Kitwe: Wikis


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Kitwe is located in Zambia
Location in Zambia
Coordinates: 12°49′S 28°12′E / 12.817°S 28.2°E / -12.817; 28.2
Country Flag of Zambia.svg Zambia
Admin. division Copperbelt Province
Population (2007)
 - Total 547,700

Kitwe is the second largest city in terms of size and population in Zambia. With a population of 547,700 (2007 census) Kitwe is one of the most developed commercial and industrial areas in the nation, alongside Ndola and Lusaka. With a complex of mines on its north-western and western edges.[1]

Kitwe includes a number of townships and suburbs including Nkana East, Nkana West, Mindolo and Garneton.[2] The city is sometimes referred to as Kitwe-Nkana.




Mopani Copper Mines

Nkana open pit and headgear in Kitwe

Mopani Copper Mines Plc (Mopani) is a joint venture company based in Kitwe as 95% of its operations are located there, comprising Glencore International AG (73.1%), First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (16.9%) and Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (10%). Mopani operates the Mufulira mine, smelter, concentrator and copper refinery and the Nkana mine, concentrator and cobalt plant. MCM produced 134,800 tons of copper and 2,040 tons of cobalt in 2003. MCM is investing in a number of oxide copper projects at several of its properties, including an in-situ leaching project at Mufulira and heap leaching at Nkana, and has achieved significant production increases at its underground mining operations in Kitwe and Mufulira. Copper production from internal sources was supplemented by the purchase of some 18,000 tons of copper in high-grade oxide concentrate bought from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company aims to rebuild the Mufulira smelter during 2004 and 2005, and also plans to add a new gas collection facility and acid plant at a total cost of US$95 million.

Mufulira Mine

The largest underground mine in Africa, the Mufulira Mine employs 10,000 people; includes a concentrator, a refinery and a smelter; and produces 300,000 tons of copper each year through the process of open stopping. The copper is then taken to the concentrator.

Mufulira Concentrator

The concentrator crushes ores coming from the Mufulira mine consisting of 46% copper, waters it, and then does the process of floatation so the waste material can be removed.

Mufulira Smelter

The smelter melts the copper mixed with limestone in the reverberatory furnace. The copper is pressurised by the air, then oxidised, and finally poled. The copper is then taken to the refinery.

Mufulira Refinery

The copper is cast into anodes so the process of electrolysis can take place during refining.

Nkana Mine

Nkana mine is one of the largest in Africa, a copper mine located 1 km south-west of Kitwe. The mine is underground as well as open pit and is in operation since 1932 and has produced 6,000,000 tons of copper so far. Its reserves underground include 69,000,000 tons of grading, 16,000,000 tons of copper, and 98,000 tons of cobalt. Its resources include 126,000,000 tons of grading, 43,000,000 tons of copper, and 300,000 tons of cobalt. Copper and cobalt mineralisation occur within the ore shale. Copper mineralisation in the deposits changes from mostly chalcopyrite in the South Orebody, to chalcopyrite-bornite in the Central area and to bornite-chalcopyrite at Mindola. Cobalt occurs as carrollite and cobaltiferous pyrite in approximately equal proportions. The mine produces copper and cobalt from three sources: Mindola Shaft, Central Shaft and South Orebody Shaft. Vertical crater retreat is the predominant mining method while sublevel open-stopping and sublevel caving methods are also used. Other metallurgical facilities, under a management contract by an affiliate of the Anglo American Group, include the Nkana smelter (not owned by Mopani), acid plant (not owned by Mopani) and copper refinery (not owned by Mopani). There is extensive mine tailings around this mine.

Nkana Concentrator

Nkana Concentrator of Mopani mines, located in Kitwe, treats copper-cobalt sulphide ore using a bulk flotation and segregation flotation flowsheet to produce separate copper and cobalt concentrates. Nkana Concentrator is the most important mineral processing unit of Mopani, as it contributes about 65% of cobalt concentrates treated at the Nkana and Chambeshi Cobalt plants to produce high purity cobalt metal.

Cobalt Plant

The cobalt plant treats 65% of the cobalt concentrates to produce high purity cobalt metal. The two cobalt plants are Nkana Cobalt Plant and Chambeshi Cobalt Plant.

