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Saturday, 29 May 2010 02:06

Historical Background to Jinja

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Jinja Municipality is the second largest town of Uganda. It was formerly a fishing village that benefited from being on long-distance trade routes. The town was founded in 1901 by the British as an administrative centre for the Provincial Government Headquarters for Busoga region. This was around the time when a lake steamer service operated between Jinja and Port Florence (Jinja), the port that in 1901 became the terminus of the railway from the coast (cf. http://www.jinjamunicipalcouncil.org).



The subsequent years saw Jinja grow economically with expansion of commercial activities that accelerated considerably. Later Jinja became a focus of modern manufacturing industry and the seat of Uganda 's leading industrial concerns. The basis for these developments was the decision taken in 1947 to proceed with the construction of the Owen Falls Dam. The completion of the Owen Falls Dam marked a major turning point in the economic development of the town and the country at large.

Like many of the municipalities in Uganda according to the Official Gazette of the East Africa and Uganda Protectorate Vol. VIII No 161 Jinja was designated as a township on the 26th of June 1906. About 50 years later in January 1957 Jinja was pronounced and declared a municipality.


"Jinja" is a Luganda word meaning "stone". It is suggested that Jinja derived its name from either the rocks of the submerged falls of Rippon and Owen or, more probably to a sacrificial stone on a hilltop overlooking the town not very far from the today District Director of Health Services offices.

Read 8136 times Last modified on Sunday, 07 November 2010 19:59
More in this category: « Economy of Jinja

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