against British imperialism, Buganda became the centre of the Uganda Protectorate in 1894; the name Uganda, the Swahili term for Buganda, was adopted by British officials. Under British rule, many Baganda acquired status as colonial administrators, and Buganda became a major producer of cotton and Coffee.

Following Uganda's independence in 1962, the kingdom was abolished by Uganda's dictator Milton Obote in 1966. Following years of dictatorship under Obote and Idi Amin, and following several years of internal divisions among Uganda's ruling National Resistance Movement under Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda since 1986, the kingdom was finally restored in 1993. Buganda is now a constitutional monarchy with a large degree of autonomy from the Ugandan state, although tensions between the kingdom and the Ugandan government continue to be a defining feature of Ugandan politics.

Since the restoration of the kingdom in 1993, the king of Buganda, known as the Kabaka, has been Muwenda Mutebi II. He is recognised as the thirty-sixth Kabaka of Buganda. The current queen, known as the Nnabagereka, is Queen Sylvia Nagginda.