150 AMAZING FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JINJA.
1. Jinja simply means stone or rock. In oral tradition, the name Jinja first appears in the late 1700s. The name was derived from a crossing point on River Nile in Rippon Village on the banks of River Nile. During the reign of SseKabaka Semakokiro of Buganda in the late 1700s, Ntembe Masanso was the Chief of Butembe Chiefdom in present day Busoga. Masanso was based at a rocky outcrop on the banks of River Nile in the present Rippon Village. He owned a boat that was so popular among travellers crossing the Nile. Travellers crossing from the western side/Buganda preferred to be dropped at the rock were Masanso was based. Therefore, most of them would say “nteka ku jinja” literally meaning drop me at the rock, or simply “ku jinja”. Most travellers across the Nile would either start from this point or be dropped at this point. The area became a small trading outpost with traders coming to exchange goods including food, animals, backcloth and fish. Over time people would simply refer to the trading area as “e’jinja” (at the rock).
2. The Jinja Metropolitan Area is the second largest urban area in size, economy and population, after Kampala Metropolitan Area (KMA – Kampala, Wakiso, Entebbe and Mukono) according to UBOS statistics. Jinja City together with Njeru, Buwenge, Bukaya, Mbiko, and Kakira constitute, the Jinja Metropolitan Area (JMA). The JMA has a population of just over half a million and about 110 industries (See no. 150 for list). A Metropolitan area is a major city together with its suburbs and nearby cities, towns, and environs over which the major city exercises a commanding economic and social influence.
3. Jinja was proclaimed a Township by Hesketh Bell on 26th June 1906 (same year Kampala became a Town Council)
4. The first shop in Jinja was set up by Hajji Soleiman Tamachi, an Indian immigrant in the early 1900s. The shop was referred to as Duka and was first located on the shores of Lake Victoria before relocating into the town. The “Duka” was selling clothes and buying local produce (“karsaji”): cotton, coffee, peanuts, vimbhi, chora , pilipili and similar produce.
5. In 1906, Jinja Town’s population was just 3,000. In 2020, the new Jinja city has a population of approximately 322,300.
6. British Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill played a substantial role in the founding of Jinja when in 1893 on a visit to the empty forested and bushy area, he pondered and prophesied the role Jinja would play when he suggested to Lord Frederick Lugard that “Jinja is destined to become a very important place in the future of Central Africa […]” What fun to make the immemorial Nile begin its journey by diving through a turbine (dams)” and further speculated that “in years to come, the shores of this splendid bay may be crowned with rows of tropical villas and imposing offices and gorge of the Nile, crowned with factories and warehouses. The prophesy became true, such that by the 1960s, Jinja was the industrial powerhouse of East Africa.
7. Catholic Mill Hill missionaries first arrived in Jinja in 1889. However, they were unsuccessful in setting up a church until 1899 when the set up a make shift shelter. The first church in Jinja was established 1898 at the current site of St Andrews Church by Anglican Missionaries. The church is however no longer in existence.
8. Jinja District is the 4th largest District by GDP in Uganda. Jinja District GDP is approximately Shs 2.4 Trillion according to a 2017 USAID funded research by Fredrick S Pardee. Kampala with Shs 16.9 Trillion, Wakiso Shs 15.6 Trillion and Mukono Shs 3.98 Trillion take up the top three spots, While Mbarara, Buikwe, Masaka and Mbale follow in that order from fifth.
9. Jinja is the third most popular and visited town in Uganda after Kampala and Entebbe. Jinja has of recent become a weekend getaway and attracts revellers from Kampala and beyond. Jinja also hosts a number of tourism attractions and events that draw tourists and revellers from across the globe.
10. Jinja District has the third highest proportion of population in urban areas. Kampala has 100%, Mbarara has 43%, Jinja 37%, Gulu 35% and Wakiso 33%
11. The oldest building still in existence in Jinja today is the Vicars Residence at St. Andrews Church having been built in 1914. It is therefore 106 years old in 2020.
12. Jinja was not the original capital of Busoga. It was Mayuge. The first British District Commissioner of Busoga (Captain William Grant) transferred his headquarters from Kigwisa hill near Bukaleba in Bunha Chiefdom (present day Mayuge District) to Jinja following a severe sleeping sickness outbreak in the area in 1899. Grant road in Jinja City is named after the commissioner.
13. Jinja was the first place in Uganda to get a post office in 1906. The post office was an idea of Hajji Soleiman Tamachi, an Indian settler, who proposed to the British to set up one, however, he ended up funding it himself after the British claimed it wasn’t viable at the time and couldn’t start up one.
