Co
2 Recommendations East Africa
Officially the Union of the Comoros, is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. The capital and largest city in Comoros is Moroni. The climate is generally tropical and mild, and the two major seasons are distinguishable by their raininess. Excluding the contested island of Mayotte, the Comoros is the third-smallest African nation by area. As a nation formed at a crossroads of different civilisations, the archipelago is noted for its diverse culture and history. Thearchipelago was first inhabited by Bantu speakers who came from East Africa,  The Comoros is formed by Ngazidja (Grande Comore), Mwali (Mohéli) and Nzwani (Anjouan), three major islands in the Comoros Archipelago, as well as many minor islets. The islands are officially known by their Comorian language names, though international sources still use their French names (given in parentheses above). The islands of the Comoros share mostly African-Arab origins. One of the largest ethnic groups on the various islands of Comoros remain the Shirazi people. Minorities include Malagasy (Christian) and Indian (mostly Ismaili), as well as other minorities mostly descended from early French settlers.  Arabic and French are also official languages, along with Comorian. Arabic is widely known as a second language. French is the administrative language. The most common language in the Comoros is Comorian. It is a language related to Swahili, with four different variants being spoken on each of the four islands. Traditional Comorian women wear colourful sari-like dresses called shiromani, and apply a paste of ground sandalwood and coral called msinzano to their faces. Traditional male clothing is a colourful long skirt and a long white shirt. There are two types of marriages in Comoros, the Mna dabo (little marriage) and the ada (grand marriage). The little marriage is a simple legal marriage. It is small, intimate, and inexpensive. The bride price is nominal. The little marriage, however, is just a placeholder until the couple can afford the ada, or grand marriage. The hallmarks of the grand marriage are dazzling gold jewelry, two weeks of celebration and an enormous bride price. Comorian society has a bilateral descent system. Lineage membership and inheritance of immovable goods (land, housing) is matrilineal, passed in the maternal line, similar to many Bantu peoples who are also matrilineal, while other goods and patronymics are passed in the male line. These volcanic islands are rich in wildlife with endemic species including four endangered bird species living on Mount Karthala, the large active volcano on Grand Comoro Island Both the flora and the fauna are similar to Madagascar. The two larger islands Grand Comoro and Anjouan have higher peaks and a variety of lowland and mountain forest, with mangroves along the coasts.
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Se
2 Recommendations East Africa
Officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago and sovereign state in the Indian Ocean. The climate is equable although quite humid, classified by Köppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af).  The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities. French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French. However, nowadays the language is often laced with English words and phrases. Seychelles is among the world's leading countries to protect lands for threatened species, allocating 42% of its territory for conservation. Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet and the saltwater crocodile. Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected. The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species. Particularly well-known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse (Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because the shape of its  "double" coconut resembles buttocks), The jellyfish tree (found in only a few locations on Mahe),  ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) that seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild, Wright's gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve. Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world's largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded. The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands. The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice. Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked. Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine. Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish. Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers. Ladob is eaten either as a savoury dish or as a dessert. The dessert version usually consists of ripe plantain and sweet potatoes (but may also include cassava, breadfruit or even corossol) boiled with coconut milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla in the form of a pod until the fruit is soft and the sauce is creamy. The savoury dish usually includes salted fish, cooked in a similar fashion to the dessert version, with plantain, cassava and breadfruit, but with salt used in place of sugar (and omitting vanilla). Shark chutney typically consists of boiled skinned shark, finely mashed, and cooked with squeezed bilimbi juice and lime mixed with onion and spices, and the onion is fried and it is cooked in oil.  The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentation—such as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Réunion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music. A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. 
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Ma
2 Recommendations East Africa
Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of  Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), and numerous smaller peripheral island. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot.  The island's iconic traveller's palm (ravinala) features in the national emblem. As a result of the island's long isolation from neighboring continents, Madagascar is home to an abundance of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Approximately 90% of all plant and animal species found in Madagascar are endemic, including the lemurs (a type of strepsirrhine primate), the carnivorous fossa and many birds. This  distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent", and the island has been classified by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot. The plastic arts are also widespread throughout the island. In addition to the tradition of silk weaving and lamba production, the weaving of raffia and other local plant materials has been used to create a wide array of practical items such as floor mats, baskets, purses and hats. Wood carving is a highly developed art form, with distinct regional styles evident in the decoration of balcony railings and other architectural elements. Sculptors create a variety of furniture and household goods, aloalo funerary posts, and wooden sculptures, many of which are produced for the tourist market.  
