Namirembe Road

Namirembe Road, Kampala

I am reading Dayo Olopade’s Bright Continent, and something occurred to me. Uganda seems to be everywhere. Nearly all the people I interact with in the development space have worked, lived, or toured the country physically or are one degree removed from someone doing the same. Nearly every chapter in Bright Continent highlights a project in Uganda, or someone connected to the country.

I am wondering if other African countries have the same network density. I can’t seem to go a day without reading at least one article about technology, education, governance, tourism, history, etc., that doesn’t mention Uganda. Is Uganda unique in that it has the brand gravity to command this much mention in the media? The only other African country I can think of with this kind of brand gravity is Malawi, but even then, Madonna’s homage to her ego is a distant second. Kenya gets sporadic plaudits for its tech scene successes as well as shoddy governance but not much else. Uganda is that African kid that photo bombs everyone’s photos. I am curious if I am the only one who feels this way of if it is just a case of being too close to the subject that I inevitably see (or seek?) out news where Uganda is mentioned? I don’t filter my news with country tags nor is my social media sphere littered only with Uganda information satellites.

So I am curious why it always seems Uganda is in the news or is a fascination for everyone.