• H.E. Edgar Lungu

  • President

  • “Our countries, if taken individually, cannot provide attractive markets and destinations for investments. We should therefore accelerate our integration efforts so as to accrue the expected benefits from our collective efforts.”
Full name Republic of Zambia
Capital Lusaka
Area 752,618 km2
Location Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates 15 00 S, 30 00 E
Population 15,066,266
Languages
  • Bembe 33.4%
  • Nyanja 14.7%
  • Tonga 11.4%
  • Lozi 5.5%
  • Chewa 4.5%
  • Nsenga 2.9%
  • Tumbuka 2.5%%
  • Lunda (North Western) 1.9%
  • Kaonde 1.8%
  • Lala 1.8%
  • Lamba 1.8%,
  • English (official) 1.7%
  • Luvale 1.5%
  • Mambwe 1.3%
  • Namwanga 1.2%
  • Lenje 1.1%
  • Bisa 1%
  • other 9.2%
  • unspecified 0.2%
Religion
  • Protestant 75.3%
  • Roman Catholic 20.2%
  • other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha'i)
  • none 1.8%
Demonym Zambian(s)
Currency Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Country code +260
Internet code .zm
Industry Copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages
Agriculture Corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, cattle
Exports Copper, cobalt, electricity, tobacco, flowers
Government website www.zambia.gov.zm
Geographic note Because of the Victoria Falls’ spray, the forest beside it is the only place in the world to receive non-stop “rain.”
Source: CIA World Factbook & National Geographic
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Introduction

Zambia is a logistical challenge, because of its sheer size. The rewards of travelling in Zambia are those of exploring remote, mesmerising wilderness full of astonishing diversity of wildlife as any part of Southern Africa.

You can canoe down a wide, placid river and raft through the raging rapids near world-famous Victoria Falls. You can wander into the bush where animals, both predators and prey, roam through unfenced camps, where night-time means swapping stories around the fire and where the human footprint is nowhere to be seen.

Though landlocked, three great rivers – the Kafue, the Luangwa and the Zambezi – flow through Zambia, defining both its geography and the rhythms of life for many of its people. For those who do travel here, the relative lack of crowds means an even more satisfying journey.

Source: Lonely Planet

Economy

Zambia’s economy remains strong with growth expected to increase above 6% throughout 2015-2016. Inflation is expected to fall below 7.0% by 2017.

Zambia’s economy performed relatively well within the region despite the decline in the growth rate. Agriculture, on the other hand, put in a strong performance growing at over 6% as a result of a bumper maize harvest. Economic performance is expected to remain strong in the medium term driven by large investments in infrastructure and a growing public administration and defence.

Diversifying the economy away from dependence on copper and the creation of decent jobs remain the overarching policy goals of the government. Improving accountability and strengthening the fight against corruption also remain firmly on the government’s agenda. In 2014, there was some fiscal consolidation with the deficit falling by about one percentage point compared to 2013. This is expected to continue in the medium term with slower expenditure growth and improved fiscal and cash management. Productivity in the private sector needs to increase in order to improve competitiveness given the pressure for higher wages. The government has indicated that it will do more to expand skills and education while also accelerating interventions in health, water, and sanitation in the coming year.

Economic development in Zambia has historically followed the rail lines that connect the Copperbelt in the north with Livingstone in the south through the capital city, Lusaka. More recently the main transport corridors have also provided an impetus for growth in the country. These corridors have benefited both Central and Eastern Province where there has been an influx of investments, creating a basis for further development. Spatial inclusion is addressed through the revised Sixth National Development Plan while an added benefit of industrial policy is the creation of multi-facility economic zones aimed at creating opportunities in the main urban agglomerations and attracting foreign investments.

Successes

On 24 October 1964, the country became independent of the United Kingdom and then-prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991. Considering the country spent 27 years without elections, it is a positive achievement that democracy appears to have become entrenched.

Between 1990 and 1995, HIV infection rates nearly doubled, from 8.9% to 16.3%. A concerted effort from the government, international community and civil society to combat the rise in the disease has been successful. Infection rates stabilised at just over 15% from 2000, and in 2011 the figure has dropped to 13.5% of the population affected. Better preventative education and increased condom use are cited as the key reasons for this stabilisation. There is much work to do, and HIV/AIDS still has a damaging effect on Zambia’s professional classes, but progress has certainly been made in the last decade.

Zambia’s contribution to both peacemaking and peacekeeping across southern Africa has benefited a number of its neighbours. Zambia has been a stabilising influence in the region, and its facilitation of peace talks between warring entities in Angola and the DR Congo has advanced the prospects of long-term peace in both countries considerably.