UNUSUAL / GHOST TOWN – CHINESE BUILT GHOST TOWN IN ANGOLA
Nova Cidade de Kilamba, or simply Kilamba is a large housing development 30 km (18 miles) from Luanda, the capital city of Angola. It is being built by the CITIC Group and is currently largely empty.
Kilamba was designed to accommodate 500,000 people and includes 750 eight-storey apartment blocks, over 100 commercial premises and a dozen schools.
The cost is reported as US$3.5 billion, financed by a Chinese credit line and repaid by the Angolan government with oil. It is probably one of the largest construction projects in Africa.
As of July 2012, the buildings are largely complete but still unoccupied. Only 220 apartments had been sold out of the first release of 2,800. Sales have been slow because of the difficulty in obtaining mortgage loans.
One school is in operation, but children are bussed in from other areas as there are none living nearby. The government plans to use some of the residential blocks as social housing.
Although Kilamba contributes to meeting the election pledge made by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 2008 to build a million new homes in four years, Angola does not have a large middle class able to buy such homes.