|• Mayor||(Kasolo Alton)|
|Elevation||3,950 ft (1,204 m)|
The city was founded in 1901 by British settlers.  It was planned under colonial rule in 1948 by Ernst May, German architect and urban planner. May also designed the urban planning scheme for Kampala, creating what he called "neighborhood units." Estates were built for the ruling elite in many parts outside the center city. This led to the area's 'slum clearance' which displaced more than 1,000 residents in the 1950s.
In 1954, the construction of the Owen Falls Dam submerged the Ripon Falls. Most of the "Flat Rocks" that gave the area its name disappeared under water as well. The local Baganda called the area "the stones" which is "Mayinja" in Luganda. The name "Jinja" is derived from this. A description of what the area looked like can be found in the notes of John Hanning Speke, the first European to lay eyes on the source of the Nile:
Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected, for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill, and the falls, about twelve feet deep and four to five hundred feet broad, were broken by rocks; still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours. The roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger fish leaping at the falls with all their might, the fishermen coming out in boats, and taking post on all the rocks with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, made in all, with the pretty nature of the country—small grassy-topped hills, with trees in the intervening valleys and on the lower slopes—as interesting a picture as one could wish to see."
Population during the 2000s
The national census of 2002 estimated Jinja's population to be 71,213 of which 36,325 were males and 34,888 were females. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) estimated the population at 82,800. In 2011, UBOS estimated the population at 89,700. In 2014, the national population census put the population at 72,931 However, the Municipality Authority contested the recent census of 2014, saying it under-counted Jinja's population. According to the 2014 national population census data, Jinja is the largest metropolitan area in the Jinja District and the 14th-largest metropolis in the country.
The majority of the population are of Bantu origin. Lusoga is the main local language. Jinja has a large population of inhabitants who are defined as "working urban poor". The average annual household income is estimated at US $100.
Jinja had the second largest economy in Uganda. In the past, factories chose Jinja as their base because of the nearby electric power station at the Owen Falls Dam. Since the early 2000s, the economy of Jinja has picked up steadily. The main economic activities take place in the central business district.
A new market for fresh produce was completed during the fourth quarter of 2014. The facility can accommodate up to 4,500 vendors and cost US$13.7 million to construct, with a loan from the African Development Bank from 2011 until 2014.
The biggest local employer is the Kakira Sugar Works (KSW), a member of the Madhvani Group of companies. KSW is one of the largest sugar factories in East Africa, employing over 7,500. The factory burns bagasse byproducts from sugar manufacturing to generate 50 megawatts of electricity for internal use and sale to the national grid. Sugar cane cutting median wages are about UGX:1,000 per day.
The headquarters of Nile Breweries Limited are in Njeru, in Buyikwe district in central Uganda, near the Source of the Nile, from which the brewery has been drawing its water since 1956. Building of the brewery commenced in 1952 and was completed four years later. Bottles of Nile Beer, renamed Nile Special Lager, the company's flagship brand, were first consumed in 1956. In 2001, Nile Breweries Limited was fully acquired by South African Breweries.
MM Integrated Steel Uganda Limited is one of the leading manufacturers of steel in the region. It has completed a $47 million (Shs122 billion) plant to produce 50,000 tonnes of steel products a year and directly employs 1,800 people. The company has projected to invest US$600 million through 2018.
Bidco International Oil Refining Company maintains a palm oil factory in the city. The palm oil fruits come from Bidco's 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) plantation on Bugala Island in the Ssese Islands Archipelago, Kalangala District, in Lake Victoria. The factory in the islands crushes the fruit, and the crude palm oil is transported to Jinja for refining into edible oil and other products.
Kiira Motors Corporation, also known as the Kiira EV Project, a locally based startup car company, expects to set up the first car manufacturing facility in Uganda, based in Jinja. The Kiira EV Project received 40 hectares (100 acres) of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park. Production is expected to start in 2018. The government of Uganda will provide funding to the initial production and setting up of a factory for the project.