KCM (Konkola Copper Mine)

Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) is the largest copper mining company in the country. Although based in Chingola, 15% of its operations-- namely Nkana Refinery, Nkana Acid Plants and Nkana Smelter (the largest smelter in the nation) -- are located in Kitwe. The Nkana Smelter is the largest primary copper production plant in Zambia. The plant treats concentrates mainly from Nkana, Nchanga, and Konkola mines, which are wholly owned by KCM to produce up to 150,000 tons of new copper.

Nkana Smelter

The smelter produces high grade anodes, which are electrolytically refined. Sulphur dioxide gas produced by the converters is converted into sulphuric acid which is then used at the Tailings Leach Plant in Nchanga for recovering oxide copper. The smelter also produces discard slag from the reverbs that is rich in cobalt which is stored for future reclamation.

Nkana Refinery

The Nkana Copper Refinery produces electrolytically refined copper in the form of cathodes. The copper meets the LME premium quality grade. The tankhouse has a capacity of about 180,000 tons of finished copper per annum.

Nkana Acid Plants

There are two single contact sulphuric acid plants at Smelterco, namely the No.3 and No.4 plants. No.3, the largest, is still operational. The plant has a design capacity of 1,050 tons of acid per day.

Rokana Mine

Rokana Mine is a mining company that owns Mindola Underground Mine, which mines minerals such as carrollite, chalcopyrite and libethenite.

There is extensive mine tailings around this mine. See Copperbelt Province for the history of the copper-mining industry in this region.

Other mining

There are two small tailings dams right in the city centre. There are also small-scale emerald mines in the area.


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 adjuunct 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 Bay (which used to take some of Zambia's copper exports but is currently closed).



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, Kitwe lies about 12 km south-west of the town but does not currently receive much scheduled services. The airport has an airport code called KIW, a world area code called 597, a runaway length of 6,660 ft (1,998 m), and a runaway elevation of 4,145 ft (1,244 m). The airport was closed down for repair in 2005, and re-opened in 2008. Ndola Airport is 60 km south-east.[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 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, the five best[citation needed] ones being:

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 teachings 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, and swimmer Jade Howard represented Zambia in the FINA World Championship. Eppa Tembo, a chess player, represented Zambia in 2008 World Championship; and Sarang Mahajan, a mathematician, was invited to an Indian talent show Shabash India to show his maths abilities.

Mpelembe School is the biggest school in the city and a preeminent secondary school. It offers Zambian Standard syllabus (mainly Macmillan and Longman) and Cambridge curriculum. 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 met the grades went on to study at Universities in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa and other developed countries. The majority of students chose to study in the UK. The most popular Universities for Mpelembe Students were University of Manchester, Birmingham, UMIST, Imperial college, Leeds University. Camborne School of Mines was 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. Results such as 100% in maths are common at this prestigious school. 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. Lately, Ex-Mpelempe students are scattered all over the world working for various organisations ranging from Government departments to Google.

Nkana Trust School is one of the biggest schools in the city, a trust school that provides a pre-school, primary, and secondary teaching offering the Zambian syllabus. Nkana Trust School is known for having one of the best sporting and educating facilities in the city and one of the best school infrastructures in the country. Nkana trust school students produce one of the best results in Grade 7 composite final examinations and Grade 10 and 12 final examinations such as 80% and above.

Elim Primary School is a small school that provides pre-school and primary teaching following a Zambian Standard syllabus (mainly Macmillan and Longman), and provides the basic facilities of swimming and athletics four times a week. Despite its small size, it produces one of the nation's best Grade 7 composite examination results such as Sarang Mahajan's 95.5%.

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 run by the Sisters of John the Baptist (the Baptistines).

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

Universities, Colleges and Institutes

Kitwe has three universities namely:

CBU (Copperbelt University)-a public university that was once part of UNZA (University of Zambia) but then separated and established differently in 1987.It is one of the biggest and best universities in the country as it has 5000 students and 600 member of staff. The university is also known to be very clean. The University is organised under a lifelong education directorate and five schools namely:

  • School of technology
  • School of Mathematics and Natural sciences
  • School of Natural Resources
  • School of Business
  • School for built environment centre for lifelong education(CLLE)

ZIBSIP (Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice)-a university that provides the facilities of Business Studies and IIndustrial Practice such as Accounting and Book Keeping.

Copperstone University-a new privately owned university that provides the facilities of mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.

Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation Campus

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:

  • Africa Literature Center
  • Young Women's Christian Association
  • United Church of Zambia Theological College
  • Theological Education by extension in Zambia
  • 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 enough health care as there are a number of Dentist surgery, optician surgerys, clinics and hospitals.

Dentist surgerys (areas where you might find a dentist to carry out some operations) are:

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

Optician Surgerys (areas where you may find an opthomorologist to carry out some operations) are:

  • Eye ward
  • Kitwe central hospital (not to be confused as a hospital but a ward)

Clinics include:

  • Dr. Kumar's Surgery
  • Dr. Verma's Surgery
  • Dr. Muldeang's Surgery

Hospitals include:

  • Wusakile
  • Hillview medical centre
  • Company Clinic
  • Progress
  • Kitwe Central Hospital
  • Sinozam Hospital


Secondary Industries

As well as the mines, Kitwe has light industrial areas such as:

  • Beverages
  • Brewing
  • Distilling
  • Manufacturing building material
  • Manufacturing construction material
  • Ceramics
  • Chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics
  • Copper refining
  • Copper processing
  • Cobalt refining
  • Cobalt processing
  • Electrical engineering
  • Electrical communication
  • Engineering
  • Food Processing
  • Manufacturing furniture
  • Manufacturing Consumer goods
  • Manufacturing Glass
  • Light Engineering
  • Metal processing
  • Manufacturing Metal products
  • Manufacturing paint
  • Manufacturing Paper
  • Printing
  • Manufacturing Clothes
  • Textile Manufacturing
  • Cotton Manufacturing

Tertiary Industries

As well as the mines Kitwe is largely tertially developed as it has a number of suppliers and shops consisting of:

  • Lens, frames and spectacles consisted in Indafro ltd, Peter Levy (now Kitwe Opticians) etc.
  • Hardware consisted in Kitwe Hardware.
  • Roofing sheets supplied in Copperbelt fastening.
  • Game Modules and its appliances in seventwotwo, Kitwe Lighthouse etc.
  • Furniture supplied in Supreme Furnitures, Solid Furnitures, IFI Furnitures etc.
  • Stationery supplied in Shoprite, Eskayarts, Book World, Delden ltd.
  • Cosmetics and Jewelery supplied in Fashion Hut etc.
  • Cellphones supplied in Cellphone House, Fashion Hut etc.
  • Groceries supplied in Curioz, BP Supermarket, Upper Supermarket, Quick Mart, Mini Mart, Bippos, Quick Shop etc.
  • Sport oriented goods supplied in Sports Pro., Video Club, Mukape stores, Eskayarts, Shoprite, Jotuna.
  • Shoes supplied in Tyros, Bata, Pep stores etc.
  • Fertilizers supplied in Swiney and Vinco ltd.
  • Toys supplied in Fashion Hut, Shoprite, Galleria etc.
  • Fireworks supplied in Vinco ltd etc.
  • Computer oriented goods consisted in AT Computers, CompuZone, Dreamland products.
  • Internet Cafes such as Azumin, Linknet etc.
  • Emeralds in Sarunit Enerprises.
  • Clothing in Pep stores, Ultra Fashions, Kamiza Fashions etc.
  • Medicines in Your Chemist, Noor Pharmacy, Chemopharm.



Majority of Kitwe about 98.5% of the population are Christians but there are still some minor groups such as the Muslims and the Hindus. Some very minor families of sikhs, jains and Jews.

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 include tribes like Chewa, Lozi, Tonga, Mambwe, Lunda, Kaonde and Ila are still there.

Features of Kitwe

Around Kitwe

Sight seeing

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 7km 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.[5]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.


Despite Kitwe being financially high, it has only one major hotel namely Hotel Edinburgh but there are some minor hotels like YMCA hotel etc. Kitwe has a lot of guest houses and lodges providing guest accommodation like Providence Guest House, Mukwa Lodge, Cavendish Guest House, Bed & Breakfast Lodge, Pamo Lodge, Kumasamba Lodge, Eagle Guest House, Jasmine Lodge, Arabian Nights Guest House, Lucky Guest House, BP Guest House, Blue Gates Guest House, Euphirates Cafe, Shebourne Lodge and Copperfields Guest House.


