This paper is largely based on a study of Uganda's experience in trying to develop a modern dairy industry in the 1960s and 1970s by importing dairy cattle. In many of the developing countries of Africa, and elsewhere in the world, the drive to import dairy cattle comes from the need to counteract the low genetic value of the indigenous cattle. Current developmental problems facing developing countries trying to develop a dairy industry based on imported dairy cattle are very similar to those which Uganda faced in the 60s and 70s. This is certainly the case in a number of countries in Southern Africa, such as Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho. Specifically, the development and modernisation of the Malawian dairy industry based on imported dairy cattle can be traced back to the 1960s, culminating in the shipment of240 and 222 Canadian Holsteins in 1981 and 1982 respectively to Malawi. In Uganda, exotic cattle were first brought into the country in 1928 on an experimental basis. They were first kept at research stations but in a few months, all of them died of different diseases. In the 1950s the government introduced Acaricide (a form of insecticide) for tick control, which made it possible to introduce pure exotic cattle in the 1960s, increasing to a peak of 2 100 in 1963. A total of 8 853 exotic dairy cows were imported from Kenya. In later years Kenya began to use more and more of its available exotic cattle to develop its own dairy industry as part of the mixed farming programmes in re-settlement areas. This prompted Uganda to obtain cattle from temperate areas, as shown in Table 1.