From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia
View towards the City of Kitwe, Zambia
View towards the City of Kitwe, Zambia
CountryFlag of Zambia.svg Zambia
ProvinceCopperbelt Province
DistrictKitwe District
Population (2010 census)
 • Total504,194

Kitwe is the second largest city in terms of size and population in Zambia. With a population of 504,194 (2010 census provisional) Kitwe is one of the most developed commercial and industrial areas in the nation, alongside Ndola and Lusaka. It has a complex of mines on its north-western and western edges.[1]

Kitwe is made up of townships and suburban areas including Parklands, Riverside, Buchi, Chimwemwe, Nkana East, Nkana West, Garneton and Race Course, to mention a few.[2] The city is sometimes referred to as Kitwe-Nkana.

Kitwe has both Private and Public schools which include Lechwe School, Mpelembe Secondary School, Kitwe Boys Secondary School, Parklands Secondary School, Mukuba Secondary School, Nkana Trust School and Helen Kaunda Secondary School.


Kitwe was founded in 1936 in north-central Zambia as the railway was being built by Cecil Rhodes' company. It was first established as an adjunct, non-mining-related but supportive part of an expanding copper-mining centre at Nkana. The expanding copper mines at Nkana made it the dominant centre in the region and Kitwe started building up its size and significance over the years, finally surpassing Nkana as the main centre. The Rhodesia Railways main line reached the town in 1937, providing passenger services as far south as Bulawayo, with connections to Cape Town. The line was extended into DR Congo, and from there eventually linked to the Benguela Railway to the Atlantic port of Lobito, which used to take some of Zambia's copper exports but is currently closed.


Kitwe is the base for a number of mining operations including the Mopani Copper Mines.



Kitwe lies at the end of Zambia Railways' passenger services from Livingstone, Lusaka and Ndola,[3] but freight lines continue to the mining towns to the north-west.


The main highway through the Copperbelt runs south-east to north-west through the city, to Ndola (as a freeway) in the south-east, and to Nchanga, Chingola and Chililabombwe in the north-west. A laterite road goes west to Kasempa.[2]


Southdowns Airport lies about 12 km south-west of the town but does not receive many scheduled services[citation needed]. The airport was closed down for repair in 2005, and re-opened in 2008. Ndola Airport is 60 km south-east and services regular commercial flights from Lusaka, Solwezi, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.[1]



A student and teacher exchange programme was introduced in 1999 with teacher exchange visits by Kingsmead Community School in Wiveliscombe, England with two Kitwe schools - Helen Kaunda High School and Mukuba High School. This started a series of partnerships between Zambian schools such as,Chamboli,Mukuba,Ndeke, Kitwe Boys, Kitwe Basic, Fatima, Nkana High, etc. and UK schools, and there are now over 30 such school partnerships. Students from Kingsmead paid a visit to the Kitwe schools in 2005.[4] Kitwe has a number of private schools, six being:

Kitwe International School is a privately owned international school with a campus in Nkana West at plot 10, 9th Avenue, off Boma Street. It offers quality tuition in sciences and arts. It also offers tuition for degree programs especially to students studying by distance. It offers consultancy services in project proposals and dissertation writeup. The school became operational on June 1, 2012:

Lechwe School is one of the biggest schools in the city. An international school, it provides pre-school, primary, secondary, and advanced level teaching following a Cambridge curriculum. Lechwe school is a multi-cultural school, hence there is not much religious teaching but a large number of subject options in secondary and advanced level schooling. The school is known for having a good disciplinary policy and a number of extracurricular activities like chess, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, tennis, squash, rugby, hockey, football, cricket, athletics, swimming, softball, netball, handball, baseball, rounders, a Duke of Edinburgh program, and martial arts. Lechwe school is known for its students' abilities: swimmer Ellen Hight represented Zambia at the 2000 Summer Olympics, swimmers Andre and Ursula Kuenzli represented Zambia in the Commonwealth Games in England in July 2002, Jacob Mulenga main striker of the Zambian Football Team, and swimmer Jade Howard represented Zambia in the FINA World Championship. Eppa Tembo, a chess player, represented Zambia in 2008 World Championship.

