Central Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces. The provincial capital is Kabwe, which is the home of the Mulungushi Rock of Authority. Mulungushi is the name of a river in the province and many of the historical policies, buildings and organizations are named after it. Central province has an area of 94,394 km (58,654 mi) and it shares border with eight other provinces and has eleven districts. The total area of forest in the province is 9,095,566 ha (22,475,630 acres), while it has a national park and three game management areas.
As per the 2010 Zambian census, Central Province had a population of 1,307,111, accounting to 10.05 per cent of the total Zambian population.. The literacy rate stood at 70.90 per cent against a national average of 70.2 per cent. Bemba was the most spoken language with 31.80 per cent speaking it and Lala is the majority clan in the province with 20.3 per cent of population. The total area of crops planted constituted 20.64 per cent of the total area cultivated in Zambia and the net production formed 23.85 per cent of the total agricultural production in the country with Wheat being the major crop.
The Ikubi Lya Loongo festival during July and Ichibwela Mushi festival during September are the major festivals celebrated in the province. Kafue National Park, the country's largest, shared with Southern and North-Western Provinces, Blue Lagoon National Park, Kasanka National Park, Bangweulu wetlands, South Luangwa National Park, Lunsemfwa, Lukusashi River valleys and Lukanga Swamp are the major wildlife and game areas in the province.
Central province is considered the birthplace of the national movement of Zambia. United National Independence Party (UNIP) was founded in the province in Kabwe by Kenneh Kaunda, who later went on to become the first President of Zambia and remained in office from 1964 to 1991. The provincial capital is Kabwe, home of the Mulungushi Rock of Authority and the founder home of UNIP, the ruling political party in the second republic (the single party era). Mulungushi is the name of the river in the province and many of the historical policies, buildings and organizations are named after it. Mulungushi Declaration during 1968 declared the country as a socialist nation. Mulungushi hall in the capital is the venue for most international conventions. The city of Kapiri Mposhi was a historic site during the post colonial era against the fight against White minorities. TAZARA, the Tanzania-Zambia railway line has a major terminal in the city. It provides connectivity to port in Tanzania from Zambia.
Central province has an area of 94,394 km (58,654 mi) and shares border with eight other provinces. The total area of forest in the province is 9,095,566 ha (22,475,630 acres), while it has a national park and three game management areas. There are eleven districts in the province. The province has fertile soil conducive for the growth of cotton and maize. Lukanga Swamps Is identified by IMF as a potential place for fishing industry. Precious metals are available in Mkushi area, gold in Mumbwa and coal in Kapiri Mposhi. Lukanga Swamp is a permanent swamp covering 1,850 km2 in the mouths and along Lukanga and Kafue rivers. It contains many lagoons like Lake Chiposhye and Lake Suye.
As per the 2010 Zambian census, Central Province had a population of 1,307,111 accounting to 10.05 per cent of the total Zambian population of 1,3,092,666. There were 648,465 males and 658,646 females, making the sex ratio to 1,016 for every 1,000 males, compared to the national average of 1,028. The literacy rate stood at 70.90 per cent against a national average of 70.2 per cent. The rural population constituted 74.87 per cent, while the urban population was 25.13 per cent. The total area of the province was 94,394 km2 and the population density was 13.80 per km2. The population density during 2000 Zambian census stood at 13.80. The decadal population growth of the province was 2.60 per cent. The median age in the province at the time of marriage was 20.6. The average household size was 5.5, with the families headed by females being 4.8 and 5.8 for families headed by men. The total eligible voters in the province was 54.30 per cent. The unemployment rate of the province was 12.70 per cent. The total fertility rate was 6.3, complete birth rate was 6.1, crude birth rate was 36.0, child women population at birth was 785, general fertility rate was 156, gross reproduction rate was 2.5 and net reproduction rate was 1.8. The total labour force constituted 52.20 per cent of the total population. Out of the labour force,62.7 per cent were men and 42.2 per cent women. The annual growth rate of labour force was 2.2 per cent. Bemba was the most spoken language with 31.80 per cent speaking it. Albinism is a condition where the victims do not have any pigment in their skin, hair or eyes. The total population in the province with the condition stood at 3,007. The life expectancy at birth stood at 52 compared to the national average of 51. Lala is the majority clan in the province with 20.3 per cent of population.
The Ikubi Lya Loongo festival celebrated in Mumbwa district by Sala tribe during July, Ichibwela Mushi festival celebrated in Mkushi district by Bisa/Swaka/Lala tribe during September, Musaka Jikubi festival celebrated in Mumbwa district by Kaonde tribe during September, Kulamba Kubwalo festival celebrated in Chibombo district by Lenje tribe during October and Ikubi Lya Malumbe-Munyama festival celebrated in Mumbwa district by Kaonde Ila tribe during October are the major festivals celebrated in the province. Kulamba Kubwalo festival is attended by 250,000 people annually to pay tributes to their leader and celebrate harvest.
Kafue National Park, the country's largest, shared with Southern and North-Western Provinces, Blue Lagoon National Park located in the northern part of the Kafue Flats, Kasanka National Park in the border of Bangweulu wetlands, South Luangwa National Park, Lunsemfwa and Lukusashi River valleys and Lukanga Swamp are the major wildlife and game areas in the province.
Provincial administration is setup purely for administrative purposes. The province is headed by a minister appointed by the President and there are ministries of central government for each province. The administrative head of the province is the Permanent Secretary, appointed by the President. There is a Deputy Premanent Secretary, heads of government departments and civil servants at the provincial level. Central Province is divided into eleven districts, namely Chibombo District, Chisamba District, Chitambo District, Itezhi-Tezhi District, Kabwe District, Kapiri Mposhi District, Luano District, Mkushi District, Mumbwa District, Ngabwe District and Serenje District. All the district headquarters are the same as the district names. There are eleven councils in the province, each of which is headed by an elected representative, called councilor. Each councilor holds office for three years. The administrative staff of the council is selected based on Local Government Service Commission from within or outside the district. The office of the provincial government is located in each of the district headquarters and has provincial local government officers and auditors. Each council is responsible for raising and collecting local taxes and the budgets of the council are audited and submitted every year after the annual budget. The elected members of the council do not draw salaries, but are paid allowances from the council. Central is a predominantly rural province and hence there are no city or municipal councils. The government stipulates 63 different functions for the councils with the majority of them being infrastructure management and local administration. Councils are mandated to maintain each of their community centres, zoos, local parks, drainage system, playgrounds, cemeteries, caravan sites, libraries, museums and art galleries. They also work along with specific government departments for helping in agriculture, conservation of natural resources, postal service, establishing and maintaining hospitals, schools and colleges. The councils prepare schemes that encourage community participation.
As of 2004, the province had 653 basic schools, 28 high schools and the number of school children out of school in ages between 7 and 15 stood at 653. The unemployment rate was 9 per cent and the general unemployment rate for youth stood at 18 per cent as of 2008. The province had 35 doctors as of 2005. There were 331 Malaria incidence for every 1,000 people in the province as of 2005 and there were 9,016 AIDS death as of 2010.
The total area of crops planted during the year 2014 in the province was 391,593.23 hectares which constituted 20.64 per cent of the total area cultivated in Zambia. The net production stood at 971,484 metric tonnes, which formed 23.85 per cent of the total agricultural production in the country. Wheat was the major crop in the province with 99,758 metric tonnes, constituting 49.51 per cent of the national output.