|Republic of Zambia|
|Republic of Zambia|
Motto : "One Zambia, one nation"
"One Zambia, one nation"
|State and form of government||presidential republic|
|Head of state , also head of government||President Hakainde Hichilema|
|population||17.9 million ( 63rd ) (2019; estimate)|
|Population density||23 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 2.9% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.584 ( 146th ) (2019)|
|independence||October 24, 1964
(from the United Kingdom )
|National anthem||Lumbanyeni Zambia (Stand and Sing of Zambia)|
|Time zone||UTC + 2|
|ISO 3166||ZM , ZMB, 894|
Zambia [ ˈzambi̯a ] ( Republic of Zambia [ ˈzæmbɪə ]) - formerly Northern Rhodesia - is a landlocked country in southern Africa . It borders Angola , the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Tanzania , Malawi , Mozambique , Zimbabwe , Botswana and Namibia . The name is derived from the Zambezi River . Zambia gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 24, 1964 .
Most of Zambia consists of plateaus with relatively little relief between 1000 and 1400 meters above sea level. However, these plateaus are very different. In the north the Bangweulu basin represents the bottom of a huge crater, which is bordered in the south by the plateau of the Copperbelt , in the west by the long Luapula valley , in the north by the Mporokosobergen and in the east by the Muchinga mountains . Along these mountains stretches from north to south, the Luangwa Valley , which is bounded in the north by the foothills of the southern Tanzanian highlands and in the east by the Mafinga Hills , which merge into the central highlands of Malawi and where the highest point of the country is, the Mafinga at 2339 meters above sea level. The west of Zambia with the headwaters of the Zambezi is a flat sandy area of the Kalahari desert that slopes gently to the south. Dramatic reliefs can only be found along the steep slope of the Zambezi .
The Zambezi rises in northern Zambia and forms Zambia's southern border with Namibia, Botswana (disputed) and Zimbabwe (with the Victoria Falls ), whereby it also flows through the dammed Lake Kariba .
Zambia has a mild tropical climate with moderate temperatures due to the altitude (cold tropics). There are three seasons:
- A cool dry season from May to September with temperatures between 15 and 27 ° C. In the months of June and July, morning temperatures can drop to 10 ° C and night temperatures to 4.5 ° C.
- A hot dry season in October and November with temperatures between 24 and 32 ° C.
- A hot, humid rainy season from December to April with violent tropical storms. The average temperatures during this time are between 27 and 38 ° C. During the day, very heavy rain showers alternate with sunny weather in places. In a few years, around 2007/2008, there was unusually intense rainfall that caused deaths and threatened harvests.
In recent years there have been pronounced droughts in Zambia, which in 2019 led to precipitation of only 327 mm in this season from November to April instead of the usual 800–1000 mm. The harvest volumes for agricultural products such as corn decreased.
Zambia is located on a plateau over 1000 meters high, which is surrounded by deep valleys and depressions. That is why there are countless waterfalls in the country, the most famous of which is the Victoria Falls of the Zambezi. Of the other falls, those of the Kalungwishi River in the north should be emphasized. With the Lumangwe Falls , Chimpepe Falls , Kabweluma Falls , Kundabwiku Falls and Mumbuluma Falls , it offers a series that is supplemented by the Kapuma Falls , the Lupupa Falls and the Pule Falls on its tributaries. The Luapula, too, with the Mambilima Falls and the almost inaccessible Mambatutafalls, has unique white water rapids with a steep gradient. On Lake Tanganyika that plunge Kalambofälle and Lunzuafälle over 200 meters in depth. The Sanzye Falls are close by . In addition to these natural wonders, there are other waterfalls like the Senkelefälle , Chusafälle and Namundelafälle the river Mansha between Mpika and Kasama . The Chishimba Falls , Mutinondo Wilderness Falls, and Lwitikila Falls are also in this area . The Kundalila Falls are further south .
Lakes and swamps
Zambia has four different lake and wetland areas. The Kariba reservoir of the Zambezi lies in the south. The system of the Kafue with the Lukangasümpfen , the Itezhitezhi Reservoir and the Kafuestausee impressed Zentralsambia south of the Copperbelt . The Bangweulu basin with the Bangweulee and the surrounding Bangweulu marshes extends north of the Copperbelt. In the far north in the geological fractures in the Rift valley lie the Tanganyika lake and in the depression behind the Bangweulublock with the Mporokosobergen the Mwerusee and the Mweru-Wantipa-See .