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Bu
2 Recommendations East Africa
Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. It is also considered part of Central Africa. Burundi's capital is Bujumbura. The southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. Burundi has an equatorial climate and is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the East African Rift. The country lies on a rolling plateau in the centre of Africa. The highest peak, Mount Heha lies to the southeast of the capital, Bujumbura. The source of the Nile River is in Bururi province, and is linked from Lake Victoria to its headwaters via the Ruvyironza River. Lake Victoria is also an important water source, which serves as a fork to the Kagera River. Another major lake is Lake Tanganyika, located in much of Burundi's southwestern corner. Burundi's lands are mostly agricultural or pasture. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rainforest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.
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Ta
2 Recommendations East Africa
Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a sovereign state in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania. Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. Tanzania does not have a de jure official language, although the national language is Swahili. Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa are the second highest uninterrupted fall in Africa and are located near the south-eastern shore of LakeTanganyika on the border with Zambia. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area. Approximately 38 percent of Tanzania's land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation. Tanzania has 16 national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In western Tanzania, Gombe Stream National Park is the site of Jane Goodall's ongoing study of chimpanzee behaviour, which started in 1960 Two Tanzanian art styles have achieved international recognition. The Tingatinga school of painting, founded by Edward Said Tingatinga, consists of brightly coloured enamel paintings on canvas, generally depicting people, animals, or daily life. After Tingatinga's death in 1972, other artists adopted and developed his style, with the genre now being the most important tourist-oriented style in East Africa. Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied. Along the coastal regions  spicy foods are common, and there is also much use of coconut milk. Regions in Tanzania's mainland also have their own unique foods which include wali (rice), ugali (maize porridge), chapati (a kind of bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki (marinated beef), samaki (fish), pilau, biriyani, and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat). Vegetables commonly used in Tanzania include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach),
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Za
3 Recommendations East Africa
Zambia officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa, (although some sources prefer to consider it part of the region of east Africa[9]) neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country. Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region was affected by the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, the region became the British protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. These were merged in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. For most of the colonial period, Zambia was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company. On 24 October 1964, Zambia became independent of the United Kingdom and prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991. Kaunda played a key role in regional diplomacy, cooperating closely with the United States in search of solutions to conflicts in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, and Namibia.[10] From 1972 to 1991 Zambia was a one-party state with the UNIP as the sole legal political party under the motto "One Zambia, One Nation". Kaunda was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 1991, beginning a period of social-economic growth and government decentralisation. Levy Mwanawasa, Chiluba's chosen successor, presided over Zambia from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, and is credited with campaigns to reduce corruption and increase the standard of living. After Mwanawasa's death, Rupiah Banda presided as Acting President before being elected President in 2008. Holding office for only three years, Banda stepped down after his defeat in the 2011 elections by Patriotic Front party leader Michael Sata. Sata died on 28 October 2014, the second Zambian president to die in office.[11] Guy Scott served briefly as interim president until new elections were held on 20 January 2015,[12] in which Edgar Lungu was elected as the sixth President. In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world's fastest economically reformed countries. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Lusaka.
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Rwanda
3 Recommendations East Africa
Welcome to Rwanda We are a landlocked East African country with a green, mountainous landscape. Our renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses 4,507m-tall Mt. Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes. In the southwest is Nyungwe National Park, with ancient montane rainforest that's a habitat for chimpanzeesand other primates. Kigali, the nation's capital, has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. The Kigali Genocide Memorial documents the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, associated with the civil war that ended the same year. In the northeast, bordering Tanzania, is sprawling Akagera National Park and its savannah – uncommon in Rwanda – which shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, hippos and elephants. Deep, crystal-clear Lake Kivu sits on the country’s western border with Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the lake's northern shore is Gisenyi and its beach resorts. Spanning on a 160 sqkm area in the northern part of Ruanda, Volcanoes national park is part of the great Virunga volcano conservation region spanning to cover Virunga national park Congo and Mgahinga national park Uganda. It was initially a small area around Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes which was gazetted to protect the Mountain gorillas which were facing the threat of extinction as a result of poaching. In 1929, the Volcanoes National Park was extended into Rwanda and the then Belgian Congo and was named Albert national park managed and run by the Belgian Colonial Authorities. During early 1960s, the park was divided as Rwanda and Congo gained their independence and by the end of that decade, the park was almost half of its original size. In 1967, the American zoologist Dian Fossey who had been doing research on mountain Gorillas in the forests of Congo fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that was yet to be known as Karisoke research center. She spearheaded the conservation campaign of the mountain gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching in this area, a fight she put up until her murder in 1985. She was buried at the research center next to the grave of her favorite gorilla called Digit.
