A new city being built in the heart of the Malawi bush will eventually become the country's capital.
A new city being built in the heart of the Malawi bush will eventually become the country's capital. At the moment government ministries are situated in both Zomba and Blantyre but are 40 miles apart. As well as the inconvenience this causes, there is the added disadvantage that both are well to the south. When ti was realised that existing ministries were becoming outmoded and cramped, the government decided to create a new more central capital.
The site chosen was Lilongwe. Since the original decision was made in 1964, planning has continued and the new city is now taking shape. Some buildings are already up, others are in the course of construction, and elsewhere simple notice-boards state that a site has been reserved, perhaps for an embassy.
There are some extreme contracts at Lilongwe today -- between ten elegant, speciously-sited new buildings and the huts where the worker live; between the modern equipment used on the sites and the age-old techniques of the wives -- babies strapped on their back -- who site outside the huts making traditional food and beer.
SYNOPSIS: Africa today is a place where new buildings are springing up as quickly as new hopes and ideas.
The straw huts are still built an they have been for centuries -- and people, too, often carry on their daily routine in the same way so their ancestors in the shadow of vast new projects.
This is Lilongwe, where a new capital city for Malawi is being created from the bush.
It's an ambitious schemes. The new city will house the ministries which are now divided between Zomba and Blantyre -- too far apart and too far south.
The building programme will be a long task -- and a tough one.
But already the signposts are up. Some indicate where the city's special features will be.
Elsewhere, what is bushland today, will become an architectural extravaganza. Many sites have been reserved for prestige foreign embassies. It will take many years and much finance to realise the planners' dreams. Already it's eight years since the idea for the new capital was born initial surveys made.
As some buildings are finished a new capital city takes shape.