British Ugandan Asians at 50

Produced by: Paresh Solanki, British Ugandan Asians at 50

Subject: Citizenship Geography History

Topics/keywords: Asian Discrimination Displacement Forced migration Generations Geography Humanitarian response Idi Amin Immigration Migration Oral histories Persecution Personal story Refugees Resources Britain Settlement Asian immigration South Asian migration Uganda

Age range: KS5 (ages 16–18) KS3 (ages 11–14) KS4 (ages 14–16)


In August 1972, Ugandan dictator General Idi Amin served 90 days’ notice on around 70,000 Asians to leave Uganda. Each family was permitted to take only £55 and one suitcase per individual. 28,200 of these who held British passports were admitted to the UK. The then government set up the Uganda Resettlement Board to assist the expellees to find permanent homes, jobs and school places. Sixteen temporary resettlement camps around the country were set up and staffed in just six weeks. Charities, faith groups, campaigning organisations and private individuals in their thousands stepped forward to provide much needed support in those critical early months. This extraordinary feat of cooperation has strong contemporary relevance. Fifty years on, British Ugandan Asians have excelled in many fields from business and finance to politics, science, and the arts. British Ugandan Asians at 50 is a programme of the India Overseas Trust. We have received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to record, on film, the oral histories of people who were involved in the camps as residents, volunteers or paid staff.  We have focused on three of the Board’s resettlement camps: Tonfanau in Wales, Stradishall in Suffolk and Heathfield in Devon.