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Idi Amin Dada, former president of Uganda

Idi Amin Dada: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Uganda’s Former President

At 193 cm (6 ft 4 in) tall and powerfully built, Idi Amin Dada was the Ugandan light heavyweight boxing champion from 1951 to 1960, as well as a swimmer. Now before you go rising up in arms, just know we are all humans and therefore prone to mistakes. Field Marshal, Alhaji, Doctor Idi Amin Dada was no different.

The country witnessed gruesome killings during his tenure especially from the army and police. It isn’t any different now, is it? This however shouldn’t deter us from acknowledging the good things the man did during the 8 years he was at the helm of power.

Yes, the man had a lot of good things up his sleeve unlike what the media has insisted on portraying over the years. So, buckle up and let’s take a ride down memory lane.

The dollar rate and expansion of the railway

To start as off, during his tenure, the dollar remained steady between Sh. 7 and Sh 7.50. That was between 1971 and 1979. Yes, Amin did have his priorities in check as far as the economy was concerned.

He was also charged with the honour of expanding the Uganda Railway Corporation. This was used to transport heavy equipment and a lot of agricultural produce mostly coffee and tea.

Satellite links and first female foreign minister in Africa

He established satellite links which connected Uganda to the world. Established in Mpoma and Mukono and in his home region of West Nile, it was a one of a kind connection in Africa. He appointed the first female foreign minister in 1972.

Elizabeth Bagaya was among the first women to hold public office not only in Africa but also the world. He dug and built the biggest fuel reserve in Jinja. This mind you was done in one month.

Return of Sir Edward Muteesa II’s body and a state funeral accord

We can also not fail to mention the very many government schools, colleges and institutions he established and which are in full operation as we speak.

He returned the body of the first president of Uganda, Sir Edward Muteesa II home and gave him a state funeral. He had died in London on 19th November 1969.

Organization of Islamic Conference and establishment of Uganda Development Bank and the Credit Guarantee Fund.

In 1974, he made Uganda a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) without first converting every Ugandan into a Muslim by force. Uganda is the only IOC member that is not an Islamic state.

President Amin provided Uganda manufactures with additional support through the Uganda Development Bank, which supplemented UCB. The Uganda Development Bank and the Credit Guarantee Fund were established under the Uganda Development Bank Act, 1972, during Amin Dada’s regime and commenced business on 10th November 1972.

Moral and financial support to sports and Africa cup of Nations Finals

Lastly, President Amin also went ahead to provide moral and financial support to sports: In 1972, John Akii Bua won a 400m hurdles gold medal in the Munich Olympics held in Germany the only Gold Uganda has won at the games history.

Uganda went to the Africa cup of Nations 1978 and reached the finals. Ever since then, the country has never qualified for the tournament.

Now, aren’t these achievements worth celebrating?

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About Eninu William

William is the Chief Editor at Newslex Point. He is a creative writer who enjoys exploring new ideas in the journalism space. A good story, he believes, comes with a great deal of research. Coffee and books are his good friends.
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