Sixty four kilometres west of Ndola is Kitwe, the hub of the Copperbelt and the principle industrial and commercial centre of the area. The city owes its existence to the copper mining industry but a considerable number of secondary industries have been established. Planned on modern lines, Kitwe has a large shopping area with hotels, a cinema and theatre.
With the upsurge of copper prices in the 1950’s Kitwe developed from a small township to the second largest city in Zambia, obtaining city status in 1966. It then developed as an industrial and commercial area and later an important agricultural area. The good central position of the city in the Copperbelt area made it the most popular choice for industrial developers. Other industries include furniture manufacturing, batteries, clothing, asbestos and cement production, and consumer goods manufacturing. Kitwe also has three well equipped hospitals.