Facts

Population: 16,59 million (2016)
Area: 752 618 km²
Capital City: Lusaka


About Zamba
Zambia, in southern Africa, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa, neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country.
Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region was affected by the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, the region became the British protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. These were merged in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. For most of the colonial period, Zambia was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.


Currency

The Zambian Kwacha is the currency of Zambia. The currency code for Kwacha is ZMK, and the currency symbol is ZK.

Climate


Zambia is located on the plateau of Central Africa, between 1000–1600 m above sea level. The average altitude of 1200 m generally has a moderate climate. The climate of Zambia is tropical, modified by elevation. In the Köppen climate classification, most of the country is classified as humid subtropical or tropical wet and dry, with small stretches of semi-arid steppe climate in the south-west and along the Zambezi valley.
There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May/June to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is subdivided into the cool dry season (May/June to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November). The modifying influence of altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather rather than tropical conditions during the cool season of May to August. However, average monthly temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) over most of the country for eight or more months of the year.

Language

The official language of Zambia is English, which is used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. The main local language, especially in Lusaka, is Nyanja, followed by Bemba. In the Copperbelt Bemba is the main language and Nyanja second. Bemba and Nyanja are spoken in the urban areas in addition to other indigenous languages which are commonly spoken in Zambia. These include Lozi, Kaonde, Tonga, Lunda and Luvale, which feature on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)’s local languages section. The total number of languages spoken in Zambia is 73.


Economy

Presently, Zambia averages between $7 billion and $8 billion of exports annually. About 60.5% of Zambians live below the recognised national poverty line, with rural poverty rates standing at about 77.9% and urban rates at about 27.5%.] Unemployment and underemployment in urban areas are serious problems. Most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers.
Zambia ranked 117th out of 128 countries on the 2007 Global Competitiveness Index, which looks at factors that affect economic growth. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 40.9 years) and maternal mortality (830 per 100,000 pregnancies). The country’s rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS-related issues place on the economy.
Zambia fell into poverty after international copper prices declined in the 1970s. The socialist regime made up for falling revenue with several abortive attempts at International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). The policy of not trading through the main supply route and line of rail to the sea – the territory known as Rhodesia (from 1965 to 1979), and now known as Zimbabwe – cost the economy greatly. After the Kaunda regime, (from 1991) successive governments began limited reforms. The economy stagnated until the late 1990s. In 2007 Zambia recorded its ninth consecutive year of economic growth. Inflation was 8.9%, down from 30% in 2000.


Zambia is still dealing with economic reform issues such as the size of the public sector, and improving Zambia’s social sector delivery systems. Economic regulations and red tape are extensive, and corruption is widespread. The bureaucratic procedures surrounding the process of obtaining licences encourages the widespread use of facilitation payments. Zambia’s total foreign debt exceeded $6 billion when the country qualified for Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) debt relief in 2000, contingent upon meeting certain performance criteria. Initially, Zambia hoped to reach the HIPC completion point, and benefit from substantial debt forgiveness, in late 2003.
In January 2003, the Zambian government informed the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatisation of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities. Although agreements were reached on these issues, subsequent overspending on civil service wages delayed Zambia’s final HIPC debt forgiveness from late 2003 to early 2005, at the earliest. In an effort to reach HIPC completion in 2004, the government drafted an austerity budget for 2004, freezing civil service salaries and increasing a number of taxes. The tax hike and public sector wage freeze prohibited salary increases and new hires. This sparked a nationwide strike in February 2004.
The Zambian government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy’s reliance on the copper industry. This initiative seeks to exploit other components of Zambia’s rich resource base by promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power.

Education

The right to equal and adequate education for all is enshrined within the Zambian constitution. The Education Act of 2011 regulates the provision of equal and quality education. The Ministry of Education effectively oversees the provision of quality education through policy and regulation of the education curriculum.
Fundamentally, the aim of education in Zambia is to promote full and well-rounded development of the physical, intellectual, social, affective, moral and spiritual qualities of all learners. The education system is broadly composed of three core structures: Early childhood education and Primary education (Grades 1 – 7), Secondary education (Grades 8 – 12) and Tertiary education. Additionally, Adult Literacy programmes are available for semi-literate and illiterate individuals.
Government’s annual expenditure on education has increased over the years, increasing from 16.1% in 2006 to 20.2% in 2015.


Politics

Politics in Zambia take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Zambia is both head of state and head of government in a pluriform multi-party system. The government exercises executive power, while legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament.
Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964. From 2011 to 2014, Zambia’s president had been Michael Sata, until Sata died on 28 October 2014.
After Sata’s death, Vice President Guy Scott, a Zambian of Scottish descent, became acting President of Zambia. On 24 January 2015 it was announced that Edgar Chagwa Lungu had won the election to become the 6th President in a tightly contested race. He won 48.33% of the vote, a lead of 1.66% over his closest rival, Hakainde Hichilema, with 46.67%. 9 other candidates all got less than 1% each.

