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Kasama is the capital of the Northern Province of Zambia, situated on the central-southern African plateau at an elevation of about 1400 m. Its population, according to the 2000 census, is approximately 200,000. It grew considerably in the 1970s and 1980s after construction of the TAZARA Railway through the city, and the tarring of the Great North Road from Mpika through Kasama to Mbala. It sits at the centre of a road network which also reaches the Luapula Province in the west, Mporokoso in the north-west, Isoka in the east and Kayambi in the north-east. Consequently, it is a commercial hub with banks, markets, services and an airport.