Mpelembe Secondary School is one of the biggest secondary schools in the city and a preeminent secondary school. It offers Zambian Standard syllabus and Cambridge curriculum. Being one of the top 10 best schools in Zambia, Mpelembe has a highly selective admissions at both eighth and tenth grade entry levels. Each year, there are thousands of applicants and only about one hundred and fifty students are enrolled. Mpelembe has an A level program under the Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate. Students who meet the grades go on to study at Universities in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa and other developed countries. The most popular Universities for Mpelembe Students are University of Manchester, Birmingham, UMIST, Imperial college, Leeds University. Camborne School of Mines is the default college for Mining Engineering students. Mpelembe has produced some of the best students at grade nine and twelve levels with some among the top two in the nation. The former students have an association known as MESA [Mpelembe Ex-Students Association] which has been sponsoring deserving students to do grade 10-12 at the school. Ex-Mpelembe students are scattered all over the world working for various organisations ranging from Government departments to Google.

Nkana Trust School is a trust school that provides pre-school, primary, and secondary school education. It offers the Zambian syllabus. Nkana Trust School is known for having one of the best sports and education facilities in the city and the country as a whole. Nkana trust school students produce best results in Grade 7 composite final examinations and Grade 10 and 12 final examinations.

Elim Primary School is a small school that provides pre-school and primary school following a Zambian Standard syllabus (mainly Macmillan and Longman), and provides the basic facilities in swimming and athletics four times a week. Despite its small size, it produces one of the nation's best Grade 7 composite examination.

St. Johns Convent School is one of the largest Catholic schools in the province, a convent school that provides pre-school, primary and secondary teaching following a Zambian syllabus and providing some facilities such as athletics, swimming, basketball, rugby, football, chess, and softball. The school was founded and is run by the Sisters of John the Baptist (the Baptistines).

Kawama Pentecostal Holiness School (not to be confused with Kawama School in Kamitondo) is currently under construction by Cranleigh School in partnership with a UK charity, Beyond Ourselves. The school is located in the suburbs of Kitwe in the deprived area of Kawama. In August 2011, 17 past and present students of Cranleigh School spent two weeks laying the blocks of the 4 classroom building located adjacent to the current church building. Another Cranleigh School trip is planned for October 2011 with the aim of completing the school building and opening the new school to the 210 students (who currently all study in the single-room church building)in January 2012.

The construction work has been funded largely by the money raised in a Sponsored Walk held during the Summer of 2010 and marks the start of a long term relationship between Cranleigh and Kawama School over the coming years. Cranleigh School is now working to develop the Child Sponsorship Programme at Kawama which will provide a salary for the staff (allowing them to complete their teaching qualifications) plus a lunch time meal and school uniform for every child. The feeding programme which provides a meal is particularly important as it not only provides employment for local women in the kitchen, but vitally it means that the children are receiving at least one square meal per day. In a region where the HIV/AIDS rate is very high, and many children are on ARV's (antiretroviral drugs), being adequately nourished is essential for this medication to work effectively.

Cranleigh School is now actively seeking to sponsor every child attending Kawama School. This is being achieved through direct appeals to parents, and through campaigns in each boarding house, who are using ingenious ways to raise the necessary funds.

Kitwe has a mining school, Konkola Trust School, that trains miners in the copperbelt; and a flying club that trains pilots near the Showgrounds. The flying club is housed in the area that was occupied by the former Kitwe airport.

