Karamoja Region, in north-eastern Uganda is now administratively divided into seven districts: Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Moroto, Amudat, Napak and Nakapiripirit. The Region borders Kenya to the east, South Sudan to the north and the districts of Kitgum, Pader, Lira/Agago, Amuria and Katakwi to the west; and Kumi, Sironko and Kapchorwa to the south. Overall population in Karamoja is estimated at about 1.2 million people, with about 70 percent residing in rural areas.

With more than 27,000 square kilometres, this arid expanse of savannah and bush forms the northeast edge of Uganda where it borders Kenya and the Sudan. To its east stands the Rift Valley escarpment towering over the Kenyan plains and scrubland. To the north lie the pristine basin of Kidepo National Park and also a mountainous vastness that leads into the Sudan. Similarly, to the south, there are the rugged peaks of Mount Elgon National Park. In the west, abundant swamps enter into the Acholilands.

Karamoja is more than 1,000 metres above sea level, and four main mountains overlook the region’s savannah, highlands and river valleys: Mount Morungole in the north, Mount Moroto in the east, Mount Kadam in the south and Mount Napak in the west.

In many areas, rains do not often exceed 800 millimetres per year, sometimes hovering around a mere 500 millimetres. The precipitation that does fall usually comes sporadically between June and October with the desert winds and the hot dry season taking over the land from November to March.

Karamoja is an agro-pastoralist area; the economy is based on cattle herding: this is considered by the Karimojong to be the most sustainable type of livelihood in

the harsh environment in which they live. Most of its land is communal, and customarily held – under traditional authority.

A 2011 survey by the Uganda department of geological survey and mines at the Ministry of Energy found that Karamoja is also endowed with minerals including Gold, limestone, uranium, marble, graphite, gypsum, iron, wolfram, nickel, copper, cobalt, lithium and tin.

Main economic activities

  • Tourism
  • Livestock
  • Tourism
  • Minerals
  • Forestry

Karamoja Investment Profile

Download the official Uganda Investment Authority document Karamoja Investment Profile 2016.