14. Built in 1912, the Jinja Pier is the first major infrastructure to be built in Jinja. The pier was the terminus of Uganda’s first railway, the Busoga Railway, and served as the main outlet of Uganda until the rail head of the Uganda Railway reached Jinja in 1928.
15. Jinja’s most famous investor and philanthropist Muljibhai Madhivani arrived in Jinja 1912 and started a small shop in 1914 after working for his uncles Vithaldas and Kalidas in Iganga. Muljibhai later became the managing director of Vithaldas Haridas & Company that would go on to form the Madhivani Sugar Works by 1930. By 1972, Madhvani’s businesses accounted for 10% of Uganda’s GDP.
16. Hajji Tamachi, built the first double storied building in circa 1910 in Jinja town with business premises located at ground level and residence upstairs. This house was a great surprise for locals as they used to see people going into the home, disappear and reappear again upstairs. For quite long time locals used to come and see this “magical house” from remote places. However, the building is no longer in existence.
17. Built in 1919, the Madhvani Building on Main Street is the oldest double storied building still in existence in Uganda. It was built by Vithaldas Haridas & Co. It later became offices for Muljibhai Madhvani and Company and in 1947 was the headquarters for two sugar factories, eighteen cotton ginneries and a tobacco company. Today, it’s the headquarters of the Madhivani Foundation.
18. Jinja’s busiest and most important street; Main Street, was previously called Market Street in the 1920s and 1930s.
19. Jinja’s first school, Busoga College Mwiri was founded on 25 September 1911, as Balangira High School, to educate the sons of Busoga Chiefs. Initially, the school was located in Kamuli District. Between 1920 and 1930, plans were made to move the school to Mwiri Hill because of more space and newer, better infrastructure. The school also opened to sons of non-chiefs. Between 1930 and 1933, the school temporarily relocated to Kings College Budo in Wakiso District because of the poor accommodations at Kamuli. In 1933, the school permanently relocated to its present premises at Mwiri Hill. The school has produced some of the most prominent Ugandans including a President, a Vice President, Supreme Court Justices, Speakers of Parliament, Vice chancellors, Members of Parliament etc.
20. Jinja Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in the country. The hospital started in 1914 as a military hospital to treat World War 1 soldiers of African descent. At the end of the war in 1919, the hospital was transformed into a civilian one.
21. The first resident of Jinja (excluding British Colonialists) to own a car was an Indian settler called Hajji Tamachi. He bought the car from the then Governor- Frederick Jackson in circa- 1917.
22. Muljibhai Madhvani’s first ventured into cotton before sugar. In 1921 Muljibhai started the Kakira Cotton Ginnery to process cotton grown within the area. However bad weather destroyed most of the cotton crop of that year. Muljibhai decided to experiment with growing sugarcane on the land in Kakira that had failed to support the cotton crop. The rest is history.
23. The Madhvani family has been Jinja’s single largest investor for close to 100 years.
24. Jinja’s Cotton ginneries and mills where the first industries of any kind in Uganda. Some started operations as early as 1915.
25. Built in the 1920s, the Headquarters of Jinja District in Busoga Square are the oldest continuously functioning district offices in Uganda. However, with the elevation of Jinja as a city, the Headquarters will be relocated to Kagoma and the current space they occupy was sold to Bank of Uganda.
26. In the 1920s, Uganda’s Currency Center – a form of Central Bank was located in Jinja with branches in Kampala and Mbale, but operating within the premises of National and Grindlys banks. (Today’s Stanbic Bank)
27. The first factory to be set up in Jinja, aside from cotton mills was British American Tobacco in 1928. The factory used to process tobacco into cigarettes. Unfortunately, it was closed in 2006 after 78 years in existence.
28. During the colonial era up until the 1960s, Jinja was segregated into four zones according to races. The European Residential Zone, entire area South of Bell Avenue (Formerly Boundary Road), the Indian Zone between Bell Avenue and Naranbhai Road, Neutral Zone- between Naranbhai Road and Clive Road and lastly African Zone the entire area north of Clive road. The segregation was as a result of racial tensions that started between 1906 to 1914. Main Street was the only street to traverse all four zones.
29. Jinja is the only district in Uganda which starts with letter “J”.
30. The Jinja Central Police station located on Main Street is 92 years in 2020. The building, with its prominent position on the corner of Main Street and Rippon Road, has served the same purpose since 1928, when it was constructed to deal with the rising crime brought to Jinja by the railway and taxi park.
