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UPDF rated 16th in Africa, 92nd in the world

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The Uganda People’s Defence Force (‪UPDF) continues to be rated among the top militaries in Africa and the world.

The latest rankings by Global Fire Power (GFP) put the UPDF at 16th in Africa and 92nd in the world. The online rating company Global Fire Power has 126 top countries militarily in its base and bases largely on each nation’s potential conventional war-making capabilities across land, sea and air.

The UPDF ranking, while in the top 20 for consecutive years, marks a drop by 3 from 13th in 2014. GFP only depends on available data to make its assessment, which could explain why Great Lakes region key players like Rwanda and Burundi are not mentioned.

There is no indication that the role of many African armies in UN and AU peace keeping, especially in Somalia, was considered at all.

According to GFP, “Using over 50 factors to determine a country’s Power Index, the Global Firepower 2016 list ranks the most powerful military nations in the world. The list comprises a balanced collection of 126 advanced and lesser developed nations, based on several factors like their geographical location, natural resource reliance, arsenal strength, and current economic health. It must be noted that nuclear capability and current political/military leadership is not taken into account. Also, land-locked nations are not penalized for not having a standing navy.”

Considered are several categories, based on available information. These include number of troops, as “sometimes simple sheer numbers of participants allow for an acceptable battlefield outcome.” GFP’s main source of information is the CIA World Factbook.

State House hails UPDF

“Our disciplined and patriotic army has managed to create an island of peace in a region of conflict. Insurgencies like ‪Lakwena and Joseph ‪‎Kony led Lord’s Resistance Army (‪‎LRA) have virtually been wiped out of the country thanks to the UPDF,” State House said in a statement after the latest ranking were released.

‪”‎Uganda is thus one of the most peaceful countries in the world. All eligible ‪Ugandans are encouraged to join the army, especially professionals.”

Uganda army
President Museveni has overseen the growth of the UPDF into a professional army. FILE PHOTOS BY PPU

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Uganda army 3

US, Russia top as expected

Leading their list of the top 40 most powerful military nations as of Feb. 2, 2016 is the US, Russia, China and India, with the likes of France and UK only ranked 5th and 6th.  Egypt remains Africa’s top at 12th in the world.

Philippine Marines and US Marine during a live-fire exercise
Philippine Marines and US Marine during a live-fire exercise. AFP file photo

Top 30 African armies:

1  Egypt

2  Algeria

3  Ethiopia

4  Nigeria

5  South Africa

6  Angola

7  Morocco

8  Sudan

9  Libya

10  Democratic Republic of the Congo

11  Kenya

12  Tunisia

13  Zimbabwe

14  Zambia

15  Chad

16  Uganda

17  Tanzania

18  South Sudan

19  Ghana

20  Cameroon

21  Mozambique

22  Niger

23  Ivory Coast

24  Mali

25  Madagascar

26  Gabon

27  Republic of the Congo

28  Namibia

29  Somalia

30  Central African Republic



“Egypt puts itself over the top with regard to military strength due to the sheer size of its armed forces. Nearly 500,000 personnel serve on its active frontline force, far surpassing all its African counterparts. It has nearly 10,000 armored fighting vehicles, 60,000 logistical vehicles, 900 aircraft, and large oil reserves from which to draw. The military has been somewhat undermined in the wake of the Egyptian Revolution, but some argue that its increased role in government has made it stronger than ever. Whether or not this is a cause for celebration or concern will remain debated for some time to come.”


“As Algeria has a large maritime border, it has developed all its military capabilities to an impressively modern degree, including its land, sea, and air forces. Algeria’s active frontline personnel number more than 127,000 troops and it has nearly 2,000 armored fighting vehicles at its disposal. Algeria also has the added benefit of its own oil reserves, allowing it to use its own fuel to power tanks, aircraft carriers, naval vessels, and more.”




  1. Rubbish report!

    • oto, cry your eyes out, do not hate. UODF has been cheated in this ranking. We are at least Number 5 in Africa, Number 45 globally.

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