Universities, Colleges and Institutes

Kitwe has three universities:

CBU (Copperbelt University) is a public university that was initially the Zambia Institute of Technology (ZIT), then part of UNZA (University of Zambia) (oddly, as University of Zambia, Ndola campus, "UNZANDO"). It was separated and established as an independent institution in 1987. It is one of the biggest universities in the country as it has 5,000 students and 600 members of staff. The University is organised under a lifelong education directorate and ten schools namely:[5]

  • School of Built Environment
  • School of Business
  • School of Engineering
  • Dag Hammarskjold Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
  • School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Natural Resources
  • Distance Education
  • Graduate Studies

Copperstone University a privately owned university.

Zambia Catholic University a private university owned and run by the Zambia Episcopal Conference is located in Kalulushi, 15.2 km (15 minutes drive) from the city of Kitwe.

The city is also home to many colleges and institutes.

KCE (Kitwe College of Education) opened in 1935 - formerly called KTTC (Kitwe Teachers' Training College) - The largest Primary teachers' College in Zambia. Currently, It offers certificates in Primary and Pre-school teachers' education. From 2011 it will start offering diploma courses in primary teachers Education.

Copperbelt College of Education formerly known as Copperbelt Secondary Teachers' College (cosetco), is one of the affiliate colleges of the University of Zambia. It has had the important specialized function of training teachers of Science, Mathematics and Home Economics for the nation`s secondary schools, a task it has performed since it was first opened by the Ministry of Education in 1974. Copperbelt College of Education is currently in the process of transforming into a public university and will be formally referred to as Mukuba University.

ZIBSIP (Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice)-an institute that provides Business courses.

Kitwe Community Development Staff Training College--- A governmenent Institution, officially opened in September 1966, that provides training in Community Development

Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation

The Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, founded in 1958, in Mindolo Township, Kitwe. Mindolo is an interdenominational center that serves as a place of worship, study, consultation and reconciliation.

The campus includes:

  • DMI-St.Eugene University,Kitwe centre.*[1]
  • Africa Literature Center
  • Young Women's Christian Association
  • United Church of Zambia Theological College
  • Theological Education by Extension in Zambia (TEEZ)
  • St. John's Anglican Seminary
  • A peace training programme called "The Dag Hammarskjöld 'Messengers of Peace' Training Programme"

The Dag Hammarskjöld 'Messengers of Peace' Training Programme is run by the Foundation. The objectives of this bi-annual two-week training programme are:

  • To spread information and knowledge of conflict resolution at different levels of society in Africa and the world;
  • To promote a culture of peaceful conflict resolution among people.

In addition to this two-week training programme, the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (MEF), which executes the programme, offers a three-month Peace Certificate covering conflict analysis, conflict resolution, human rights, training of trainers, mediation skills, restorative justice and non-violent strategies. A nine-month Peace Certificate in conflict resolution, peace-building, computer training and democracy is also offered.

Health care

Kitwe has a good health care system.

Dentist surgeries include:

  • Sinozam hospital
  • Wusakile
  • Tejani's Surgery
  • Esthetix

Optical clinics include:

  • Kitwe central hospital (State Hospital)

Other health facilities and Hospitals include:

  • Wusakile
  • Hillview medical centre
  • Company Clinic
  • Progress
  • Kitwe Central Hospital
  • Sinozam Hospital
  • Lubambe Medical Centre
  • Kitwe Polyclinic



The majority of the population of Kitwe, about 98.5%, are Christians but there are some groups such as Muslims and Hindus. There are also some Sikhs, Jains and Jews.[citation needed]

Religion Population Percentage
Christians 538,995 98.5%
Muslims 7,400 1.4%
Other 600 0.6%


Kitwe is known for having the most Europeans of any city in Zambia. About 2% of Kitwe are Europeans, 1% are Asians, half a percent are Arabs and 1.5% Africans (excluding Zambians.) The rest are Zambians, mainly Bemba but including tribes like Chewa, Lozi, Tonga, Mambwe, Lunda, Kaonde and Ila.

