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THE TOWN

Ujiji is the oldest town in western Tanzania almost 800 km west from Zanzibar. It is about 6 miles (10 km) south of Kigoma. Current population data are not available. In 1900, the population was estimated at 10,000 and in 1967 about 4,100. Part of the Kigoma/Ujiji urban area, the regional population was about 50,000 in 1978.[1]

Ujiji like other Islamic states like Kilwa has been developed into a trade and Swahili culture and civilization for almost 4 centuries before the coming of Europeans missionaries and explorers. Most of historical facts on the rise of these empires has been marginalized and only seen as place shined in slave trades. In facts Ujiji was reported for centuries to be the center of trade and knowledge. It housed the first conventional school (madrassa) in East and southern Africa and most of people from East Coast Africa to Congo and Burundi went there to acquire knowledge. It was a center of trade of Salt, Ivory, ornaments, clothes etc. All the people surrounded by Lake Tanganyika from Congo, Burundi to Zambia used to come to trade in well developed market and discipline Ujiji.

Ujiji is the place where first Christian missionaries and explorers Richard Burton and John Speke first reached the shore of Lake Tanganyika in 1858. It is also the site of the famous meeting on November 10, 1871 when Henry Stanley found Dr. David Livingstone, and uttered the words "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Livingstone, whom many thought dead as no news had been heard of him for several years and who had only arrived back in Ujiji the day before. A monument known as the "Dr. Livingstone Memorial" was erected to commemorate the meeting. There is also a modest museum, just on its entrance you will be blessed with an ugly picture of him being carried by four slave, once said him to be a pioneer against slave trade. In 1878, the London Missionary Society established their first missionary post on the shore of Lake Tanganyika at Ujiji.