Zambia is characterized by two river systems: the catchment area of the Zambezi to the south and that of the Congo to the north. Both catchment areas are cross-border and of continental importance. The system of the Zambezi divides into the upper reaches with the tributaries Cuando , Lungwebungu , Luanginga from Angola, Kabompo with Western Lunga , Luena , Lufupa from the east, and middle reaches with the tributaries Kafue with Lunga and Lusiwishi as well as Chongwe and finally the Luangwa with its Mansha , Lunsemfwa , Lukusashi and Mulingushi tributaries . The subsystem of the Congo in Zambia is the Chambeshi , which flows like numerous smaller rivers into the Bangweulu Basin and leaves it as a Luapula to flow into the Mweru Lake, to which the Kalungwishi also comes from the Mporokosobergen .
South Luangwa National Park - North Luangwa National Park - Luambe National Park - Lukusuzi National Park - Nyika - Nsumbu National Park - Mweru Wantipa Lake with Mweru Wantipa National Park - Lusenga Plain National Park - Bangweulus Marshes - Kasanka National Park - Lavushi Manda National Park - Isangano National Park - Kafue National Park - Lochinvar National Park - Blue Lagoon National Park - Liuwa Plain National Park - West Lunga National Park - Sioma Ngweizi National Park - Mosi-oa-Tunya - Lower Zambezi National Park
The total fertility rate in 2019 was 4.56 children per woman. In the mid-1970s the figure was over 7 children per woman, but has been falling steadily since then. One of the reasons for this high fertility rate was that only a few women had access to modern contraceptive methods. This now applies to 69%. 44.5% of Zambians are under 15 years old, two percent over 65 years old. Zambia has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. In 2019 the growth rate was 2.9%. The population has increased sevenfold since 1950 and, according to forecasts, will more than double again by the middle of the century.
Zambia's black population (98.1%) is 99% composed of approximately 72 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. 90% of Zambians belong to eight ethno-linguistic groups. The largest of the eight groups are the Bemba , who make up 21% of the population. The Rotse people - 5.7% of the population - live mainly in the south. Many personalities in politics and business come from the ranks of the Rotse. The tradition of the Bemba as well as the Rotse, both of which originally come from the south-eastern Congo Basin, is shaped by the institution of chiefdom.
The Tonga with 13.6% of the total population have been resident in the south of the country for thousands of years . The expulsion of this group from the Zambezi Valley by the British in the course of the construction of the Kariba dam brought about major changes in their traditional culture. Further of the eight largest ethnic groups are the Nyanja - Chewa (7.4%), the Nsenga (5.3%), the Tumbuka (4.4%), the Ngoni (4%) and the Lala (3.1%) . According to the 2010 census, smaller minorities are the Kaonde (2.9%), the Namwanga (2.8%), the Lunda (2.6%), the Mambwe (2.5%), the Luvale (2.2 %) %), the Lamba (2.1%), the Ushi (1.9%), the Lenje (1.6%), the Bisa (1.6%), the Mbunda (1.2%) and the Luba . Other ethnic groups make up 13.8%.
Only the Twa of the Khoisan population , now only 0.7%, live in small groups in the area of Lake Bangweulus. There are also (1.2%) Europeans and Indians . In 2017, 0.9% of the population was born abroad. Most of them were from Angola, DR Congo, and Mozambique.
Mainly Bantu languages are spoken; However, the only official language is English , although only 1.7% of the population speak it as their mother tongue. When working languages are Bemba (3.3 million speakers in Zambia, is therefore spoken by 33.4% of the population) and Nyanja (803,000 speakers; 14.7%) common. Nyanja is also spoken in the capital, with an additional 4.5% Chewa speakers. Also Tonga Language (990,000 speakers; 11.4%) is a common language. Lozi (610,000 speakers; 5.5%), the language of the Rotse, is used as a lingua franca in large parts of the south.
According to the 2010 census, the 43 languages spoken in the country also include Nsenga with 2.9%, Tumbuka with 2.5%, Lunda (northwest) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala with 1.8%, Lamba with 1.8%, Luvale with 1.5%, Mambwe with 1.3%, Namwanga with 1.2%, Lenje with 1.1% and Bisa with 1% share. Other languages make up 9.4%.
The country's constitution defined Zambia as a Christian nation through a constitutional amendment in 1996. The religion with the most followers is Christianity in many denominations, some of which can be traced back to different missionary activities. According to the 2010 census, 75.3% of the population are Protestants (including Anglicans , followers of the Pentecostal movement and the New Apostolic Church ) and 20.2% Roman Catholic .
There are also African religions in Zambia, which often overlap with Christianity. The religion of the Tumbuka with the Vimbuza cult is known. These cults of obsession are summarized as Mashawe in Zambia .
Zambia is one of the countries with the highest HIV infection rate. This explains the sharp decline in life expectancy between 1990 and 2005 from 60 (in 1990) to around 40 years. In 2006 there were 750,000 AIDS orphans in Zambia. At that time, one million orphans were expected for 2015, which would correspond to 20 percent of the children in the country. Most of the orphans do not receive any formal schooling. Six percent are considered homeless , UNICEF speaks of ten percent. Only one percent finds space in an orphanage.
The HIV infection rate has decreased somewhat in recent years. The WHO gives the average life expectancy again as 57 years (as of 2012).
The infant mortality rate was in 2019 at 44 per 1,000 births, the infant mortality rate at 58 per 1,000 births, the maternal mortality rate at 830 per 100,000 births. Only 43 percent of the births could receive medical care.
|Development of life expectancy|
|period||Life expectancy in
|period||Life expectancy in
Today's Zambia was already settled in early human times, as a skull find in Kabwe (" Kabwe 1 ") attests. Early residents were San who were later ousted by Bantu . Copper mining began around the year 1000. In 1835 the Mfecane Nguni came to the area from South Africa. The first European in what is now Zambia was the British explorer David Livingstone in 1851. After the British Cecil Rhodes had concluded several treaties with local rulers in 1888, the area became part of the British colony of Rhodesia in 1890 . In 1918 there was a pandemic of Spanish flu , called for the number of fatalities. In 1923 the area became part of the British Protectorate of Rhodesia as Northern Rhodesia. From 1930 the copper mining was intensified; In the same year there were for the first time major strikes by black miners, which were directed against the unequal treatment of black and white miners.
Even before independence, the colonial authorities allowed blacks to vote, which was restricted by restrictions on education and property.
The 1959 constitution guaranteed European, Indian and African women and men the right to vote, albeit with strict restrictions on citizenship, residence status, education and property. These restrictions created a large imbalance in favor of the white population. The first direct elections were held on October 30, 1962, with significantly expanded voting rights. These led to the independence of Zambia and were the first elections in which the active and passive right to vote was valid. In October 1964, universal suffrage for adults was achieved with independence. In 1964, Kenneth Kaunda was elected the first President of Zambia by the United National Independence Party (UNIP).
But Zambia's wealth, copper , could not be exported through southern Rhodesia by rail (UNO sanctions against the revolt of white farmers there against Great Britain), nor did it generate high revenues when the world market prices for copper fell sharply. Kenneth Kaunda was unable to curb the increasing corruption of the administration and the ruling party. In 1973, Kaunda declared Zambia a one-party state after unrest over the new constitution .
After massive pressure from civil society and international donors in 1990, Kaunda allowed the first democratic multi-party election since the first republic. After a constitutional amendment and associated party formation, opposition candidate Frederick Chiluba was elected as the new president in the 1991 elections. The new ruling party was now the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). This was one of the first peaceful changes in power through the election of a head of government in Africa. After the controversial election on January 2, 2002, Levy Mwanawasa became president and head of state. EU observers described the election as chaotic and not fair. President Levy Mwanawasa was re-elected for a second term on October 1, 2006.
After Mwanawasa's death in August 2008, Vice President Rupiah Banda initially took over the office of President on a provisional basis. In the election of the new president on October 30, 2008, Banda was able to prevail, according to state information, just ahead of the opposition leader Michael Sata ( Patriotic Front , PF).
On September 23, 2011, Michael Sata prevailed against his political opponent Rupiah Banda in the presidential elections. After Sata came to power, numerous corruption trials took place. Above all, members of the previous government were convicted. In this context, formerly privatized companies were nationalized again, and members of the opposition were persecuted and silenced. 70 percent of the state employees belonged to the ethnic group of Michael Sata, the Bemba .
