Kisumu is a port city in Kisumu County, Kenya 1,131 m (3,711 ft), with a population of 409,928 (2009 census). It is the third largest city in Kenya, the principal city of western Kenya, the immediate former capital of Nyanza Province and the headquarters of Kisumu County.
It has a municipal charter but no city charter. It is the largest city in Nyanza region and second most important city after Kampala in the greater Lake Victoria basin.
The port was founded in 1901 as the main inland terminal of the Uganda Railway and named Port Florence. Although trade stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s, it is again growing around oil exports. Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade "sumo".
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria, Kisumu is Kenya's third largest town. At one time, Kisumu was a transportation center, having a railroad line from Mombasa and the water routes of Lake Victoria, and was also a military and administrative center.
Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya and the headquarters of Nyanza Province, one of the eight Kenyan administrative provinces. The city is situated on the north tip of Winam gulf, which in itself is part of Kavirondo Gulf, an arm of Lake Victoria. Kisumu is the principal lake port of Kenya.
The city is the historic western terminus of the railroad from the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria. The railroad from Mombasa reached Kisumu in 1901. The city was formerly called Port Florence.
The first train steamed into Port Florence station in 1903. By the 1930's and 40's, the city had become a leading East African centre for investment, administration and the military.
The city’s rise in growth and prosperity slowed down temporarily in 1977, with the collapse of the East African Community. However, the city is growing with the reformation of the community in 1996 and with its designation as a "city."
The port has been stimulated by the transformation of international business and trade, as well as by the shipments of goods destined for Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo.
Kisumu is one of the fastest growing cities in Kenya. Surrounded by an agriculturally rich neighborhood mainly supporting large-scale sugar industry and rice irrigation, its contribution to the National economy is significant. It is a natural base for visiting and doing business in Western Kenya.
The city is a business and transportation hub, with service by road, rail, ship and air. There is also Mount Elgon National Park, Kakamega Forest, Saiwa Swamp and Lake Victoria. There are also attractions on the outskirts of the city such as Hippo Point.
|Languages spoken||English, Kiswahili, Luo|
|Currency used||Kenya Shillings|
|Area (km2)||2,086 km²|