Each present day country state has a capital, a city that fills in as its authoritative home office and seat of government. Capital cities communities additionally fill in as major monetary, social, and intellectual centers of a country.
Generally, the biggest or most critical city in numerous African nations “normally” turned into the seat of political power after autonomy and a large portion of them were impromptu.
In many occasions, those urban communities were situated on or close to the drift in view of the simple access to the sea for exchange and travel.
Historically, the largest or most important city in many African countries “naturally” became the seat of political power after independence and most of them were unplanned.
Overtime, however, some African countries had to move their capital cities and seats of government for a variety of reasons, with overpopulation and logistic challenges in the old city often cited as the chief reasons.
Administrators often say a new city built from scratch would give urban planners a chance to build a modern city without the mistakes of the old.
Here, we looks at five African countries that have moved or are in the process of moving their capital city.
In the ’70s, Tanzania’s founding father and foremost nationalist Julius Nyerere shared his vision of relocating the country’s capital from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam 397 km inland to Dodoma.
Dodoma is located in the center of Tanzania, and Nyerere considered it the perfect location for a new seat of government for both administrative and logistical reasons.
President Nyerere believed the new location would be easily accessible to citizens from all parts of the country and move government closer to the grassroots.
Dar es Salaam, the current capital, is Tanzania’s largest city. Located on the coast of the Indian Ocean with many important seaports, it easily became the commercial capital of Tanzania.
However, today, residents of Dar es Salaam often complain that their city is overpopulated and polluted and have embraced the impending move to Dodoma.
Over the years, the move to the new city has been slowed by poor funding, with nearly 40 years passing since Nyerere first announced the planned move.
The incumbent President John Magufuli, though, believes the move should be complete before 2020.
2. Equatorial Guinea
More than a decade ago, Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s largest oil producer after Nigeria and Angola, announced plans to relocate its capital from Malabo, on the coast, to a new city under construction deep in its remote jungle.
Oyala, the proposed new capital, lies deep in the middle of Equatorial Guinea’s rainforest region and is surrounded by several national parks close to its border with Gabon.
Equatorial Guinea officials say the new capital was conceived as a city of the future. It boasts a six-lane highway; a championship golf course; and a 450-room luxury hotel that is complete with a spa, theater, and convention center. The new capital is also home to the proposed International University of Central Africa.
When complete, Oyala is expected to have a population of at least 200,000 people in addition to serving as the seat of government and a new home for the president.
In May 2017, Zambian officials announced a proposal to relocate the country’s capital from Lusaka to an uninhabited site deep in the heart of the country.
Authorities say Ngabwe, an uninhabited marshland in the country’s Central Province about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Lusaka, will make a suitable new capital city for Zambia.
The area is prone to heavy flooding during the rainy season, but planning officials argue that it holds the decided advantage of being centrally located, making it relatively accessible from all parts of the country.
In addition, they say a new capital is needed to cope with Zambia’s ever-expanding population and the demands of a modern capital city.
Egypt is in the middle of an ambitious project to build a new capital city in the desert, 28 miles southeast of the present 1,000-year-old capital Cairo.
Plans for the new capital were first announced in March 2015, and it is expected to be completed by 2021.
Egyptian officials say the move to the yet-to-be-named city is the solution to the perennial problem of traffic congestion and housing shortages faced by Cairo’s nearly 30 million residents.
On completion, the new capital is expected to cover a land area of about 700 square kilometers and it would boast the world’s largest park, in addition to smart villages, industrial zones, housing for 5 million people, and more than 1,000 mosques with a Saudi firm planning to build a 12.6-hectare mosque and an Islamic museum.
Following independence from the British, successive Nigerian governments considered moving Nigeria’s capital from the tiny coastal city of Lagos, which was already busting at the seams from overpopulation and overstretched facilities, to a planned modern city built from scratch.
Keen to avoid the urban accident that Lagos had become, authorities launched a search for a suitable capital city and eventually settled on the choice of Abuja, an expansive and sparsely populated area located approximately in the center of the country.
In October 1984, Abuja was declared a federal capital territory, and in December 1991, Nigeria eventually moved its capital from Lagos 700 km inland to the new location of Abuja.
A 2006 national census put the population of Abuja at about 776,298, making it one of the 10 most-populous cities in Nigeria.
According to the United Nations, Abuja grew by 139.7 percent between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world.