Africa: Zambia is about to move Capital from Lusaka to Ngabwe
The Zambian government wants to move its capital city from Lusaka to the little-known district of Ngabwe. Planning minister Lucky Mulusa has chosen Ngabwe as a potentially new capital city as unlike Lusaka, its geographically central.
“Human settlement on its own is a problem and that is why my ministry is proposing that we start up a completely new capital city that will be planned on the modern principles of sustainable development,” the minister told the Lusaka Times newspaper.
If Mulusa’s move goes ahead, Lusaka will be the latest in a set of demoted capital cities. The following African countries have recently moved their capital cities:
In 1982, ruler Felix Houphouët-Boigny moved Ivory Coast’s capital from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro . However, the president’s dream city didn’t materialise. Yamoussoukro never became the bustling capital Houphouët-Boigny hoped for it to be. Rather, it’s known for its tranquility. The majority of economic activity still takes place in Abidjan
Tanzania dethroned Dar es Salaam to make Dodoma its capital city in 1973. However, official relocation from commercial port Dar es Salaam is still yet to happen. Current President John Magufuli has vowed to move the government seat to Dodoma by 2020. Main argument for moving: Dodoma is central and thus more accessible. Main argument against: improved telecommunications and infrastructure have made Dar es Salaam easily accessible, thus rendering its location a minor issue.
In 1991, Nigeria moved its capital from coastal metropolis Lagos to the more central Abuja. At the time, a Senior Officer of the Federal Capital Development Authority said, “Here there is abundant space to plan the infrastructure for a city of 3 million people”. Along with space and location, Abuja’s 1,000-foot altitude makes it much drier than the coastal swamps of Lagos.
Egypt hasn’t relocated its capital city yet, but plans to. A new administrative city was announced by the government in March 2015. Why? The government hopes to reduce crowding in capital city Cairo. According to a state representative, People will start moving to the as yet-unnamed new city in 2018. 45 km east from Cairo, the new city will be built from scratch by Chinese developers.