Bunyoro is a kingdom in Western Uganda. It was one of the most powerful kingdoms in Central and East Africa from 13th century to 19th century. It is ruled by Omukama of Bunyoro. The current ruler or Omukama is Solomon Iguru I, the 27th Omukama (king) of Bunyoro-Kitara.
The people of Bunyoro can be called Nyoro or Banyoro(singular: Munyoro) (Banyoro simply means the “people of Bunyoro”); Banyoro people speak a language called Nyoro or Runyoro. In the past their traditional economic activities were big game hunting of elephants, lions, leopards, and crocodiles. Today the Banyoro are now agriculturalists who cultivate bananas, millet, cassava, yams, cotton, tobacco, coffee, and rice.
They are primarily Christians.
Bunyoro kingdom consisted of many states in the Great Lakes region, there are tales in Rwanda where great power come from raiding the region under the prince named Cwa around 1520.
The power of Bunyoro then faded away until the mid of seventeeth century when kingdom began expansion, the empire dominated the region by the early 18th century.
Bunyoro had the strongest military and economic power in the Great Lakes region. They controlled strategic areas in the region like lucrative Kibiro salt works of Lake Albert.
Bunyoro began to decline in the late of 18th century due to internal divisions. Buganda then seized the Kooki and Buddu regions from Bunyoro at the end of the century.
To the south Rwanda and Ankole were growing rapidly, taking over some of the smaller kingdoms.
By the mid of 19th century Bunyoro was far smaller state, though it was still wealthy due the income generated from controlling the lucrative trading routes across Lake Victoria and linking to the coast of Indian Ocean.
Following the death of Omukama Kyebambe III, the region experienced a period of political instability where two kings ruled in a volatile political environment.
In 1894 Great Britain declared the region its protectorate in alliance with Buganda, however King Kabarega of Bunyoro resisted the efforts of Great Britain to take control of the kingdom.
Kabarega was captured and exiled in to Seychelles and Bunyoro was annexed to the British Empire.
Because of Bunyoro’s resistance against the British, a portion of the Bunyoro kingdom’s territory was given to Buganda and Toro.
The country was put under the Bugandan administrators. The Bunyoro revolted in 1907 but the revolts was put down.
Bunyoro remains as one of the four constituent kingdoms of Uganda, along with Buganda, Busoga and Toro.
The kingdom was forcefull disbanded in 1967 during the first regime of Milton Obote.
The kingdom with others, Buganda, Busoga, Toro, remained banned during the regime president Idi Amin in 1971-1979 and second regime of Milton Obote in 1980-1985 and remained banned thereafter until 1993.
In 1993 the Kingdom re-established and in 1995 the new constitution of Uganda was made allowing and recognising the kingdoms. The current kingdom covers the districts of Buliis, Hoima, Kibaale, Kiryandongo, and Masindi districts.
With more than 2 million people, 90 percent people are poor, less than 10 percent uses electricity, 96 percent of the population live rural areas.