31. The water bodies around Jinja were once filled with hippopotamuses, however, today, they are so rare to come by that you would be lucky to find one.
32. The oldest Hindu Temple in Jinja, the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) Temple is 94 years old. It is an important religious and community hub for Jinja’s Hindus and was built in 1926, the temple grounds contain a statue of Mahatma Gandhi whose sacred ashes were immersed in the River Nile at Jinja in 1948.
33. The 90-year-old Kakira Sugar works industry is the oldest continuous industry in existence in Jinja and perhaps in Uganda, having been set up in 1930. However, the company temporarily ceased its operations in the 70s following the expulsion of Asians only to return in 1983.
34. From its inception in 1930 up until 1983, Kakira Sugar Works was called Madhivani Sugar Works Ltd
35. St Joseph’s Cathedral is the oldest catholic founded church in existence in Jinja. It was built by Catholic missionary priests in 1939, the Mill Hill Fathers, who also set up a number of Jinja’s other institutions such as Jinja College and St. Gonza Primary School. The church became a cathedral after Jinja became a diocese in 1966, with Bishop J.J. Willigers as the first bishop.
36. Before the expansive Kakira Sugar plantation estate was set up in the mid-1920s, leopards and lions roamed free in the area and were a threat to humans working in the plantations. This standoff had only one winner. By the 1930s, the lions in the area were all but wiped out. The Kakira Sugar logo has a lion for this reason.
37. Although the Owen Falls Hydro Electric Dam was built in 1954, by 1937, Jinja had electricity. A Thermal Electricity Plant was constructed by the British Colonial government to power Cotton Mills in Kirinya. Kirinya is now home to Jinja’s largest prison.
38. Until 1931, you had to use a ferry or boat to cross the Nile. In 1931, the Railway Bridge was completed with a roadway and the Owen Falls Dam Bridge was finished in 1954.
39. Jinja Central Market was founded in the 1920s and is arguably the biggest Market under one roof in Uganda.
40. Jinja was declared a Town Council in 1938 after being Township for 32 years.
41. Built in 1954, Ripon Hotel (defunct) was the first hotel in Jinja and fourth in Uganda after Speke Hotel-1920s, Masindi Hotel -1923 (defunct) and Imperial Hotel -1937.
42. Jinja and Kampala are the only towns in Uganda with both World War 1& 2 memorials.
43. Jinja was the second town to be granted Municipality Status in 1956 after Kampala and was a Municipality for 64 years until it was granted city status in July 2020.
44. Colonel A.A. Barleein, a British lawyer, was the first Mayor of Jinja Municipality in 1958.
45. The first African mayor of Jinja Municipality was Y.K. Lubogo between 1961-1963.
46. Jinja has had 15 mayors since 1958 including one European, one Indian and thirteen indigenous mayors.
47. Jinja City’s motto is “Kiyira bwe Bugagga”or “the Nile is Wealth”
48. Jinja is considered to be the most organized town in Uganda, in terms of its urban layout and infrastructure. Jinja Municipality plan was initially drawn up by A E. Mirams in 1930. However, a new design and layout was later planned in 1948 by Ernst May, the German architect and urban planner. Estates were built for the ruling elite outside the centre of the city, which came to be dominated by the Asian business class, as Africans were resettled further away. There was a separate space for industries, residential areas and commercial space.
49. Mpumudde Hill is where Busoga Chiefs officially accepted colonial rule in 1911. The then British Provincial Commissioner for the Eastern Province (Fredrick Spire) persuaded Busoga’s 11 hereditary rulers to sign an agreement accepting British Colonial Rule on this hill.
50. The Great Bunyoro King Kabalega, popular for resisting colonial rule, died in Jinja at Mpumudde on his way back to Bunyoro from exile in the 1920’s. The site of his death is also where Busoga Kings (Kyabazingas) are crowned.
51. Jinja’s green belt is over 81 years having been gazetted in 1937. However, its threatened by encroachment today.
52. Muljibhai Madhvani College, Wairaka was established in 1947 by Muljibhai Madhvani as an agricultural school. His conviction was that agriculture and commerce are the backbones of society. The school was later possessed by the Government.
53. Jinja is the only place in Uganda, where you can go bungee jumping, play horse Polo, tubing, white water rafting and kayaking.
54. Jinja is the only city in Uganda with a cable stayed bridge and second in East Africa after the Kigamboni Bridge in Tanzania. The bridge was commissioned on 17th October 2018.
55. The source of the longest river in the Africa, the R. Nile is found in Jinja. The British, Egyptians, Romans and even Greeks spent years searching for it, sending expeditions from Egypt until the 19th Century when John Speke became the first European to land upon it.
