Rukwa Region – History, Districts, Economy and More

Rukwa Region – History, Districts, Economy and More

With a postcode of 55000, the Rukwa Region is one of the thirty-one administrative regions in Tanzania. The Sumbawanga municipality serves as the regional capital. The area had an approximate population of 1,004,539 people as per the 2012 national census. The 3.2 percent mean yearly population growth rate of the region was joint 3rd highest in the nation between 2002 and 2012. With forty-four persons per sq kilometer, it was likewise the 20th most densely inhabited region.

The Katavi Area borders the Rukwa region to the north, the Mbeya Region to the east, Zambia to the south, and Lake Tanganyika to the west, which serves as a boundary between Tanzania and the DRC.

History of Rukwa Region

The region derives its name from Lake Rukwa Tanzania, which is home to the country’s biggest crocodile population. It is the Fipa people’s homeland, where they survive off subsistence agriculture, cattle keeping, and Lake Rukwa fish whose habitat is mainly the Lake Rukwa basin.

President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere created the Rukwa Region in 1975 by combining the Mpanda District of Tabora and Sumbawanga District of the Mbeya Region, which was previously united. The Nkasi District was founded in 1984. The area was restructured in 2012, with the Mpanda District being transferred to the new Katavi area.

Julius Nyerere

Rukwa Region Districts

Sumbawanga Municipal Council (MC), Kalambo District Council, Sumbwanga District Council, and Nkasi District Council are the four administrative bodies in the region. Moreover, Rukwa is divided into two townships (Namanyere and Laela located in the Nkasi and Sumbawanga districts respectively). Rukwa is divided into sixteen divisions, ninety-seven wards, three hundred and thirty-nine villages, 1817 hamlets, and a hundred and sixty-five streets.

Districts found in Rukwa Tanzania

District Population (as per 2012 census) Administrative Centre
Sumbwanga 353,0782 Sumbawanga
Nkasi 281,200 Namanyere
Lyamba Iya Mfipa 162,557 Mtowisa
Kalambo 207,000 Matai
Total 1,004,539  

Economy of Rukwa Region

Agriculture in Rukwa Region

Rukwa lake area Tanzania is famous for production of food crops. Its fertile terrain is ideal for corn (maize), paddy, beans, wheat, and banana farming.

Mining in Rukwa Region

Rukwa Coal Project by Edenville Energy plc
Rukwa Coal Project by Edenville Energy plc

While the Rukwa Region has vast mineral potential, there are no operating major mines. Topaz, rubies, amethysts, aquamarines, moonstones, and Emeralds are some of the gemstones that have been discovered in various locales. The Namwele, Muze, and Mkomolo regions have coal seams, with some mining already done in these regions.

Rukwa Game Reserve

Southwest Tanzania’s Rukwa Valley is home to the Uwanda Rukwa Game Reserve. It extends into Katavi National Park and is 4100 square kilometres in size. It contains about all of Lake Rukwa. In 1971, this reserve was created.

The reserve is home to more than 400 kinds of birds.

Rukwa Map

Rukwa region map
Rukwa region map

Other Important Information About Rukwa Region

The Rukwa Institute of Business Management is one of the main higher education entity in the region.

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