Established in 1914, the ancient Capital of the Pan-Africanist Lado Empire (Arua Town) is the biggest urban and business centre of the West Nile region. That same year, the Southern portion of the ‘splendid and alluring’ Lado Enclave was assigned from Belgium to Uganda under the British Protectorate.
Arua Town got its name from a special hill overlooking the Barifa Forest. Arua in Lugbara means "on prison" and was the name of the hill where Belgian Colonialists operated their prison, which lingered for a while even after colonial rule. However, as time has passed the old prison yard has evolved to a training facility for kick-boxers in the area.
Evelyn Weatherhead, the first District Commissioner for the New Area (West Nile), who also served as a Colonial Administrator in South Africa and Seychelles, drew the First Town Plan for Arua, his headquarters.
Weatherhead Park Lane, the road from Arua's first Roundabout adjacent to the Golf Course towards Mvara T-junction and the Presidential Lodge in Anyafio Village, was named after him.
Over time, infrastructure advancements such as telecommunication masts, water reservoir, and broadcast stations (Nile Fm/ BTN TV, Voice of Life Radio (started in 1997 by ‘Here Is Life Ministries’ and DIGUNA - a German NGO) have aided in the overall development of Arua Town. Arua Town is also home to Uganda's second busiest airport operates.
In Arua Town, you can either walk or tour around on a Boda Boda, Bicycle, Special Hire Taxis, Scooter or Tuk Tuk (latest craze in town).
If someone tells you that you can find GOD on Arua Golf Course, then s/he means you can find GOD at St. Philips Church next to Dorcus Inzikuru's Government-sponsored Bungalow.
Uganda is indeed a tourist destination. So much so that in 2011, Lonely Planet, voted Uganda "The World's Top Tourist Destination for 2012" laying further claim that ‘Arua Town’ is indeed a sweet place after all. In 2015, during the inaugural Mayor's Awards held in Luanda, Angola, Arua emerged the Second Best behind Cape Verde's Praia in the Small Cities - Best Towns in Africa Excellence Category.