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Kenya
2 Recommendations East Africa
Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It's also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania's 5,895m Mt. Kilimanjaro. Nairobi is also home to the National Museum, with exhibits spanning native art to natural history, and the roving Maasai Market. Beach resorts line the coast around Malindi, whose vibrant coral reefs make Watamu Marine National Park a popular diving area. It’s possible to hike or climb 5,199m-tall Mt. Kenya, whose snowy peaks dominate the central highlands. In the west, Lake Nakuru National Park shelters a massive flamingo population. Lamu Island offers tranquil beaches, mosques and tours in the region's typical dhow boats, known for their slanted triangular sails and pointed bows.
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Ethiopia
2 Recommendations East Africa
Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, it’s a place of ancient culture. Among its important sites are Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries. Aksum is the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles and Our Lady Mary of Zion church. In the capital, Addis Ababa, the National Museum displays art and archaeology collections, while the Ethnological Museum has tribal artifacts. Copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral is where Emperor Haile Selassie was buried in 1975. The Fasil Ghebbi castle complex, once the seat of Ethiopian emperors, is in Gondar. Harar is a mazelike walled town with numerous mosques. Lake Tana is the Blue Nile River’s source, with the Blue Nile Falls flowing nearby. Less-traveled Bale Mountains National Park is noted for its native wildlife. Hiking routes mark Simien Mountains National Park, an endangered-species habitat. Photo by Vahe Tilbian When to visit Peak travel months include Jul–Aug and Oct–Jan. Ethiopia’s climate ranges from mild in the highlands to very hot in the desert lowlands. For much of the country, the rainy season is Jun–Sep, with mainly dry weather the rest of the year. Timkat (Jan) is the Ethiopian Orthodox Epiphany, with baptismal reenactments. Enkutatash (Sep), the Ethiopian New Year at the end of the rainy season, is marked by singing and bouquets of yellow flowers. The Festival of Maryam Zion (Nov) is a Christian pilgrimage to Aksum’s famous church.
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Uganda
4 Recommendations East Africa
Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya in the east, Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south. Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq km. About 37,000 sq km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) above sea level. The plateau generally slopes downwards towards Sudan explaining the northerly tendency of most river flows in the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform since the altitude modifies the climate. Uganda’s elevation, soil types and predominantly warm and wet climate impart a huge agricultural potential to the country. They also explain the country’s large variety of forests, grasslands and wildlife reserves. Uganda has a total population of about 32 million people. Ugandan People Over 80 per cent of the population live in rural areas and directly survive off the environment and natural resource base. Population:  Uganda’s population has continued to grow rapidly over time. It increased from 9.5 million in 1969 to 24.2 million in 2002. Between 1991 and 2002, the population growth rate was 3.2 percent. The population is projected to have increased to 32.9 million by mid 2011 Ethnic groups: Baganda, Banyankole, Bahima, Bakiga, Banyarwanda, Bunyoro, Batoro, Langi, Acholi, Lugbara, Karamojong, Basoga, Bagisu, and others.The Baganda are the largest ethnic group in Uganda and comprise approximately 17% of the population. Religions: Christian, Muslim, others. Languages: English (official), Swahili (official), Luganda, and numerous other local languages. Climate Uganda’s weather conditions are ideal, ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas to the coolness of the highlands in the South West Kigezi. For most of the year, Uganda is sunny with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees. The average temperature is about 26 degrees C, with a maximum of 18-31 degrees and minimum of 15-23 degrees depending on the part of the country. The rain season is March-May. Light rain season is November and December. Wet seasons are March –May and October-November; dry seasons are December to February and June to August. Rainfall ranges between 500mm to 2500 mm and the relative humidity is 70 - 100%. The rainfall regime allows two planting and harvesting seasons a year in most parts of the country, without the use of irrigation. About 34% of the country is covered in wetlands with a dense network of rivers, lakes and swamps. Generally, the country is endowed with fertile soils. Uganda has some of the largest lakes on the continent including Lake Albert and Lake Victoria Politics Uganda is a presidential republic, in which the President of Uganda is both head of State and head of Government; there is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with universal suffrage for all citizens over 18 years of age. In a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence, political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by the current president Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist but could not campaign in elections or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum cancelled this 19-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005. General elections are held every five years. The Government Type: Republic. Constitution: it was ratified in July 12, 1995 and promulgated October 8, 1995. Branches: Executive--president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--parliament. Judicial--Magistrates' Courts, High Court, Court of Appeals (Constitutional Court), Supreme Court. Political parties: 38 registered parties. Major political parties include the National Resistance Movement (NRM, the ruling party), Forum for a Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Conservative Party (CP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), among others. National holiday: Independence Day, October 9. The 1995 Constitution established Uganda as a republic with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The constitution provides for an executive president, to be elected every 5 years. President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was