The Buganda Agreement


The period during which Britain gained control over Uganda is known to historians as “The Scramble” because a number of European countries were competing to acquire territories in Africa and the Pacific. They used a range of legal “tools” to accomplish their imperial designs. These included: entering into bi-lateral treaties, recognizing zones as each other’s sphere of influence; granting charters to private companies; declaring protectorates; and, finally, annexation.

On 10 March 1900, an Agreement was made between the chiefs of Buganda acting on behalf of the Kabaka (then a minor) and the people of Buganda on one side and Harry Johnston acting on behalf of the Queen, on the other. This Agreement was called the Uganda Agreement, hereafter the Buganda Agreement. The Agreement was so comprehensive that it virtually covered all aspects of government and Buganda’s relationship with the Protectorate Government. For convenience, the Agreement is divisible into three main parts: land; taxation; and administration.