What!! Uganda the Drunkest country on the planet?
The first seconds of the “documentary” The narrator, Thomas Morton, begins by declaring: “Uganda’s had a pretty good spell the last 25 years. No major civil wars, a little bit of an Ebola outbreak every so often, including right now, and they are the alcoholism capital of Africa.
So… let’s look at this statement.
For the last 27 years, Yoweri Museveni, has been the president of Uganda, He has just won a fourth five-year term last year. Museveni changed the constitution to loosen term limits. The man is clinging to power.
Evidently the war between the Achioli people in the north against the government doesn’t amount to a “major civic war”, though the conflict spawned the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) , notorious for abducting and enslaving children as soldiers and sex slaves. The war is over. Most of the 1.2 million people who had fled to relief camps are back home. And Uganda’s key role in the two Congo Wars, the deadliest conflict since World War II, evidently doesn’t take the shine off Uganda’s “pretty good spell.”
You will be surprised to discover that Morton’s analysis of alcohol consumption statistics are not true. He refers to a 2004 “WHO” study that, supposedly, finds “Uganda as the top contender for per capita alcohol consumption in the world, making Uganda the drunkest place on earth.” He then asserts that Ugandans have been drinking even more since 2011.
So I looked up the latest statistics from the Who. Morton is right that Ugandans drink a lot, by African standards. Average per capita alcohol consumption is 11.93 liters per capita per year. That’s not as high as in Nigeria, where per capita consumption is 12.28 liters a year… which is particularly remarkable as nearly half of Nigeria’s population is Muslim, while less than an eighth of Uganda’s population is. So Uganda is not the most drunken nation in Africa.
Uganda compared to other western countries, Uganda is not even in the running internationally. Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, the UK and Ukraine all drink more per capita than Uganda. The most inebriated nation is Moldova, which at 18.22 liters per person per year, leaves Uganda in the dust. Uganda’s far closer to the UK, or to the US, which at 9.44 liters per capita, drinks 79% as much as Ugandans do per year.
You can question why Morton decided to film a story on Uganda’s “Moonshine Epidemic“. Maybe its more fun to watch village people get drunk, who really wants to watch French people drink too much wine or watch Danes get drunk in Calsberg?