Zambia – Country Information

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zambia – Country Information

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A British colony (under the name Northern Rhodesia) until 1964, Zambia was led until 1991 by President Kenneth Kaunda. Kaunda was a strong supporter of other African independence movements, notably in Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, as well as staunchly against apartheid in South Africa. Nearly thirty years of fairly despotic rule, along with economic difficulties and increasing calls for democratization, however, forced him to call elections in 1991.

Multi-party democracy has reigned in the country from that year, with overall success. Economic conditions have also improved, in large part due to rising prices of copper and cobalt on the world markets, which combine for 64% of Zambia’s exports.

Mostly tropical, variances due to altitude differences

Population – 12,056,923
Median Age – 17.2 years
Population Growth Rate – 1.617%
Life Expectancy – 38.86 years
Literacy – 80.6%
Average Years of Schooling – 7 years (male and female)
Urban population – 35%


English is the national language, used in schools and for inter-ethnic communication.

However, it is spoken natively by only 1.7% of the population, with the distribution of the rest being:

Bemba 30.1% (official), Nyanja 10.7% (official), Tonga 10.6% (official), Lozi 5.7% (official), Chewa 4.9%, Nsenga 3.4%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda 2.2% (official), Kaonde 2% (official), Lala 2%, Luvale 1.7% (official), other 22.5%

African 99.5% (includes Bemba, Tonga, Chewa, Lozi, Nsenga, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Lala, Kaonde, Lunda, and other African groups), other 0.5% (includes Europeans, Asians, and Americans)

Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%

GDP per Capita – $1,500

GDP Composition by Sector:
Agriculture: 19.2%
Industry: 31.3%
Services: 49.5%

Labor force – by occupation:
Agriculture: 85%
Industry: 6%
Services: 9%

Main Exports:
copper, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton

What it is known for:
National parks, Wildlife, Victoria Falls

BWA’s Focus Areas in Zambia:
•  Orphan Care
•  Health Care
•  Water Well Development
•  Small-scale Agriculture – Food Self-Sufficiency and Banana Plantations

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