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Indians in Uganda
Total population
Regions with significant populations

English, Indian languages, Swahili



Related ethnic groups

Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin, Desi

There are currently over 12,000 people of Indian origin in Uganda, a far cry from their heyday. In 1860, over 30,000 Indians, mostly Sikhs, were brought on 3 year contracts to clear the jungle and lay railway tracks from Mombasa to Kampala, Uganda's capital. Some died, while others returned to India after the end of their contracts, but around 7000 chose to stay. They were joined by Gujarati traders, both Hindu and Muslim, who came to capitalise on the economic opportunities.

Over time, these Indians became very prosperous and dominated the entire economy, which caused resentment among the locals. Post independence, these resentments came to a crisis, when Idi Amin ousted President Milton Obote after a military coup. He quickly proceeded to expel all 50,000 Asians. See Expulsion of Asians in Uganda in 1972 for a detailed account of events.

As a result, many Indians migrated to the United Kingdom, the United States or to Canada and elsewhere and began rebuilding their lives. The fate suffered by the Ugandan Indians is among the most extreme cases of Indophobia in recent times. This has been the subject of several works of fiction, most notably Mississippi Masala and The Last King of Scotland

See also




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