Jinja City, a Pearl in the heart of Uganda

Jinja City is a City in Uganda’s third-largest economy Jinja District. Its location attracted factories due to its proximity to the Nalubaale Dam, which provided constant electric power.

Since the early 2000s, Jinja City’s economy has been on a steady upward trajectory, with the city serving as the primary hub for economic activities. What are some of the major developments over the years in Jinja?

Back in 2014, a new market for fresh produce was constructed. It accommodated about 4,500 vendors. The market was built at a cost of $13.7 million and was financed by a loan from the African Development Bank.

Kakira Sugar Works

The Kakira Sugar Works (KSW), is the largest local employer. It operates one of East Africa’s most substantial sugar factories and employs over 7,500 individuals. The factory not only produces sugar but also generates 50 megawatts of electricity for internal use and sale to the national grid.

Kakira sugar in Jinja City
Kakira sugar in Jinja City

Nile Breweries Limited

Nile Breweries Limited, is headquartered in Njeru, a town near Jinja City. The company has been drawing water from the Source of the Nile since 1956. The brewery was established in 1956 and is known for its flagship brand the Nile Special Lager. In 2001, it was fully acquired by South African Breweries.

MM Integrated Steel Uganda Limited

MM Integrated Steel Uganda Limited is a leading steel manufacturer in the region. The company invested $47 million in a plant capable of producing over 50,000 tones of steel products annually while providing employment to over 1,800 people.

Bidco International Oil Refining Company

Bidco International Oil Refining Company operates a palm oil factory in Jinja. The palm oil fruits come from their plantation on Bugala Island in Lake Victoria. The crude palm oil is transported to Jinja for refining into edible oil and other products.

Kiira Motors Corporation

Kiira Motors Corporation, is a local car manufacturing startup based in Jinja. It established the first car manufacturing facility in Uganda. The company has manufactured a number of vehicles ranging from City Buses called Kayoola-EV and the Kayoola Diesel buses to Tricycles dubbed Bingwa.


Jinja’s strategic location at the source of the River Nile, with numerous power-generating plants, makes it an ideal hub for industrialization.

In addition to its industrial significance, Jinja City is a thriving tourism hub in Africa. Tourists can enjoy a wide range of activities such as kayaking, traditional dances, horse riding, nightclubs, biking, hiking, fishing, and water sports like rafting and water skiing.

The city also offers opportunities to explore historical and cultural sites, including the Busoga Kingdom palace, museums, and waterfalls. The tourism sector in Jinja is flourishing, with numerous accommodations, restaurants, bars, and entertainment options available to cater to the growing number of visitors.