After Michael Sata passed away in October 2014, Scottish-born Guy Scott was named interim president. At the beginning of February 2015 he was replaced by Edgar Lungu (PF), and Inonge Wina became his vice-president . During his tenure, Lungu came under increasing criticism for his authoritarian demeanor. Zambia also got into an economic crisis that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020, so that the country went bankrupt in November 2020 and had to apply for debt rescheduling. In the 2021 elections , Lungu was voted out and Hakainde Hichilema ( United Party for National Development , UNPD) was elected as his successor.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||84.5 out of 120||41 of 178||Stability of the country: big warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Democracy index||4.86 out of 10||99 of 167||Hybrid regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
|Freedom in the World||54 of 100||---||Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||38.21 out of 100||115 of 180||Difficult situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||33 out of 100||117 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
According to the 1991 constitution, Zambia is a presidential republic in the Commonwealth . At the head of the executive is the president, who is elected for five years and who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces . A one-time re-election is possible. The president is also head of government and leads the cabinet. In the presidential elections on August 12, 2021, the opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema won with 59.4% against the incumbent Edgar Lungu, who won 38.3% and congratulated his opponent on his election victory. In the 2016 election, Lungu won by a narrow margin of 50.4%.
The parliament consists of 167 members, 156 of them are elected in single-person constituencies according to the relative majority voting system, eight are appointed by the president, three persons are ex officio members. The last parliamentary elections took place on August 12, 2021.
|Political party||Share of votes||Seats||±|
|United Party for National Development||46.64||82||+24|
|Party of National Unity and Progress||0.28||1||+1|
|Forum for Democracy and Development||0.09||0||-1|
|Movement for Multi-Party Democracy||0.07||0||-3|
|Appointed members and members qua office||---||11||-|
Distribution of seats in 2016:
- PF ( Patriotic Front ) - 80 seats
- UPND ( United Party for National Development ) - 58 seats
- MMD ( Movement for Multi-Party Democracy ) - 3 seats
- FDD ( Forum for Democracy and Development ) - 1 seat
- Independent - 14 seats
The length of the legislative period is five years. 27 representatives of ethnic groups make up the House of Chiefs . The legal system is based on British law and (mostly family law) on tribal law.
Compared to many neighboring countries in the region, the human rights situation is rated rather positively. However, the situation has deteriorated in recent years. If the country was once seen as a positive example of democratic development, there is not much left of it. "What we have seen in Zambia, especially in the last five years, is increasingly brutal crackdown on human rights, characterized by brazen attacks on all forms of dissent," said Deprose Muchena of Amnesty International. Oppositionists and critics are arrested, protests are violently broken up. Reports of press suppression are increasing. Government intimidation against journalists has increased, and government pressures have shut down a newspaper and a broadcaster, according to Reporters Without Borders. "In order to prosecute journalists, the government uses either a pretext such as not paying taxes or the various laws against defamation and sedition," the organization said.
Corruption has also increased. "While in 2017 15 percent of those surveyed stated that they had paid bribes for a public service such as the police or the healthcare system within the past year, this figure has almost doubled to 27 percent in 2020."
Zambia formally continues to adhere to the death penalty. However, it was last carried out in 1997. The death penalty has been de facto abolished since 2015 after President Lungu commuted 332 death sentences to life imprisonment. A constitutional reform aims to remove the death penalty from the country's criminal law.
Because of the very high number of AIDS cases, many older children have to support their families after their parents die. A total of 1.2 million of the 7 to 14 year old children have to work. That corresponds to almost half of this age group.
Homosexual , bisexual and transgender people are officially discriminated against and stigmatized, according to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch . Consensual homosexual acts between men and women are also considered a criminal offense in Zambia and can be punished with imprisonment of up to 14 years.
As a landlocked African country with an industrial focus on the mining and agricultural sectors, Zambia wants to promote its economic relationships and attract foreign investment.
Relations with its neighbors as well as the large western states such as the USA, Germany and the former colonial power Great Britain, from which it receives development initiatives, are important for Zambia. In September 2018, Great Britain, Finland, Ireland and Sweden stopped their payments for the "Social Cash Transfer Program" after a million dollar amount disappeared due to corruption.
