|Motto: Peace, Justice & Prudence|
|Sub-region||West Nile sub-region|
|• Mayor||Charles Asiki|
|Population (2011 Estimate)|
Arua is a town in Arua District, Northern Uganda. An important local commercial centre, it is a base for a large refugee population from Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is an aid distribution centre for those nations.
Arua is located approximately 480 kilometres (300 mi), by road, northwest of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, and the largest city in that country. This location lies approximately 190 kilometres (120 mi), by road, west of Gulu, the largest city in Northern Uganda. The coordinates of the town are:03 01 48N, 30 54 36E (Latitude:3.0300; Longitude:30.9100). The first town plan for Arua was drawn by A.E. Weatherhead.
The word Aru-a in Lugbara means 'In prison' and was the name colonialists used for a hill where prisoners were jailed. Today, because of developments on the hill, this authentic heritage cannot be seen. Arua Town, north of the hill from which it got its name, was established on 14 June 1914. There is a panoramic view of the area around Arua Town when you stand on top of this rock. There is a structural plan to develop a model eco-tourism satellite city in Arua after Barifa Forest is degazetted.
Arua was the capital of the former West Nile Province. However, with the breakup of the province in the 1970s into Arua, Nebbi and Moyo districts, Arua Town became the capital of Arua District. It was initially slotted as the proposed capital of Lado Enclave. A distinction should however be made between Arua and Arua District.
The dominant tribe in Arua District are the Lugbara, who are divided up into the different dialects of Vurra who come from Vurra County, Ayivu who are from Ayivu County, Madi who are from Madi-Okollo County. The Madi from Madi-Okollo have a variant dialect from those in Moyo District and Adjumani District.
Arua is an important base for NGOs working in the West Nile sub-region or serving Western Equatoria in Southern Sudan or northeastern Congo DRC. It has become increasingly important as a commercial supply centre and transport route as the Yei–Juba Road has opened up and supplies come into Juba from the south on the Kaya Highway rather than through Khartoum.
Coach lines link Arua to Kampala. Among them :
- Nile Coach
- Post Bus
- KKT Bus
- California Bus
- ADIL Express
A branch of the Ugandan Railways was extended to Arua sometime after 1964 but there has been no passenger rail service in Uganda for many years. Freight transport by rail to Arua is also unknown of nowadays.
The 2002 national census estimated the population of Arua Town at 43,929. In 2008, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), estimated the population of the town to be 53,600. In 2011, UBOS estimated the population of the town at 59,400.
- Administrative activities
The following administrations are seated in Arua :
- Headquarters of Arua District Administration
- Offices of Arua Town Council
- Headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arua
- Other business and educational activities
- Arua Central Market
- West Nile Golf Club
- The new "Arua Mall"
- Arua Regional Referral Hospital - 128 bed public hospital administered by the Uganda Ministry of Health.
- West Nile Distilleries - maker of 7 Hills Vodka
- White Castle, Ewuata - 5 Kilometres away on Nebbi Road
- Desert Breeze Hotel, Anyafio
- The main campus of Muni University, the 6th public university established by the Government of Uganda.
- A campus of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU)
- The Arua Campus of Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Ringili at St. Paul's Theological College
- Arua campus of [Makerere University Business School] (MUBS)
- Arua Foam Mattresses Limited
- A branch of Toyota Uganda Limited, a dealership in Toyota automobiles and Yamaha motorcycles.
- Ragem Beach
- Arua Currency Center - A currency storage and processing facility, owned and operated by the Bank of Uganda, Uganda's Central Bank.
- Financial institutions
Branches of the following financial institutions are present in Arua :
- Bank of Africa
- Barclays Bank
- CAFECC Microfinance
- Centenary Bank
- Crane Bank
- Diamond Trust Bank
- Bank of Africa
- Housing Finance Bank
- Kenya Commercial Bank
- PostBank Uganda
- Stanbic Bank
- DFCU Bank
- Pride Microfinance Limited
- National Social Security Fund
- Media in Arua
BTN TV (Bornfree Technologies Network) was the first Television broadcast station in Arua and West Nile that went on air in 2003. It features local news, talk shows plus a variety of music, lifestyle programmes, documentaries and movies. Other analog broadcasts (which originate from Kampala) include WBS TV, UBC TV and NTV.
Voice Of Life (VOL), a Church of Uganda-founded radio station pioneered FM broadcasting in Arua since 1997. In 2002, Arua One (which was acquired by Vision Group in 2012) followed as the first secular station based in the Municipality. Meanwhile, Radio Paidha and Spirit FM were based in Nebbi and Koboko respectively. Also on air today is Nile FM, a sister to BTN TV, the Catholic Diocese of Arua's (2005 All Africa BBC Award-winning) Radio Pacis, UBC Radio and BBC on 99.4 FM.
- Arua District
- Lado Enclave
- Lugbara people
- Lugbara cuisine
- Lugbara language
- Nile Eco-City
- Northern Region, Uganda
- Railway stations in Uganda
- West Nile sub-region
- Road Distance Between Kampala And Arua With Map
- Map Showing Arua And Gulu With Distance Marker
- 2012 Arua Gets Master Plan for Nile Eco-City
- BBC News "Uganda's booming border town" Accessed 2006-11-14.
- "Nairobi Railway Museum". Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- "Uganda Travel Advice and Advisories (Government of Canada)". Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- 2002 and 2008 Estimated Populations of Ugandan Cities and Towns
- 2011 Estimated Populations of Ugandan Cities And Towns
- Business in Arua is Booming
- Toyota Uganda Opens Branch in Arua
- Bank of Uganda Maintains Arua Currency Center