56. Jinja was the first place in Uganda to be connected to the hydroelectric power grid in 1954 after the completion of the Owen Falls Dam. This attracted a number of factories that would transform Jinja into a major industrial town. The first major factories were Nyanza Textiles, Nile Breweries, Mulco Textiles, Chillington Factory, and the Copper Smelting Factory.
57. Queen Elizabeth II stayed in Jinja on her maiden Visit to Uganda in 1954 at the now defunct Ripon Hotel. She had come to commission the newly built Owen Falls Dam. The first Hydro Electric Power Station in Uganda.
58. Nile Breweries was founded by Muljibhai Madhvani in 1957.
59. According to the 2019 UBOS Abstract, Jinja consumed the second highest quantity of water in Uganda, about 7 million liters in 2019. Kampala Metropolitan Area (KMA) consumed close to 79 million in the same period. According to NWSC, Jinja has the second largest network of piped water and KMA.
60. Of Uganda’s 25 banks as of September 2020, 17 have branches in Jinja. This is more than any other upcountry town.
61. Jinja Secondary School was established in 1949 as an Indian only school. At its peak in the 80s and 90s, the school had the highest student population in Uganda, with over 6,000 students. It has produced many outstanding Ugandans e.g General Moses Ali (Deputy Prime Minister) Dr. Louis Kasekende (a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda), Professor Paul Waako (Vice-Chancellor of Busitema University), Dr. Warren Namara (the current Chairperson of Mbarara University of Science and Technology Council), Daudi Migereko (a former Minister in Uganda Government) and Prof. Tanga Odoi (Deputy Secretary General of NRM).
62. The first town clerk of Jinja was Ezekyeri. M. Kate in the 1960s
63. Jinja Town Hall was designed by Cobb, Powell and Freeman in the Tropical Modernist style, these offices mark Jinja’s transition from a township to a municipality. Built in 1958, the building has council chambers, a ceremonial main hall and offices for the Jinja Mayor, Town Clerk and other officials.
64. The first cinema hall to open in Jinja in the late 1950s was Town Talkies Cinema. This was followed by Deluxe Cinema in the early 1960s, which later came to be known as Alka Cinema before being finally settling for its current name; Dingos Cinema in the early 1970s. The last cinema to open was Odeon Cinema which came late in the 1960s. The cinemas were most frequented by the Asian and European communities. However, these cinemas started experiencing problems following the late Amin’s Dada’s declaration of an economic war, which saw Asians being expelled from the country. Odeon Cinema now houses the Oasis of Life Church. Town Talkies Cinema is now the Mission Link Church. Dingos Cinema is still in existence but mostly broadcasts sports matches.
65. Until 1959, Jinja and Njeru were jointly planned as one area by the colonial government. This has led to the current confusion of what constitutes the western boundaries of Jinja. A lot of places in Njeru, Mbiko, Bukaya etc are assumed to be in Jinja.
66. Kiira College Butiki and Wanyange Girls were built in 1959 and 1960 respectively by the Busoga Government.
67. Completed in 1956, the Walukuba Estate comprising of 1,600 units is considered to be the largest housing estate in East Africa. It was home for thousands of workers in Jinja’s industries as well as employees of the Jinja Municipal Council. Today, although largely dilapidated, the estate has a population of 17,000.
68. Uganda’s Motto (For God and My Country) was borrowed from that of a school in Jinja – Busoga College Mwiri’s “Kulwa Katonda n’egwanga lyaffe”. It was President Milton Obote, an old boy of Mwiri who pushed for the adoption of the Motto.
69. The famous Amber Court Club was built in the early 1950s to offer recreation to European construction workers of the Owen Falls Dam. After the dam was completed in 1954, most of the workers returned to the UK, the club was then taken over by Asians until 1972. The Queen of England once dined here in 1954. In its heyday, the club was frequented by President Idi Amin. The club has since run into disrepair.
70. Parvatiben Muljibhai Madhivani Girls School, commonly known as PMM Girls School was founded in 1958 after the death of Mujibhai Madhivani in memory of the Madhivani matriarch Parvatiben who died in 1818 in India.
71. The first members of Parliament to represent Jinja were S.N. Odaka of UPC for Jinja North in 1961-1971, while C.K. Patel represented Jinja South in 1961-1962 and M.M. Patela -DP Member in 1962-1971.
72. Built in the 70s the iconic UTL telephone mast has for decades remained the tallest free standing structure in Jinja. Located on Nizam Road, the government owned mast belonging to Uganda Telecom can be seen from almost every corner within the city centre thanks to the fairly flat terrain.
