Historical Study of Jinja, Uganda: A City Influenced by Industrial Developments During the Early 20th Century
Wako, K. Anthony
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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This paper evaluates how industrial developments during the first three decades of the 20th century contributed to the founding and growth of Jinja. During this period Jinja grew to become an important inland port on Lake Victoria, a consequence of geography, as well as a multitude of conditions and circumstances linked to colonial developmental policies. The paper presents the socio-economic and socio-political context of colonial patronage which influenced the spatial developments of Jinja. It, however, makes a case that some industrial aspects were in place before Jinja was designated as the pre-eminent industrial hub of Uganda. The paper frames historical narratives through developmental paradigms. By selecting different lenses to cross-examine the growth of Jinja, the paper highlights themes of trade, transport and planning that influenced and shaped the growth of the city. Research for this paper draws primarily on historical information, through critical analysis with reference to embryonic urban centres in other British controlled territories across sub-Saharan Africa, as a means to better situate the conditions that shaped Jinja. The study of Jinja’s history also forms a basis for conservation policies and could be an instrument for promoting ideas of development which are compatible with Jinja’s genius loci.