Kagwa, Apolo

ca. 1868–1927
Prime minister of Buganda

Apolo Kagwa emerged as the leader of the Christian Party, one of thegroups struggling to control BUGANDA during the religious wars of the late 1800s. From 1889 to 1926, he served as katikiro (prime minister) of the semi-autonomous kingdom of Buganda under British authority. In 1897 Kagwa helped overthrow Buganda’s King Mwanga and then had Chwa, a child, declared successor to the throne. Kagwa acted as chief regent until Chwa came of age in 1914. As prime minister, Kagwa earned the support of the British by backing them when their Sudanese troops mutinied. In return, the British granted Buganda a large measure of self-rule.

In addition to his political accomplishments, Kagwa founded several important educational institutions and published two books on Buganda’s history and culture. He was knighted by the British in 1905.

Kagwa, Apolo