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Bukoba Overview

I was a computer/IT lecturer at the University of Bukoba, Tanzania from 2001 to 2003.

Bukoba is a medium-sized town of about 80,000 people on the western shores of Lake Victoria, the "Eye of Africa", Africa's largest lake and source of the Nile river. Bukoba is located in the Kagera district in the northwest of Tanzania, which also borders Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

A bus to Kampala, Uganda takes six hours. Flights to Dar es Salaam are about US $250. A cheaper way is to take an overnight ferry to Mwanza (about 10 hours) and then fly to Dar es Salaam (about US $100). The train from Mwanza to Dar takes 36 to 40 hours.

Bukoba receives about 2000 mm of rain per year, with the rainy season from March to May and the dry season from June to August. The climate is only moderately hot because of the altitude of about 1000 m, though the humidity is high all year. The cash crop is coffee, and the staple is green bananas (matoke), and other crops include maize, beans and sweet potatoes. Nickel and cobalt are mined in the region.

Bukoba was in the news in 1996 when the ferry MV Bukoba sank near Mwanza, killing nearly 1000 people. Tanzanians are concerned about the Ebola fever, which has killed over 100 people in Uganda, but no cases have been reported in Tanzania. Heavy rains have been falling around Lake Victoria, though the rest of the country has suffered from a two-year drought.

The University of Bukoba was an independent, non-denominational institution founded in 1998 and supported by businesses and non-governmental organisations. In the 2000-2001 academic year (October to June) it had two faculties, ten departments, 20 staff members and 36 students. It closed for university classes in June 2001 due to lack of funds but may reopen again someday under new management and ownership. If you would like to help reincarnate the University of Bukoba, the contact address is

Mr. Samuel Mutasa, University of Bukoba Project, PO Box 1725, Bukoba, Tanzania, +255-744-759289 (mobile), mutasa2000@hotmail.com
Dr. Michael Hodd, University of Westminster, UK