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Building a brand new capital city won’t let Zambia leave its troubles behind

Does it make sense for a country to locate its capital city someplace no one can find? Zambia wants to move its capital city from the well-known metropolis of Lusaka to the little know rural district of Ngabwe. A cursory search on Google Maps struggled to locate Ngabwe (Apple’s Maps app had better luck but showed little detail), but if planning minster Lucky Mulusa has his way, it will be the heart of life in Zambia.

Ngabwe, west of the city of Kabwe, was chosen because it’s in the center of the country; Mulusa believes that will make it easier to build the new capital city from scratch. “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.

Lusaka has struggled to keep pace with rapid urbanization, adds Mulusa. The city of roughly 3 million people would simply not be able to maintain Zambia’s “commerce and industry and official activities” in the next decade, he said. Infrastructure improvements won’t solve the city’s fundamental problem: Geography.



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