Kisumu literally means a place of barter trade “sumo” in the Luo language, and is locally called ‘Kisumo’. It was the major port of Lake Victoria during the commonwealth of East Africa, then known as Port Florence. The town was founded in the early 19th Century mainly as the main inland terminal of the Asian built Uganda railway. Asians once formed a quarter of the population of the town, with cultural and infrastructural evidence of this visible to date.
Kisumu is the principal city of western Kenya and forms the commercial, industrial and transportation center majorly due to its water and rail connections. Formally the headquarters of the greater Nyanza Province, the town has grown to be the third largest city in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa and is now the headquarters of Kisumu County.
The main industries in Kisumu are centered around processing of agricultural products, fishing, brewing and textile manufacturing industries.
Despite having a multi-ethnic population, the Luo ethnic tribe of Kenya form the major population of Kisumu City. Originally from the Southern Parts of now the Republic of South Sudan, the tribe migrated along the Nile and settled at the shores of Lake Victoria, Winam Gulf. They are popularly referred to as the River-Lake Nilotes in history books. Their native language is known as Dholuo.