Mwanza is a mid-sized port city on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in northwestern Tanzania. With an urban population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan population of 2 million, it is Tanzania's second largest city, following Dar es Salaam and ahead of other major Tanzanian cities of Arusha, Mbeya and Tanga. Mwanza is the capital of the surrounding Mwanza Region.
Before the colonial era Mwanza Region was under the Sukuma, Kerewe, Kara and Zinza empires. When the Germans colonized Tanganyika, Mwanza became one of the districts in their territory. After the First World War, East Africa came under the supervision of a British mandate. The British established provincial leadership in Tanganyika and the Mwanza Region became one of the districts of the Lake Province while Biharamulo, Bukoba, Maswa, Shinyanga, Musoma and Kwimba were the other districts of the province. Later on the Lake Province was divided into the Lake Province and the Western Zone.
After independence, all the provinces were turned into official regions. Mwanza Region remained a part of the Lake Region until 1963 when it was officially given the status of a region. The Sukuma dominate by constituting over 90 percent of the population. Apart from the Sukuma other ethnic groups are the Zinza, Haya, Sumbwa, Nyamwezi, Luo, Kurya, Jita and Kerewe. These groups constitute in various small proportions. They are mainly in the Mwanza city area. The Sumbwa and Zinza are mostly found in Geita and Sengerema districts respectively. National policy gives very little importance to ethnic grouping and information related to this issue is difficult to come by.