Kitwe has a variety of eating places as it is financially rich. The common eating places excluding the guest houses and lodges are:

  • Havmore restaurant
  • After Ten restaurant
  • Greek club
  • Mona Lisa restaurant
  • Nissos restaurant
  • Pama Beaf/Meats
  • Ice n Burger restaurant
  • Grill House
  • Quick Save restaurant
  • Food Palace restaurant
  • Banjar restaurant
  • Alpaninos
  • Lucky restaurant
  • Curioz
  • Divine Food
  • Morsels
  • Africaza restaurant
  • Zhongtian restaurant
  • Pie City fast food
  • Wimpy restaurant(multi-national)
  • Hungry Lion(multi-national)
  • Mahak Restaurant

Night life

The night clubs are located in the heart of the city like for example Chez Ntemba International Dancing night club, XTC night club etc. With regard to personal security Kitwe is a very safe city.

Recent development

Kitwe is now experiencing massive development as two shopping malls are going to be constructed, one near on freedom park which will be bigger than manda hill or arcades and one on Kitwe-Chingola road, near Chambishi (which is considered to be 70% on the Kitwe side and will be the biggest in Zambia and one of the biggest in Africa). One new multi-national company has been opened namely Wimpy and two new shopping centres are under construction, one is newly made namely Sunshine Centre and the other is still under construction namely Mega Shopping Centre. One new restaurant has recently opened namely Mahak and one area is still under construction and no one really has an idea what is going to be made there.


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

  • Investrust Bank
  • Cavmont Capital Bank
  • Zanaco
  • Finace Bank
  • National Saving and Credit Bank
  • Indo-Zambia Bank
  • Standbic Bank
  • Standard-Chartered Bank
  • Barclays Bank
  • There is also a prestige namely Barclays Prestige.
  • Corporative Bank
  • First Alliance Bank
  • African Commercial Bank


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

  • 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 personalties

Sister cities

Kitwe's has four sister cities:

See also


  1. ^ a b Google Earth accessed 2007.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d Camerapix: "Spectrum Guide to Zambia." Camerapix International Publishing, Nairobi, 1996.

External links

Coordinates: 12°49′00″S 28°12′00″E / 12.8166667°S 28.2°E / -12.8166667; 28.2

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kitwe is large town in Northern Zambia, in the Copperbelt region.

Get in

Kitwe has a small airstrip that is serviced by Air Zambia from Lusaka. Depending on the season sometimes this can be damaged by rain, rendering it inoperable. If this is the case, nearby Ndola is an alternative as they are linked by a well maintained double carriageway and it is under an hour's drive between the two towns.

Get around

Kitwe airport closed for maintenance in 2005, and at the present time is unlikely to re-open.


There are a lot of variety of goods that can be bought from Kitwe.Spectacles can be bought from Indafro Ltd.the optique, City square.Cosmetics, gifts, accessories, perfumes,cards etc. can be bought from Fashion Hut, YMCA Building ,Matuka Avenue.There are various supermarkets in Kitwe like Bippos supermarket, Upper, BP supermarket, Quick Shop and Mini Mart.Clothes can be bought from Kamiza Fashion boutique, Toys can be bought from Galleria and Shoprite Checkers.Sports accessories can be bought from Mukape sports shop, Sports pro ltd.Computers and its accessories are sold at AT Computers,Dreamland, CompuZone.Clothes are sold in Pep stores, furnitures are sold in IFI furnitures, shoes are sold in Bata and Tyros.


At the ever excellent “Arabian Nights” frequented by locals and visitors, the menu offers interesting and diverse eating. Try the Nile Perch fillet on a bed of mushroom risotto.

Friendly efficient service with a lovely ambiance throughout the restaurant and outside dining area. Good local beers Mosi, Rhino available with some imported beers and wines on offer.

For Italian food, try "Mona Lisa" at the Parklands Shopping Center. A popular restaurant with efficient service and a wide variety of dishes, "Mona Lisa" is frequented by both locals and visitors, particularly on weekends. For a hassle free evening, it is advisable to go on a weekday, as the area is particularly crowded on weekends.

For Indian food try Dannys restaurant, Hotel Edinburgh and Havmore restaurant.These restaurants are popular for Tandoori chicken, Chicken curry and Naan.These restaurants are cheap and offer buffets on Sundays.


There are plenty supermarkets where you can get drinks like Coca-Cola, Fanta, Juice, Mazoe, sprite etc.Supermarkets like Bippos, BP supermarket, Quick Mart, Upper and Quick Shop offer these drinks.

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