PRAY FOR MWANZA
The Tanzanian city of Mwanza is located directly at the banks of Lake Victoria. Between 400,000 and 500,000 people live in the greater Mwanza area.
It sits at the foot of the hill where J.H. Speke became the first European to discover Lake Victoria in 1858. In 1890, the administration of German East Africa decided to establish a settlement there. They named it Muansa, which simply means “lake.” Development of the city and harbour soon began, and large cotton plantations were set up on the banks of the lake. British troops later conquered the city during WWI.
In the 1920’s, the discovery of gold and the completion of the Tanganjika railroad resulted in economic prosperity and population growth. But in later years the Lake Victoria region experienced a major economic regression. Then in 1978 the war with Uganda added serious damage to the area.
However, over a decade later, the civil wars in Rwanda and Burundi actually strengthened Mwanza’s infrastructure. It became a hub for humanitarian help used by government and non-government aid organisations from all over the world. This created an economic upsurge for the whole region.
Today, thanks to its central location, Mwanza has developed into one of the largest industrial and economic centres in Tanzania. It has an airport (Mwanza Lake Victoria International), as well as its railroad – now almost 100 years old. And Mwanza harbour is the most important harbour in the region.