Bu·gan·da (bo͞o-gănʹdə, byo͞o-)
A region and former kingdom of eastern Africa on the northern shore of Lake Victoria in present-day Uganda. It was a British protectorate from 1894 until 1962, when it joined independent Uganda.

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Precolonial kingdom, East Africa.

Located along the northern shore of Lake Victoria in present-day Uganda, the kingdom was founded in the late 14th century by the Ganda people. Ruled by the kabaka, or king, by the 19th century Buganda was the most powerful kingdom in the area. In 1900 it became a British protectorate. The Ganda subsequently played a major role in assisting British administration in East Africa. When Uganda became independent in 1962, Buganda was accorded special federal status within the new country. Ensuing tensions with the central government led in 1967 to the kingdom's abolition and the area's integration into Uganda. Buganda was restored in 1993.

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▪ East African kingdom
      powerful kingdom of East Africa during the 19th century, located along the northern shore of Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake) in present-day south-central Uganda. Buganda's insistence on maintaining a separate political identity contributed to Uganda's destabilization after that country reached independence in 1962.

      Buganda was one of several small principalities founded by Bantu-speaking peoples (Bantu peoples) in what is now Uganda. It was founded in the late 14th century, when the kabaka, or ruler, of the Ganda people came to exercise strong centralized control over his domains, called Buganda. By the 19th century Buganda had become the largest and most powerful kingdom in the region. The local chiefs of conquered areas ruled as personal appointees of the kabaka, who had a sizable army at his disposal.

      Foreign influences, including the Islamic and Christian religions, began to reach Buganda in the 19th century, especially during the rule of Mutesa I (1856–84). After his death the kingdom was riven by a number of politico-religious factions. In 1894 Buganda became part of the British (British Empire) sphere of influence, and in 1900 the Buganda Agreement made it formally a British protectorate. The Ganda people subsequently played a major role in assisting the British administration in East Africa.

      When Uganda achieved independence in 1962, the Buganda kingdom was given considerable autonomy and was accorded special federal status within the new nation. Buganda's insistence upon its separate political identity generated worsening tensions with the central government, however. In 1966 open conflict broke out between the Bugandan ruler, Mutesa II, and the prime minister of Uganda, Milton Obote (Obote, Milton), who in 1967 abolished Buganda and the country's three other traditional kingdoms. The Buganda kingdom was not restored until 1993.

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Universalium. 2010.

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