The most important foreign policy reference point in Africa for Zambia is South Africa. An increasingly important partner is the People's Republic of China, which is investing in Zambia's mining and energy sectors. Zambia has a state investment company, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which exercises a steering function similar to the South African institution of the same name.
The state has been divided into ten provinces since 2011 (capitals in brackets):
In 2016, 41.4% of the population lived in cities or urban areas. The 5 largest cities are (as of 2017):
- Lusaka : 2,426,900 inhabitants
- Kitwe : 669,600 inhabitants
- Ndola : 551,900 inhabitants
- Chingola : 233,600 inhabitants
- Kabwe : 227,600 inhabitants
Agriculture and copper and cobalt mining and smelting in the Copperbelt , a mining district in the north with large cities such as Kitwe , Ndola and Mufulira , are the main sectors of the economy in Zambia. In Kabwe (in central Zambia) tin and lead are also mined . Services and industry are underdeveloped. Despite all economic efforts, Zambia is still one of the poorest countries in the world: in 2003 the proportion of the population living on less than US $ 1 a day was 64%.
80% of the population is employed in agriculture, another 14% in mining. Agriculture thus employs a large part of the Zambian workforce, but only generates 5% of Zambia's gross domestic product. The Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project was launched in 2017 to strengthen the productivity of Zambian agriculture . The copper industry is one of the main sources of gross domestic product and government revenue. Copper and cobalt account for more than 75% (1997) of Zambia's export income, while another 3% is generated by other mining products such as lead, zinc or precious stones. Due to the great importance of copper mining, Zambia has been hit hard by the problems in this sector in recent years. Copper production fell from 755,000 tons in 1969 to 260,000 tons (1999), which corresponded to a world market share of 2.1% and in 1999 placed Zambia in twelfth place among the copper-producing countries. Due to the rising copper prices, production could be increased again in 2005 to 550,000 tons. The Zambian mining industry currently employs around 37,000 people. This makes the copper industry the most important private employer.
Since 1976 Zambia has been connected to the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) , the Tanzam Highway and an oil pipeline. With the fall of the copper price in the 1970s, the country fell into an economic crisis. There was no other economic sector left. Import controls followed. The state made sure that the Zambian agricultural production was only marketed domestically, thus blocking agricultural production for the world market.
From 1991 the IMF and the World Bank forced several reforms, including the privatization of copper production and the supply companies for the agricultural sector. Nevertheless, state influence in the distribution of seeds and artificial fertilizers is still present everywhere.
The privatization not only had positive consequences, because the state agencies were only sold for lucrative areas and other parts simply broke away. Weak regions, especially those that were difficult to reach, suddenly found themselves without any care. In Bangweulubassin and into the upper Zambezi provinces which led to impoverishment. In addition, price fluctuations were principally used to the detriment of the farmers. In addition, there was high inflation in the local currency, the kwacha, and accordingly high interest rates on loans.
Zambeef is one of the largest agricultural groups in Zambia and , in addition to producing beef, pork and chicken, dairy products, grain (such as wheat and soy), edible oil, leather and animal feed, also operates slaughterhouses, grocery stores and a fast food chain.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Zambia was ranked 118th out of 137 countries (2017-18). In 2017, the country ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom .
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 5.0 billion , which was offset by income equivalent to US $ 3.4 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 7.4% of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was $ 12.9 billion, or 57.5% of GDP.
In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:
The Labor Institute of Zambia spoke of further hidden debts in 2018: In addition to the official US $ 9.3 billion, the country had US $ 6 billion in debt to China and US $ 5 billion internally.
As part of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), the IMF canceled all of Zambia's debts in 2005.
Schooling is compulsory for seven to 14 year olds . The literacy rate in 2015 was 63.3% (women: 56.0%, men: 70.9%).
In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Zambia was ranked 114th out of 180 countries. The situation of press freedom in the country is classified by Reporters Without Borders as "difficult".
The most common dish in Zambia is Nshima with Ndiko. Nshima refers to a maize porridge that is cooked from fine, white maize flour. Ndiko is the name for various sauces made from spinach, kale, tomatoes, okra or peanuts. With your right hand you form a small ball out of the nshima, which you dip into the sauce and bring to your mouth. Colonial cuisine has led to the spread of some traditional British dishes, such as English breakfasts . Chinese, Lebanese, and Italian restaurants are common in the towns of Lusaka and Livingstone.
Festivals and customs
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