Today officially marks 50 years of independence in Uganda, and Google is celebrating the occasion with a doodle in the country, visible at Google.co.ug.
The country's early independence from British rule began in 1962, though this gave way to rule under various dictators, beginning with Idi Amin, who would become the third President of Uganda.
Uganda has received more media attention here in the U.S. over the past year, than any other time I can remember, thanks to the huge viral success of the Kony2012 campaign (which has been back in the news thanks to its creator doing interviews about a breakdown he experienced following that success and the controversy it invited).
The Huffington Post is running an interesting article from Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, which works on behalf of HIV/AIDS orphans in rural Uganda to "end systemic deprivation, poverty and hunger". He writes:
As Uganda celebrates its 50th year as an independent nation, have things improved? Although we are a democracy, we have voted for the same president, Yoweri Museveni, a military leader, since 1986. It doesn't take a genius to know one man should not lead a country over twenty years.
We have a degraded road system in rural areas, worse than in Rwanda, a country that is led by a man educated and trained in Uganda, Paul Kagame. We have little or no healthcare facilities in many parts of the country, and too many people struggle with HIV/AIDs and malaria. Our educational system is inadequate and many children don't even receive basic reading and math.
Despite the KONY 2012 story focusing on Uganda's past child fighter problems, , the Ugandan people remain hopeful for a better future. There were positive stories in the news too.