Sustainable and prosperous city with excellence in tourism, commerce and industry


To improve the quality of life of all residents through tourism promotion, commercial rejuvenation and a revitalized industrial economy with equitable access and enhanced service delivery in an attractive and sustainable environment.


  • To promote local economic development.
  • To reduce poverty and improve livelihood status of the community
  • To promote tourism and cultural development.
  • To improve access to quality of Health services and reduce prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
  • Customer care
  • To enhance environmental Management and physical planning.
  • To foster education and Human development.
  • To improve Governance and Management.

Background & History of Jinja

Jinja began as an urban settlement in 1901 by the British as an administrative centre for the Provincial Government Headquarters for Busoga Region.

 This was around the time a lake steamer service between Jinja and Port Florence (Kisumu), the port that in 1901 became the terminus of the railway from the coast.

Jinja grew economically with considerable expansion of commercial activities before the town later becoming the focus of modern manufacturing industries and the industrial heart-land for Uganda.

The construction of the Owen Falls Dam in 1947 provided an impetus for these developments and marked a major turning point in the economic development of the town and the country at large.

On the 26th of June, Jinja turned 100 years as a town and cerebrated its century of urban development. In July 2020, Jinja was declared a city.

Before 1906, Jinja was a fishing village that benefited from being located on long-distance trade routes. The origin of the name “Jinja” comes from the language of the two peoples (the Baganda and the Basoga) that lived on either side of the River Nile in the area. In both languages “Jinja” means “Rock”. In most of Africa, rivers like the Nile hindered migration, this explains the ethnic boundaries along the Nile as one moves north from the river’s source on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.

However the area around Jinja was one place where the river could be breached due to the large rocks near the Ripon Falls. Here, on either bank of the river, were large flat rocks where small boats could be launched to cross the river. These rock formations were also accredited with providing a natural moderator for the water flow out of Lake Victoria. For the original local inhabitants, the location was a crossing point, for trade, migration and as a fishing post.

This might explain why, despite this barrier, the two tribes have very similar languages, and the more powerful Baganda had an enormous influence on the Basoga. The area was called the ‘Place of Rocks’ or ‘The Place of Flat Rocks’. The word for stones or rocks in the language of the Baganda is ‘Ejjinja (Plural Mayinja), and in the Basoga dialect this became Edinda. The British used this reference to name the town they established – “Jinja”

People & ethnicity in Jinja 
Jinja District is part of Busoga sub-region, which includes the districts listed below, and was home to an estimated 2.5 million people in 2002, according to the national census. The majority of the people in Jinja District belong to the Basoga ethnic group and Lusoga is the most widely spoken language.