Mwanza has its nickname – “The Rock city” for a reason:
all around and also right in the middle of the city, round rock fragments hulk up to fantastic formations and create a landscape that is unique in Tanzania.
In 1890, the German colonists decided to open the new administration unit at Lake Victoria and built a house on top of a rock. This house constituted the foundation of MWANZA.
They called the rock “Muansa”, probably a misunderstanding, from the Sukuma word “Nyanza” which means lake. From there the Germans started planning the whole town and the port in 1892. The architecture, the rocks and of course lake Victoria definitely make Mwanza worth a Journey.
population of about 1.2 million people.
Mwanza region is located on the Southern shores of lake Victoria (lake Nyanza by local natives).
Area of Mwanza region:
Mwanza region covers 35,187 square kilometers out of which 20,095 square kilometers is semi- arid, while another 15,092 square kilometers is covered by lake Victoria. The fish caught in lake Victoria consists of three main species, namely Nile perch, Tilapia and dagaa or Omena. The Nile perch first appeared in Lake Victoria in the late 1950s.
The fish is locally known as Mbuta or sangara and fishery experts say it can grow to two meters in length and weigh up to 200 kg.
Mwanza was founded by a German Colonial agent – Emin Pasha in 1892 as an administrative centre to control cotton exports from the area. In 2012, Mwanza region celebrated its 120th anniversary since its inception and in other words Mwanza came to life seven (7) years before Nairobi city, the capital of Kenya. Nairobi was established in 1899. In 2000, president Benjamin Mkapa elevated Mwanza into city status, becoming the second city in Tanzania after Dar es salaam. Now Mwanza is the third biggest (with agglomeration second biggest) town in Tanzania.
Prof. Hans Meyer, writing in the Das Deutsch Kolonialreich in 1908, said by then Mwanza consisted of 1200 Africans, 64 European inhabitatnts and 50 Indian traders. There were a handful of European firms and a district office. Others were a company of soldiers, a post and Telegraph line to Tabora, a hospital and a hotel .in 1953, Mwanza was elevated to the status of a town council by the then British colonial governor, sir Edward Twining. In 1980, Mwanza became the second municipality after TANGA.
Sukuma, the bantu speaking people and the largest ethnic group in Tanzania as well as other minor ethnic groups.
Administratively, Mwanza region is divided into eight (8) districts – Geita, Ilemela, Kwimba, Magu, Misungwi, Nyamagana, Sengerema and Ukerewe. Now Geita district has been elevated to the status of REGION. It is known as Geita region.
Main economic activities include, the fishing and processing industry. Eastern and central Africa’s largest fish market, Kirumba, is found in the city and of course the main stay of it all due to the good soils and favorable climate agriculture, but mining has become an important factor in the wider region around Mwanza, where with the airport a key link to the outside world exists.
Mwanza is also a major transport transit point for the railway, connecting the Indian ocean port of Dar es salaam via Mwanza by rail. Large scale industries in Mwanza include Mwatex – East Africa’s second biggest textile mill – Nyanza bottling, Tanzania breweries limited, lake soap industries, continental printing and packaging corporation and many more.
The city also has several small scale industries.
FINANCIAL AND BANKING INSTITUTIONS
These are the National bank of commerce ltd, CRDB Bank, the National microfinance Bank, Tanzania postal Bank, standard chartered bank Tanzania Ltd and many more.
Getting to Mwanza:
Mwanza region is easily accessible by road, the central rail network from Dar es salaam, air and waterways.
Tourist Attractions in Mwanza region:
Include Rubondo Island National Park, famous for unique chimpanzees and plants, rare birds, and varieties of fish species. A visit to saanane Island National park, half an hour from Mwanza by boat. A trip to the Ukerewe Island to see the Dancing rocks, where only men are allowed to visit tick. Other tourist attractions in Mwanza region are the Kijereshi game reserve, Bujorasukuma traditional and historical center, where slaves were kept before being transferred to Zanzibar, the Bismarck Rocks, the Handebezeyo caves which were used as shelter during tribal wars and Isamilo hills.
And there is the memorial to see and pay respect to of the victims of the MV. Bukoba sinking a few years ago, when hundreds drowned as the vessel went down, also now part of the Mwanza history as the marine disaster took place within the city of Mwanza. Finally, don’t forget to visit the colonial house – the first climb leads you to the origin of Mwanza as well as to climb “Jiwekubwa’ the big stones.
Mwanza city council plans to build an international beach market to be located at Makuyuni in the near future.