Rukwa Region

Rukwa Region is one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions with a postcode number 55000 . The regional capital is the municipality of Sumbawanga. According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 1,004,539.[1]:page 2 For 2002-2012, the region's 3.2 percent average annual population growth rate was tied for the third highest in the country.[1]:page 4 It was also the twentieth most densely populated region with 44 people per square kilometer.[1]:page 6

Rukwa Region

Mkoa wa Rukwa  (Swahili)
Sumbawanga Municipality
Regional map before partition in 2012
Rukwa Region
Location of Rukwa Region
Rukwa Region
Rukwa Region (Africa)
Coordinates: 7°00′S 31°30′E
ZoneSouthern Highlands
  Regional CommissionerJoackim Wangabo
  Total22,792 km2 (8,800 sq mi)
  Density44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)025

The region is bordered to the north by the Katavi Region, to the east by the Mbeya Region, to the south by Zambia, and to the west by Lake Tanganyika, which forms a border between Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The region's name comes from Lake Rukwa, which harbours the largest population of crocodiles in the nation. It is the region of the Fipa people, who maintain themselves by subsistence agriculture and livestock keeping.

The Rukwa Region was established in 1975 by President Julius Nyerere by taking Mpanda District from Tabora and the former unified Sumbawanga District from the Mbeya Region. Nkasi District was established in 1984.[2] In 2012, the region was reorganized with the Mpanda District going to the new Katavi Region.


The region is administratively divided into four districts:

Districts of Rukwa Region
District Admin. Ctr. Population (2012)
Kalambo Matai 207,700
Lyamba lya Mfipa Mtowisa 162,557[3]
Nkasi Namanyere 281,200
Sumbawanga Sumbawanga 353,082[3]
Total   1,004,539



While there are extensive mineral resources in the Rukwa Region,[4] there are no active large mines. Gem stones, including emerald, moonstone, aquamarine, amethyst, ruby, and topaz, have been recovered from a number of locations.[4] There are coal seams in the Muze, Namwele, and Mkomolo areas, and some mining has occurred there.[4]


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