Zambian authorities are planning to move the capital city from Lusaka in the southern part of the country to Ngabwe in the centre.
The decision was announced by the Minister of National Planning Lucky Mulusa who said the choice has been proposed to the cabinet as Lusaka congested and disqualified to be the capital city, local media Lusaka Times reports.
“When you look at Lusaka in the next 10 years, the city will not be able to sustain us. The rate at which commerce and industry and official activities are growing cannot be met with Lusaka’s ability to grow its capacity,” Mulusa said.
He said feasibility studies for the new capital city based on the modern principles of sustainable development will begin immediately after cabinet approval.
Ngabwe in the central province has vast land and ideal for the capital city as it is located between Lusaka and Ndola where two of the country’s largest airports are being built, the minister explained.
The choice of Ngabwe was supported by opposition Green Party which advised that the various arms of government should be spread across the country.
“There is need to decentralize central government by relocating the executive, legislature, and judiciary to different locations. This is good for the country, not only for spatial reasons, but also as a means for equitable distribution national resources and promoting national unity,” Green Party President Peter Sinkamba said in a statement.
Zambia has a population of about 16.2 million with an estimated 2 million living in Lusaka which is one of the fastest-developing cities in southern Africa.