elected in 1996 and reelected in 2001, 2006, and 2011. Legislative responsibility is vested in the parliament; legislative elections are held every 5 years. Because of redistricting, the parliament elected in February 2011 grew from 332 to 375 members, including 112 special seats for women, 10 special seats for military, five for youth, and five for persons with disabilities. The Ugandan judiciary operates as an independent branch of government and consists of the Magistrates Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal (which also sits as the Constitutional Court when required) and the Supreme Court. Economy Since assuming power in early 1986, Museveni's government has taken important steps toward economic rehabilitation and adopted policies that have promoted rapid economic development Uganda suffered political turmoil and devastating economic drawbacks between 1971 and 1986. This extended period of regression left Uganda as one of the world’s poorest countries. Under Museveni's leadership the country initiated a broad range of economic reforms including the notable liberalisation of market prices and privatisation of public enterprises. These reforms have improved economic performance and sustained economic growth at an average of 7% per annum for the last ten years. Bank Of Uganda Bank of Uganda (BoU) is the Central Bank of the Republic of Uganda. The primary purpose of the Bank is to foster price stability and a sound financial system. Together with other institutions, it also plays a pivotal role in upholding international best practice in creating a conducive environment for macro-economic stability Ministry Of Finance The Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development derives its mandate and functions from the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and other related subordinate laws, including; the Budget Act (2001), the Public Finance and Accountability Act (2003) and acts establishing agencies and auxiliary organizations. Accordingly, the Ministry plays a pivotal role in the co-ordination of development planning; mobilisation of public resources; and ensuring effective accountability for the use of such resources for the benefit of all Ugandans. Investment And Trade Uganda Investment Authority The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is a semi-autonomous government agency operating in partnership with the private sector and Government of Uganda to drive national economic growth and development. The Authority was setup by an Act of Parliament (Investment Code 1991, which was later revised to the Edition 2000 Laws of Uganda) with the aim of promoting and facilitating private sector investment in Uganda. Chamber Of Commerce The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) was set up in 1933. It is the oldest and largest nation-wide umbrella organization of the private sector in Uganda. UNCCI was formed as a private sector body and has grown to become a vibrant and credible business association, owned by members from the Ugandan business community. It was formally registered in 1978 as a company limited by guarantee without share capital. UNCCI enjoys a diverse membership and nationwide outreach with its 10 regional and over 80 district branches and draws its membership from the entire private sector, particularly the sectors of ; tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, import- export, transport, financial services, Small and Medium Enterprises etc. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives The Ministry was formed out of a merger of the Ministries of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Cooperatives and Marketing, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industry and Technology. The mandate of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTI) is derived from the Constitution under the Sixth Schedule Article 189, which provides functions and services for which government is responsible and the mandate of the MTTI is covered under sections 6, 8,10,11,20 and 23; and the National Objectives and Directive Policy of State contained in XIII - Protection of Natural Resources and XIV - General Social and Economic Functions. Foreign Relations The Ugandan Government generally seeks good relations with other nations without reference to ideological orientation. Uganda's relations with Rwanda,D.R.C. and Sudan have sometimes been strained because of security concerns. Uganda, D.R.C., Rwanda, and Burundi participated in the U.S.-facilitated Tripartite Plus process, which helped ease tensions and contributed to increased bilateral contacts with the aim of resolving conflicts between the neighbors. Uganda has over 4,000 peacekeepers in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Bilateral relations between the United States and Uganda have been good since Museveni assumed power, and the United States welcomed Museveni’s efforts to end human rights abuses and to pursue economic reform. Uganda is a member of the UN, the Commonwealth of States, and several related agencies, and is a founding member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It also belongs to the Non-aligned Movement, the Group of 77, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Uganda welcomes diplomatic relations with all nations, regardless of ideology. Uganda is a member of the World Trade Organistion (WTO), COMESA, East African Community (EAC) Tourism Wondering why it is called 'The Pearl of Africa'? Where else can you see lions prowling across the open savanna as day breaks before white water rafting down the Nile; then the next day set off into the misty mountains in search of the majestic mountain gorillas before settling in to watch a local cultural evening around the camp fire? Uganda has been ranked the number one destination for tourists for the year 2012 by Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide and media publisher in the world. The following week, Qatar Airways, a member of the five star alliance, announced that it would be launching a service to Uganda's international hub, Entebbe Airport. Uganda Tourism Board Uganda Tourism Board has served the country in ensuring the success and growth of tourism in Uganda for over 15 years. This has been in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry since its inception. The world over, the board is marketing and promoting the Pearl of Africa, its true nature, culture, wildlife, accommodation, and hospitality all packed in a country that is "Gifted by Nature".
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