Lilongwe is in south-central Malawi, and is the capital and second largest city in the country. It is the chief administrative centre, although its commercial and industrial importance is subordinate to that of Blantyre, the economic capital.
Lilongwe was founded in 1947 as an agricultural centre. In the 1960s the fertility of the surrounding countryside prompted Malawi’s president, Hastings Banda, to develop a new planned city that was to be an economic growth point for the area. Throughout the next decade government funding improved the new city’s infrastructure and aided the development of transportation and agricultural. In 1975 the city was declared the national capital.
The new city accommodates the government offices, embassies and main shopping malls. The old town lies to 5 km to the southwest and is dominated by the popular market. Lilongwe has rail connections to Zambia and southern Africa and an international airport. The city’s industry is...