Lusaka poised for facelift
Lusaka poised for facelift
Zambia’s capital has become something of a melting pot for the varying cultures of Africa, Asia and Europe. As more investment flows into the country, the city has opened itself up to different sights and sounds. The roads are bustling and there’s a new infrastructural project wherever one looks.
But it’s the changing face of the city centre that tells the story of how the capital is regenerating itself into a worthy destination for locals and foreigners alike. Sitting imposingly in hub of the city is Society House, which for many years was not only one of the tallest buildings in Lusaka but also the most dilapidated. Following a fire that gutted the building in 1997, the building has been a symbol of the economic times of the country.
Now, as Zambia makes steady progress in economic growth, Society House is set for a major refurbishment that once complete will set the tone for regeneration of the capital’s skyline. But it goes beyond the mere restoration of the building; it will kick-start what is expected to be the drive towards a modern city centre on par with any African capital.
Louis Karol Architectural of Cape Town, South Africa, will lead the redesign of Society House which will see it comprise a 160-room four-star Holiday Inn hotel, including conferencing, office space, a retail mall and 1 100 vehicle parking garage.
This milestone redevelopment is in response to the new economic gains that Zambia is enjoying with factors such high commodity prices, economic and social stability, together with increased investment inflows particularly from global players such as China.
Infrastructural projects currently underway mirror the investment in economic regeneration of the country by successive governments. This can be seen in road rehabilitation in the major business areas of the city. In addition, retailers continue to invest in the country with the emergence of a number of shopping malls across the city and country as a whole.
Lusaka stands to benefit immensely from these investments, particularly the city centre as evidenced by the return of Holiday Inn to Zambia and the Protea Hotel which is located within the city centre. The city centre will offer business travelers and tourists alike a choice of world class accommodation.
As progress continues on Society House, you can sense the anticipation in Lusaka residents as they look to the skyline. They’re looking at being part of an exciting time in the city.
Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 09, June 2012)
Read more about the region in our destination guide: