Mansa, Zambia

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Mansa is the capital of the Luapula Province of Zambia, and headquarters of Mansa District. It takes its name from the local Chief Mansa and the small Mansa River which flows west to the Luapula River. During British rule the city was named Fort Rosebery.

Situation and character

In a province of beautiful rivers, waterfalls, lakes and wetlands, Mansa serves administrative and commercial functions, being situated on a relatively featureless plateau between the Luapula River to the west and Lake Bangweulu to the east. It does have the merit of being reasonably well located at the crossroads of the Copperbelt-Congo Pedicle-Chembe-Kawambwa road running south to north (partly paved), and the Serenje-Samfya-Luapula Valley road (all paved) running south-east to north-west. The main highway to the Northern Province via Luwingu branches off the Kawambwa road north of Mansa, and is paved near Kasama.


In colonial times Mansa was called Fort Rosebery and was also the headquarters of the province. The first Fort Rosebery, however was situated in the Luapula Valley around 1900, where most of the province's population live, near Mambilima. After an outbreak of sleeping sickness in the valley some years later it was moved to the present site in the belief that the higher plateau site would be more healthy.

The Luapula Province developed in the mid-20th century on the supply of fish, agricultural produce and labour to Zambia's industrial centre, the Copperbelt, and Mansa...
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