Lilongwe [dt. liːˈlɔŋgweɪ ] is the capital of Malawi and the Central Region in Malawi. It has around 989,000 inhabitants (as of 2018), with the population growing rapidly. Lilongwe is characterized by large lots and wide, park-like boulevards . The city is the result of far-reaching urban planning and is divided into an old town and a new town, which is constantly developing through many construction activities. The parts of the city are sometimes far apart.
Lilongwe is located in the southwest of the country, 100 kilometers west of Lake Malawi and around 60 kilometers east of the border with Mozambique and Zambia , on a plateau on the Lilongwe River . The city is around 1050 meters above sea level and is also the capital of the Central Region, one of the country's three major administrative regions.
According to United Nations figures, the population of Lilongwe grew from 4,000 in 1950 to 986,000 in 2017 and will soon exceed one million. The population growth is driven by the expanding rural exodus in combination with increasing urbanization. In 2050 it is expected to have 4.3 million inhabitants.
Population development of the agglomeration according to the UN
The city was founded in 1947 as a trading center. After Malawi's independence in 1964, President Kamuzu Banda was able to convince the international donor community of the need for a central capital in order to counteract the north-south divide in Malawi. Lilongwe was declared the seat of government. The city was largely created on the drawing board.
Since 1994 Lilongwe has also been the seat of the Malawian parliament, which until then was still sitting in Zomba . In 2010 the new parliament building, which was built with Chinese help, was inaugurated. Germany, France, the United States, Mozambique, the United Kingdom and Zambia have embassies in the city. In addition, most of the non-governmental organizations active in Malawi and other international organizations, such as GIZ , have their offices in Lilongwe.
Culture and sights
The market on Malangalanga Road is very lively. There are Indian shops in the old town. Nearby is Salanjama , an area rich in bird species. On the upper slopes of the Lilongwetal there are areas with dense rainforest and Protea bushes . Another tourist attraction are the tobacco auctions. There is an animal park between the old town and the new center, where hyenas and crocodiles sometimes live.
It cannot compete with the economic dynamism of the city of Blantyre (855,000 inhabitants [as of 2017]). To a limited extent it is a trading center in a region suitable for agriculture. This is where the tobacco auctions take place, Malawi's most important export. The central grain silo in Malawi, built with German development aid, is located nearby.
The economy of Lilongwe is dominated by Indians who are only allowed to settle here, in Blantyre and in Zomba . In addition, many other foreigners live here.
With Kamuzu International Airport, Lilongwe has an airport that allows the handling of large aircraft 24 hours a day. It owes its existence to the civil war in Mozambique , which made an alternative airport necessary for Cuamba .
The city is home to the Bingu National Stadium , a multifunctional stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 41,100 seats.
sons and daughters of the town
- Tamandani Nsaliwa (* 1982), German-Canadian football player of Malawian descent
- Elvis Kafoteka (* 1978), soccer player
- Stefanie Schramm: The Museum at the Navel of the World In: Die Zeit No. 15/2006 (about the exhibition by Friedemann Schrenk )
- City population 2050 | Sustainability Today. Retrieved July 24, 2018 .
- World Urbanization Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 23, 2018 .
- Homepage of the Baptist World Federation: Baptist-affiliated colleges and seminaries ; accessed on August 27, 2011