The city also has several educational establishments including the following:
Universities and colleges
- Royal Academy of Art and Design 
- Eastern Campus of Makerere University
- Jinja Campus of the Makerere University Business School
- Jinja Campus of Busoga University
- Jinja Campus of Kampala University
- Nsaka University
- Civil Service College University
- International Institute of Health Sciences
- Jinja Vocational Institute
- YMCA College of Business
- Nile Vocational Institute
- JInja School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Hotel and Tourism Training Institute
- Jinja School of Ophthalmic Clinical Officers
- Medical Laboratory Technicians School, Jinja
- Pasty Helm Memorial Vocational Training Center
- Uganda Senior Command and Staff College
- Uganda Junior Staff College
- Uganda Non-Commissioned Officer Academy
- National Defence College, Uganda
- Busoga College
- Jinja College
- Jinja Senior Secondary School
- Kiira College Butiki
- Wanyange Girls Secondary School
- Amazima School
- Holy Cross Schools
- Kakira Secondary School
- Lords Meade School
- Nakanyonyi Girls School
- Pilkington College Muguluka
- St. James' Secondary School, Jinja
- Bugembe Islamic Institute Secondary School.
- Galaxy International School-Jinja Campus
- Jinja Christian School
- Jinja Montessori Pre School
- Kiira International School
- Kiira Primary School
- Maggwa Crescent Primary School
- Riverside Academy
- Shilo Nile Star Nursery and Primary School
- Spire Road Primary School
- Victoria Nile Primary School
- Vic View Primary School
The Qaddafi Barracks, an institution of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), are in Jinja. They are the location of the Uganda Junior Staff College, one of the about a dozen military schools in Uganda. The town is also the site of the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College, another UPDF institution, located in the Kimaka neighborhood about 3 miles (5 km) north of Jinja's central business district.
In 1993, construction began on a second power station at the source of the White Nile; an extension of the original Nalubaale Power Station. The extension was completed in 2003, named the Kiira Power Station, and is capable of producing 200 megawatts of hydroelectric power at maximum utilization.
A bridge, known as the Source of the Nile Bridge, was built across the Nile, connecting the town of Njeru to Jinja. Construction started in 2013 and the completed structure was commissioned on 17 October 2018.
Jinja is commonly regarded as "the adventure capital of East Africa" due to the very many activities in town that one could engage in, especially for tourists
Local attractions include white-water rafting, the "Source of the Nile", and bungee jumping. About 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Jinja is the Bujagali Power Station. The hydroelectric facility is providing 250 megawatts of electric power.
Since 2015, the city has hosted the Nyege Nyege Festival, at Discovery Beach in the suburb of Njeru in Buyikwe district approximately 20 minutes from the Jinja Central Business District. It is East Africa's largest electronic music festival.
Places of worship
Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Roman Catholic Diocese of Jinja (Catholic Church), Church of Uganda (Anglican Communion), Presbyterian Church in Uganda (World Communion of Reformed Churches), Baptist Union of Uganda (Baptist World Alliance), Assemblies of God. There are also Muslim mosques.
Jinja hosts the regional offices of the Uganda Red Cross Society, a humanitarian organization.
On 1 July 2020, the government of Uganda awarded city status to about one half-a-dozen municipalities. Jinja was one of those localities. As part of the qualifications to become a city, Jinja expanded to include the former Jinja Municipality, Bugembe Town Council, Mafubira sub-county and Budondo sub-county. The estimated population of the new city, as of October 2020, is about 300,000.
In October 2020, the city mayor, Titus Kisambira, signed a memorandum of understanding, as an initial step in the establishment of sister cityhood with the city of Shenyang, in Liaoning Province, in China.
- Jinja Hospital
- Jinja Airport
- Kiira Power Station
- List of birds in Jinja
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- Bujagali Power Station
- Madhvani Group
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