Abuja is the capital of Nigeria in West Africa, Africa's most populous nation. Just under 800,000 people live in Abuja (less than a tenth that live in Lagos, the old capital). Abuja is a planned city, it became Nigeria's capital city in 1991 and it's situated in the center of the country. Many developing nations have planned capital cities situated in the geographic center in order to maintain some political neutrality as well as create an economic base in a previously underdeveloped part of the country. Abuja was constructed during the 1980's. The downtown area is planned out and mostly completed. Multinationals have their headquarters here, embassies are based here, there's a mosque, church and a large national assembly. The outskirts of town are still somewhat of a mess with little in the way of modern conveniences such as electricity and running water. Shanty towns are growing in number as the rural population is drawn to the city in search of jobs.
Claim to Fame
Planned cities generally have some out-of-place projects going on and Abuja is no exception with a huge planned amusement park being built, called Mataima Amusement Park. So far some of the attractions that have opened include rotating teacups, bumper boats and a photo booth. Phase two of the project will include a waterpark as well as a small zoo complete with some animatronics. This will be interesting in a city that experiences daily power cuts.
Travel to Abuja
Abuja is not a tourist destination since there isn't much in the way of sights to attract anyone. Businessmen however do come to Abuja and it has a reputation as being one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria as far as the price of hotels and restaurants are concerned. There is also not much in the way of public transportation, so you have to rely on taxis to get around.