Songwe Region

Songwe is a region of Tanzania created on 29 January 2016 from the western half of Mbeya Region.[3][4] Its capital is Vwawa.[1]

Songwe Region

Mkoa wa Songwe  (Swahili)
Location in Tanzania
Coordinates: 9.1°S 32.9°E / -9.1; 32.9
Established29 January 2016
  CommissionerChiku Galawa
  Total27,656 km2 (10,678 sq mi)
  Land26,595 km2 (10,268 sq mi)
  Water1,061 km2 (410 sq mi)  3.8%
 (2012 Census)[2]
(2017 projection)[2]
  Density36/km2 (94/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
WebsiteOfficial website


Songwe Region borders the countries of Zambia and Malawi to the south: Tunduma is the main entry point into Zambia while Isongole is the main entry point into Malawi. Songwe also borders the Tanzanian regions of Rukwa and Katavi in the west, Tabora in the north, and Mbeya in the east. Lake Rukwa is a major body of water in the western part of the region. The East African Rift and Southern Highlands run through the region.[4]


The commissioner of Songwe Region is Brigadier General Nicodemus Elias Mwangela, who was appointed on 1 August 2018.[5] Songwe Region is divided into the town of Tunduma and the districts of Ileje, Mbozi, Momba and Songwe.[4] Tunduma is subdivided into 15 wards and 71 mitaa,[1] while the four districts are subdivided into 11 divisions, 79 wards, 307 villages and 1493 hamlets.[4]


The local government areas now comprising Songwe Region reported a combined population of 998,862 in the 2012 census, 46 percent of whom were under 15 years old. The same areas reported a population of 723,480 in the 2002 Tanzanian census, yielding an annual population growth rate of 3.2 percent between 2002 and 2012.[1] In 2017 the population of the region was projected at 1,173,667 inhabitants.[2] In 2012, 211,537 people or 21.2 percent of the region's population lived in urban areas, an increase of 250.4 percent over the urban population of 60,377 recorded in 2002. Major ethnic groups in the region include the Nyiha, Nyamwanga, Ndali, Bungu and Lambya.[1]


The main economic activities in Songwe Region are agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing.[4] Crops cultivated include paddy rice, maize, coffee, sesame, sunflowers, beans and sorghum. The Maasai and Sukuma people in the region practice pastoralism.[4] The gross domestic product of the region was provisionally estimated at 1888.3 billion Tanzanian shillings in 2016.[6]


Both the Tanzam Highway and the TAZARA Railway run through Vwawa and Tunduma in the southern part of Songwe Region.


  1. "Songwe Region Socio-Economic Profile 2015" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics, Songwe Regional Commissioner's Office. November 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  2. "Sub-Divisional Population Projection for Year 2016 and 2017 Based on 2012 Population and Housing Census" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. Mwakyusa, Alvar (4 February 2016). "Songwe is new region - with four districts". Daily News. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  4. "History". Songwe Regional Commissioner's Office. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  5. "Press Release from the Presidential Office of Tanzania" (in Swahili). 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. "National Accounts of Tanzania Mainland, 2007–2016" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics. November 2017. p. 47. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
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