Malawi’s biggest and capital city, Lilongwe, with a population of 1,077,116 people. The city lies in Malawi’s central area, between the Mozambique and Zambian borders, and it serves as a significant commercial and transportation center for the country. The Lilongwe River inspired the name.
Lilongwe has a humid subtropical climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate, with moderate winters and pleasant summers. Temperatures are lower than one would anticipate for a city in the tropics due to the altitude. Lilongwe has a brief rainy season, which lasts from December to March, and a long dry season, which lasts for the most of the year, with June and July being colder than the rest of the year.
It’s an extremely green city, to the point that you could question whether there is really a city center, since buildings in the new town are separated by patches of grassy ground and trees.
While Blantyre is Malawi’s commercial capital, the government and public institutions dominate Lilongwe’s economy. The largest industrial region in the city is Kanengo District, which has food processing, tobacco storage and sales, maize storage, and other light businesses.
The city’s primary economic activity include finance, banking, retail commerce, construction, transportation, public administration, tourism, and tobacco manufacture. In Lilongwe, 76% of the population lives in informal settlements, with poverty rates of 25% and unemployment rates of 16%. About 27% of all formal employees are employed by the government, while 40% work in the private sector and 2% are self-employed.