73. The seat of the Busoga Kingdom, Igenge Palace on Igenge hill, was constructed in 1962 by the Busoga Government for future Kyabazingas.
74. In 1964, Jinja College was established from a merger between Budini and Rubaga Junior Secondary School.
75. The hugely popular Jinja Agricultural Show started in 1977 during the Amin regime. However, the shows were short lived and stopped in 1979 after President Idi Amin was ousted. The shows later resumed in 1993.
76. Until August 1972, it is estimated that Jinja had about 20,000 Asians of Uganda’s over 70,000. The number dropped to almost 0 after their expulsion in 1972. Today, it is estimated that Jinja has between 3,000 to 5,000 Asians.
77. Jinja Crested Crane Hotel is over 56 years old having been built in 1964. The hotel is thus the oldest in existence in Jinja. (Rippon built in 1954 is older but is now defunct). The hotel was later expanded into Uganda Hotel of Tourism and Training Institute (UHTTI).
78. Jinja has 13 radio stations including; NBS Apex FM, Kiira FM, Baaba FM, Maranatha FM, Bamboo FM, NBS FM, Voice of Busoga FM, Operation Phillip FM, Busoga One FM, Victoria FM, City FM, Jinja FM.
79. During the ousting of Idi Amin, Jinja fell on 22 April 1979, 11 days after Kampala was captured by a coalition of Tanzanian forces and Ugandan rebels.
80. There are more accommodation facilities in Jinja than any other district outside Kampala, Wakiso and Entebbe area. Tourism has pushed the growth of hotels, lodges, resorts and guest houses in Jinja District.
81. According the UBOS Abstract 2017, Jinja has over 113 health facilities; this makes it the third after Kampala – 1,392 and Kasese – 139 facilities.
82. Makerere University established its first branch of its Centre for Continuing Education in Jinja Municipality in 1969.
83. Between 1972 and 1986, the population of Jinja decreased by as much as 10% after the expulsion of Asians and the total economic collapse.
84. Jinja District has seven parliamentary constituencies including Jinja City South West, Jinja City South East, Jinja City North, Kagoma, Butembe Jinja City Woman and Jinja District Woman.
85. Jinja has been in the top 10 best performing districts in PLE, UCE and UACE since the 80s, with minor slumps in some years.
86. At 168 square Kms, Jinja has the third largest land area under commercial agriculture after Mukono and Masindi. In fact, one quarter of Jinja District is under commercial agriculture, mostly sugar cane.
87. President Idi Amin Dada albeit without evidence claimed to have been born at an army barracks in Jinja. This is widely disputed today.
88. Jinja District (incl of Jinja City) has approximately 520,000 people (2020), whereas Jinja City alone has an estimated population of 322,300 (Jinja Central- 130,000, Mafubira has – 85,000, Bugembe -52,000 and Budondo – 55,300)
89. Jinja is increasingly being referred to as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa” mainly due to the high adrenaline activity there including rafting, bungee jumping, rafting, kayaking, quad biking horseback riding and many more.
90. Jinja City has only three divisions, Jinja South East (Masese/Walukuba), Jinja South West (Kimaka/Mpumudde/Nalufenya) and Jinja North (Bugembe, Mafubira and Budondo).
91. Jinja District has three town councils (Kakira, Buwenge and Bugembe) and one city.
92. Jinja has four counties, 12 sub counties, 58 parishes and 409 villages.
93. Jinja’s mascot (anything used to represent a group with a common public identity) is a hippo.
94. At over 2700, Jinja’s prisons hold the highest number of prisoners after Kampala’s 9000 plus and Wakiso’s 3,300. Source: 2019 UBOS Abstract.
95. Although widely believed, the narrative that Jinja is worse off today than it was at its industrial peak is actually incorrect. There are more industries in Jinja today (over 80) than they were at its peak in the early 70s (just under 50).
96. President Bill Clinton in 1998 and Richard Nixon, Vice President of the USA in 1957, are the highest ranking US officials to Visit Jinja, Nixon toured Owen Falls dam while on a study tour in Africa in 1957, while Bill visited Wanyange Town, where a new-born was named after him.
97. Jinja and Fort Portal are the only districts in Uganda which have campuses of Uganda’s oldest, biggest and most prestigious University, Makerere University.
98. Jinja City is the only Major town in Uganda that straddles on a Lake and River at the same time. The Lake Victoria neighbors Jinja to the south and River Nile to the West.
99. Jinja has five Universities including one indigenous University and four campuses. MUK – Jinja Campus, MUBS- Jinja Campus, Kampala University – Jinja Campus, Busoga University – Jinja Campus, and Nsaka University.
100. Jinja is home to the only civil service college in Uganda. The Civil Service College Uganda was founded in 2010 and is located on Kisinja Road.
101. The Source of the Nile is Jinja’s most visited site. It attracts anywhere between 250,000 to 350,000 visitors annually. This translates to over Shs 1 Billion in revenues annually.
102. Jinja, Mbale and Kampala are the only towns in Uganda with dual carriageways into and out of town. In fact, Jinja’s dual carriageway is one of the longest outside Kampala and runs from the source of the Nile bridge to Kakira Estate, a distance of 12km.
103. Jinja is the only town in Uganda with two airstrips, although relatively small. These are Kimaka Airstrip and the privately owned Kakira Airstrip.
104. Until recently the Bujagali Dam was the single most expensive project in Uganda, costing close to $1 billion. It is estimated that the Jinja Expressway will cost $1.5 Bn and Karuma Dam will have cost over $2.2 Bn on completion.
105. Uniquely, Jinja can be accessed by Air, Water, Road and Rail.
106. Jinja’s 80 plus industries produce over 50 products including edible oils, soap, car batteries, sugar, plastics, confectioneries, steel, textiles, aluminium, mineral water, tyres, ethanol, plywood, match boxes, margarine, cardboards, roofs, rebars, bollards, spirits, alcohol, car lubricants, whines, wheat, leather, clothing, paper, powdered soap, detergents, baking powder, curry powder, packaging material, chocolate, cables, electronics etc
107. Once completed, Jinja-Kampala express way will be the most expensive road ever built in Uganda. It is estimated to cost $1.5 Bn.
108. Jinja city has the third largest proportion of built up area. Jinja had 18 Square Km of built up land, Kampala has 81 Sq Km, Wakiso has 30 Sq Km, while Mukono comes fourth with 14sq. Km.
109. By 2021, Jinja will be producing electric cars. Kiira Motors EV factory is currently under construction at the Jinja Industrial Area in Mutai.
110. There are three hydroelectric power dams around Jinja with a fourth under construction. Owen Falls HEP Dam, Kiira HEP Dam, Bujagali HEP Dam and the incomplete Isimba HEP Dam.
111. Five of the top 50 tax payers of Uganda in 2019 are based in Jinja. These include Kakira Sugar Works, Bujagali Energy Limited, Bidco Uganda Limited, Madhivani Group Limited and Nile Breweries. They paid a combined total of almost Shs 400 bn in taxes.
112. According to the National Planning Authority, in the vision 2040, Jinja is being planned into a strategic Industrial City.
113. Idi Amin gave his last public address in Jinja in 1979, as he fled Uganda. The Tanzanian army together with Ugandan rebels had over run the capital Kampala and were closing in on him.
114. Did you know that you can have a whole breakfast with products exclusively made in Jinja, ie, sugar, tealeaves, bread, milk and margarine, from Kakira Sugar, Eagle Investments, Engaano Millers, and Bidco Uganda respectively? Also the electricity you use will have come from Jinja.
115. Main Street is approximately 2 km end to end.
116. The Rebel leader Alice Lakwena of the Holy Spirit Movement was defeated in Jinja when she attempted to advance onto Kampala through Jinja, against the new NRA government in 1987.
117. Jinja town has the highest number of single sex schools in Uganda and properly in Africa. There are six single sex schools, three are only-male and three are only-female schools. These include Busoga College Mwiri, Kiira College Butiki, Jinja College for Boys and Wanyange Girls, PMM Girls and Masese Girls for girls.
118. Although Jinja is some 72 kms away from Kampala, based on the current expansion of Kampala into neighbouring districts, its predicated that in 20 to 30 years, the Kampala Metropolitan Area will reach Jinja. The Kampala Metropolitan area is approaching Lugazi which is some 30kms from Jinja City.
119. The two largest bridges in Uganda are found in Jinja, the Owen Falls Dam Bridge completed in 1954 and the Source of the Nile Bridge completed in 2018.
120. About 25% of the working population of Jinja is involved in public service, 18% in agricultural services, 13% in manufacturing sector and 8% in the financial institutions.
121. Jinja’s non-native Ugandan population (Asians and Europeans) is the largest after Kampala.
122. Jinja City serves a catchment area of between 3 to 4 million people in the districts of Jinja, Kamuli, Buikwe, Iganga, Mayuge, Luuka, Buvuma, and Kayunga.