Culture


Prior to the establishment of modern Zambia, the natives lived in independent tribes, each with its own way of life. One of the results of the colonial era was the growth of urbanisation. Different ethnic groups started living together in towns and cities, influencing each other as well as adopting a lot of the European culture. The original cultures have largely survived in the rural areas. In the urban setting there is a continuous integration and evolution of these cultures to produce what is now called “Zambian culture”.
Traditional culture is very visible through colourful annual Zambian traditional ceremonies. Some of the more prominent are: Kuomboka and Kathanga (Western Province), Mutomboko (Luapula Province), Kulamba and Ncwala (Eastern Province), Lwiindi and Shimunenga (Southern Province), Lunda Lubanza (North Western), Likumbi Lyamize (North Western), Mbunda Lukwakwa (North Western Province), Chibwela Kumushi (Central Province), Vinkhakanimba (Muchinga Province), Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena (Northern Province).
Popular traditional arts are mainly in pottery, basketry (such as Tonga baskets), stools, fabrics, mats, wooden carvings, ivory carvings, wire craft and copper crafts. Most Zambian traditional music is based on drums (and other percussion instruments) with a lot of singing and dancing. In the urban areas foreign genres of music are popular, in particular Congolese rumba, African-American music and Jamaican reggae. Several psychedelic rock artists emerged in the 1970s to create a genre known as Zam-rock, including WITCH, Musi-O-Tunya, Rikki Ililonga, Amanaz, the Peace, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Blackfoot, and the Ngozi Family.

Health

The Ministry of Health (MOH) provides information pertaining to Zambian health. In 2014, public expenditure on health was 2.8% of GDP, among the lowest in southern Africa. The 2014 CIA estimated average life expectancy in Zambia was 51.83 years. UNESCO estimated it to be 61.8 years in 2015.
Zambia faces a generalised HIV epidemic, with an estimated prevalence rate of 12.3% among adults (ages 15–49) in 2015–2016. HIV incidence in Zambia has declined by more than 25% from 2001 to 2010, an indication that the epidemic appears to be declining.
In Zambia, there are hospitals throughout the country which include: Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital, Chipata General Hospital, Kitwe Central Hospital, Konkola Mine Hospital, Lubwe Mission Hospital, Maacha Hospital, Mtendere Mission Hospital, Mukinge Mission Hospital, Mwandi Mission Hospital, Nchanga North Hospital, Chikankata Salvation Army Hospital, Kalene Mission Hospital, St Francis Hospital, and St Luke’s Mission Hospital.
The University Teaching Hospital serves as both a hospital and a training site for future health workers. There are very few hospitals in rural or remote places in Zambia, where most communities rely on small government-run community health centres and rural health posts.
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Zambia is 470. This is compared with 602.9 in 2008 and 594.2 in 1990. The under-5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 145 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5’s mortality is 25.
In Zambia the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 5 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 38. Female genital mutilation (FGM), while not widespread, is practiced in parts of the country. According to the 2009 Zambia Sexual Behaviour Survey, 0.7% of women have undergone FGM. According to UNICEF, 45% of children under five years are stunted.
The federal government has made attempts to address women’s health concerns and provide policies that give women greater opportunities in political life in the 2010s. A 2017 law established “Mother’s Day” which allows every Zambian one day off from work per month to ease menstrual pain.

Safety


Many people will tell you that you can take a copy of your visa with you. Sadly, some people experience trouble over this. It’s always better to carry your passport with you. A photocopy can be refused as proof of identity. A phone call to a local who can help can prove very effective.
Get the details of your local embassy and/or consulates in advance and note their emergency numbers.
If you can it is useful to have a bilingual acquaintance who can be called in an emergency or if you encounter difficulties. If staying for any length of time, it is advisable to get a local SIM card for your mobile for emergencies and for cheaper local calls/texts. These are widely available, cheap (often free) and easy to ‘top-up’.
As in any other country, using common sense when traveling in Ukraine will minimize any chances of being victim of petty crime and theft. Try not to publicize the fact that you’re a foreigner or flaunt your wealth: by clothing or otherwise. With the exception of Kiev, Odessa, and other large cities, foreign tourists are still quite rare. As in any other country, the possibility of petty theft exists. In Kiev, make sure to guard your bags and person because pickpocketing is very common, especially in crowded metro stations.
Racially motivated violence and harassment can occur without corrective action by local authorities.
While there’s a lot of swimming and diving attractions throughout Ukraine, local water rescue is tremendously underfunded. It is unlikely that you would be noticed while drowning, especially on the river. Use only officially established beaches.


Transport

There are many taxis available. Prices are negotiable. There is a good bus service to Chipata, Livingstone, the Copperbelt and Harare, but they don’t always follow strict schedules. The main bus terminus is in Dedan Kimathi Road in Lusaka where one can inquire about timetables.
Long range buses frequently leave from Lusaka to all the main towns. The intercity bus terminal can be found one road up from Cairo Road at the station.
Minibuses and taxis, local transport – all painted blue – can be jumped on at pretty much any juncture. They’re not expensive and you can always find a minibus that won’t cost too much to buy all the seats in it to get your own private minibus to wherever you want to go but you’ll have to negotiate so be sharp about the value of money.
Zambia has three main internal train lines:- Livingstone / Lusaka, Lusaka / Copperbelt, Kapiri Mposhi to the Northern border with Tanzania.

Cuisine


Zambian cuisine is heavily centered around nshima, which is a food prepared from pounded white maize. Nshima is part of nearly every Zambian meal. In addition to nshima, Zambian cuisine includes various types of stew, cooked vegetables and different types of beer. Dried fish and insects are also eaten.

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