Features of Kitwe

Around Kitwe


The landscape around Kitwe is an attractive mix of gently undulating woodland, dambos, farmland and rivers such as the Kafue River flowing along Kitwe's eastern and southern edges.

  • Mindolo Dam 7 km west of the city centre towards Kalulushi has a boating club, motorcross racing track, canoeing, table tennis, a dam, a good field for picnicking, swimming pool and bar.[6]
  • Mwekwera Falls 9 km south east just off the Kitwe-Ndola freeway, with a small lake and fish farms. The falls are small but scenic with an attractive pool below.[6]
  • Chembe Bird Sanctuary 20 km east on the Kasempa Road has a small lake surrounded by woodland and is excellent for birdwatching, fishing, camping and picnics. The shady lake shore has campsites with a communal amenities block, firewood, and water. Boats are available for hire and fishing is permitted. It is run by the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia.[6]
  • Kumasamba lodge, a lodge that has a swimming pool and facilities such as fishing, picnicking and boating. There are a variety of animals that can be seen including crocodiles, pythons, cobras and monitor lizards. There is a big forest where people can move around seeing some other animals such as lions etc.

Recent development

Kitwe has two shopping malls: Copper Hill (on Kitwe-Chingola road) and Mukuba Mall (in Riverside where the zoo was located). The latter was opened in April 2015. Two other malls are under construction, one in Kitwe town, the other in Freedom Park. The Freedom Park mall was slated to open in 2014, with construction starting and stopping several times. In May 2016, work resumed.[8]


Kitwe is commercially rich as almost all banks in Zambia have at least one branch in Kitwe. The following banks are in Kitwe.

  • Access Bank
  • Eco Bank
  • Investrust Bank
  • Bank of China
  • Cavmont Capital Bank
  • Zanaco
  • Finance Bank
  • First National Bank(FNB)
  • National Saving and Credit Bank
  • Indo-Zambia Bank
  • InterMarket Bank
  • Standbic Bank
  • Standard-Chartered Bank
  • Barclays Bank
  • There is also Barclays Prestige
  • Corporative Bank
  • First Alliance Bank
  • African Commercial Bank

Kitwe is home to local and international stores and restaurants, including:

  • Shoprite
  • Pick and Pay
  • Game
  • Hungry Lion
  • Spur
  • Nando's
  • Wimpy's
  • Keg and Coppersmith


Kitwe has a variety of markets. The two major ones are:

  • Chisokone Market-a market near Matuka avenue, one of the biggest and oldest in the city.
  • Obote Market-located behind Chisokone Market, includes art and craft stalls including copper craft items.

Known personalities

  • Blaaze, Hip-hop rap singer, he is from M9 Lubambe Centre a.k.a. LUBZ
  • Frederick Chiluba, 2nd President
  • Jacob Mulenga, main striker of the Zambian football team also called 'chipolopolo'
  • Kennedy Mweene, goalkeeper of the Zambian football team
  • Zeddy Saileti, ex-footballer and football coach
  • MacDonald Chembeya, Chief Executive Officer of Tshwane City College in Pretoria, RSA.
  • Michael Wightman, film director, RSA
  • Francis Musankabala, bantamweight boxer.
  • Albert Musankabala, flyweight boxer.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Kitwe's has five Twin towns and sister cities:

  • Baia Mare, Romania
  • Bor, Serbia
  • Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Ponta Grossa, Paraná, Brasil

See also


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Google Earth accessed 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Terracarta/International Travel Maps, Vancouver Canada: "Zambia, 2nd edition", 2000
  3. Seat61 website retrieved 2 June 2007, says information was correct in November 2006.
  4. "Zambia/UK student partnerships fostering multi-cultural relations", Gethsemane Mwizabi, Times of Zambia, 2005
  5. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Camerapix: "Spectrum Guide to Zambia." Camerapix International Publishing, Nairobi, 1996.
  7. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  8. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).

External links