123. Jinja has one TV station. Baba TV. However, two stations including NBS TV and Khodeyo Tv were previously based in Jinja. NBS relocated to Kampala and Khodeyo TV collapsed.
124. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in 2007 are the highest ranking British royals to visit Jinja after Independence. Prince William also visited Jinja 2003 for rafting.
125. Walukuba Estate proportionally has produced the highest number of players in the national team (currently over 20+), more than any other town, area or district, including Geoffrey Massa, Abel Dhaira, Andy Mwesigwa etc.
126. The Kings African Rifle, Uganda’s colonial era army had their HQ in Kimaka, Jinja. The Barracks is presently called Gaddafi Barracks.
127. Mwiri Hill, home to Busoga College Mwiri at its top and Viva College School on its lower slopes is the highest Hill or point in Jinja District.
128. Jinja City’s daytime population (refers to the number of people who are present in an area during normal business hours, including workers) is estimated to be between 500,000 and 600,000.
129. Mayur Madhvani is Jinja’s richest man. He is the heir to the Madhvani conglomerate that owns Sugar, Steel, Sweets, packaging and Ethanol processing industries in Jinja.
130. About 5% or the equivalent of 133 hectares of land in the City is reserved for industrial development. This is enough space for about 500 industries, each occupying an acre.
131. It is impossible to travel to Jinja by road without passing through some form of Sugar Cane plantation.
132. Almost 50% of the population of Jinja town are Migrants from other parts of the Uganda or entirely from other countries especially India, Pakistan, Somalia and Europe.
133. Uganda’s first civil engineer, Eng Rev Canon James Dhikusooka studied from Jinja at Busoga College Mwiri. He founded the Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers (UIPE) in 1972. Dhikusoka also executed major public projects, including construction of Entebbe International Airport, Kampala International Conference Centre, all major highways in western and eastern Uganda, the Mount Kenya Tea Roads, and the Bristol/Birmingham motorway in the United Kingdom in 1960, among others. Eng Dhikusooka Road in Jinja Municipality is named after him.
134. Only 35% of the population in Jinja Municipality is employed.
135. Jinja District covers only 0.3% of the total land area in Uganda. Kotido being the biggest district covers about 5% and Gulu is at 4.9%.
136. Approximately 3% or about 6, 000 of the city population is of foreigners with varying decent. Most are of Indian, Pakistani, European, Arab and Somali decent.
137. Kakira Sugar Works is Jinja’s single largest employer. It employs 7,500 people. Its followed by Bidco Uganda 1,200, Nile Agro, MM Steel, and Kengrow.
138. Satellite photos and surveys show that Jinja City is growing northwards towards Kamuli and Westwards into Njeru, Buyala and Mbiko. Jinja is not extending much eastwards because of the Sugar Cane Plantations barrier.
139. It is estimated that between 60%- 70% of formal businesses in Jinja are owned by people of Indian decent. In fact, over 90% of supermarkets and almost all industries in Jinja are Indian owned.
140. Jinja is the largest city by size and economy among the newly declared cities of Mbarara, Mbale, Masaka, Gulu, Soroti, Fortportal, Arua, Lira and Hoima.
141. The tallest building in Jinja is the Igar Plaza on Main street at 8 storeys as of September 2020. Noor House and Ganshi Towers are both 7 floors. However, there is a building on Lubas road currently under construction expected to be 12 floors.
142. Over 80% of imports by road into Uganda inevitably pass through Jinja at one stage of their Journey.
143. Jinja District is bordered by five districts. Buikwe to the West, Kayunga to the North West, Kamuli to the North, Luuka to the North East, and Mayuge to the South East.
144. 85% of Jinja’s population is literate.
145. Popular musicians who have shot videos in Jinja include; John Blaq, Bebe Cool, Irene Ntale, Sheeba, Rema, among other.
146. At least 40% of Jinja City is undeveloped and available for future development compared to less than 5% inside Kampala City.
147. President Kagame of Rwanda, former President Milton Obote, Former Vice President Wilberforce Nadiope, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Sudhir Ruparelia, Nabagerekka Sylvia Nagginda, the current Kyabazinga all attended school in Jinja.
148. It is possible to find atleast 10 buildings along Main Street that are 80 years plus old. These include Vithaldas & Co. 1919, CPS Building 1928, Pitamba Motibhai Building, 1932, Venezes Building 1937, VH & G Ltd. Building, 1937 and many more. However, the rapid development Jinja is witnessing these days is putting most of them under the threat of demise.
149. At least one ferry has been assembled in Jinja, the MV Sigulu was assembled at Masese harbour by JGH .
150. Jinja today (2020) has over 80 industries, several more than it had at its peak in the early 70s. It is the second most industrialized district outside the Kampala Metropolitan Area (Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono).
Full List of Jinja Industries
1. Thompson Creek Uganda Limited
2. Auroomera Industries
3. Bidco Uganda Limited
4. Kakira Sugar Works
5. Nilus Group Limited
6. MM Integrated Steel Mills
7. Agroways Limited
8. H.K. Industries Ltd
9. Nile Agro Limited
10. Tasco Industries Limited
11. Nile Plywood
12. Sigma Knitting Industries Limited
13. Makepasi Match Ltd
14. Galot Packaging Limited
15. Shree Modern Textiles Limited
16. Nile Derivatives Limited
17. Skyfat Tanneries Industries
18. Saraya Manufacturing Uganda Ltd
19. Vicnile Paper and Boards Ltd (Former Mulco)
20. Coleus Crowns Ltd
21. Oxford Agro Industries Ltd.
22. Keshwala Group of Companies
23. Eagle Investments (Garden Tea)
24. Total Cables Uganda Ltd
25. Kenafric Development Limited
26. Lumens Manufacturing Industries
27. Crocodile Tools Limited
28. Madhvani Steel
29. African Minerals Ltd
30. Jay Somnath Industries Ltd
31. Najeru Packaging Industries Ltd
32. Engaano Grain Millers
33. Papco Industries Ltd (Uganda Paper and Pulp)
34. Masese Fish Factories
35. London Distillers Uganda
36. Kengrow Industries
37. Swt Leather Industries
38. Nile Batteries Limited Masese
39. Nile Aluminium Limited Jinja
40. Upland Rice Millers Jinja
41. Nile Transformers Limited Jinja
42. Sunbelt Textile Industries
43. Vala Uganda Limited
44. Fresh Parch Industries
45. Newtech Industries Limited
46. Nelson Leather Works
47. Omega Paints Ltd
48. Gomba Fishing Industries.
49. Busoga Forestry Company
50. Nuvita Feeds
51. Creek Paints Limited
52. Marine & Agro Export Processing Ltd
53. Kakira Sweets and Confectioneries
54. Printpak Uganda Limited
55. Royal Techno Projects (Africa) Ltd
56. Biashara Industries Uganda Ltd
57. Venture Leather Co.
58. Shreeji Glass Uganda Limited
59. Krishna Industries Limited
60. Carbro and Company Limited
61. Nile Polysack Ltd
62. Jophro Green Acres Limited
63. Jinja Marine Supplies Ltd
64. Jinja Clay Investments Ltd.
65. Viral Lubricants Limited
66. Millennium Tiles Uganda Ltd
67. Tianran Biotech (U) Lt
68. Jinja Marble
69. Shreeji Steel Limited
70. Hussain Grinding Mill (U) Limited
71. Welltech Limited
72. Allied Metals Limited
73. Pallet Masters Uganda Limited
74. Victoria Sugar Limited
75. Doctor’s Choice Limited
76. Nile Surgicot Ltd
77. Ledo Uganda Limited
78. G-Das Industries
79. Giant Aluminium Ltd
80. Leather Industries Uganda Limited
81. Master Grain Millers Uganda Limited
82. Goldstar Batteries Uganda Limited
83. Vita Foam
84. Modern Laminates
85. Modern Steel Limited
86. Pramukh Agro
87. Pramukh Steel
88. Yogi Steel
89. Leeko Industries Ltd
90. Nile Breweries
91. Nytil Uganda
92. East African Packaging Solutions
93. Theresa Wines
94. Nile Batteries Ltd
95. Victoria Nile Plastics
96. Das Agro Process Limited
97. Bavima Steel
98. GM Sugar
99. Master Grain Millers Industries
100. MODERN AGRICHEM LIMITED
101. MODERN TILES
102. Builders Products Industries Ltd
103. MODERN HEAVY ENGINEERING LIMITED
104. KIRA PLASTICS LTD
105. PALLET MASTERS UGANDA LIMITED
106. DELTA REFRACTORIES LIMITED
107. Briton Lubricants Ltd
108. MODERN ALLIED & FOOTWEAR LIMITED
109. MODERN RUBBER AND CABLE LIMITED
110. Appollo Tyres Ltd
111. Elizabeth Queen Shoes Investments Limited
Jinja is on course to regaining in dominance not only as an industrial powerhouse, but also a top tourism destination
Sources and References
JINJA CITY MEDIA